UK writers join the fight for Orkney library…

The Guardian 17.03.2016
Alison Flood

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Orkney mobile library returning to Kirkwall. Photograph: Orkney Library & Archive

Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves join JK Rowling to defend award-winning mobile library facing £25,000 cut

Major writers from Val McDermid to Ann Cleeves are lining up to fight for Orkney’s threatened mobile library, which brings books to readers in some of the UK’s most remote locations.

behind the scenes the service is being eroded

Travelling to the islands of Stronsay and Shapinsay, Longhope and Westray, and a host of other locations across Orkney’s mainland and isles, the mobile service is facing a reduction in funding of £25,000, after Orkney Islands council agreed to find £1.4m in savings following its own drop in funding. The council said today that this could mean “reducing visits to each destination served by the mobile library service to once every two months, rather than once a month as at present”.

Author Alison Miller, who grew up in Orkney, has launched a petition protesting against the cuts and calling on Orkney Islands council to maintain the service at its current level. It has already drawn the support of the writers McDermid, Cleeves, Louise Welsh and Lin Anderson, as well as hundreds of readers.

Pointing out that Orkney library has won both library of the year and librarian of the year, as well as landing a recent surprise visit from JK Rowling, who dropped in on its crime book club Saturday Slaughters, Miller writes in her petition that “behind the scenes the service is being eroded”.

Read more on The Guardian website…

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon battles alien invasion terrorising UK in new BBC drama debut…

NicAndValPHIL MILLER / 00:07 Thursday 25 February 2016
Herald Scotland

She has obtained sweeping new powers for Scotland, leads a party poised to dominate Holyrood for years – and is now set to restore order to a UK invaded by aliens.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to make first foray into radio drama – playing herself as a calming voice of authority as Britain is besieged by extra-terrestrials.

Ms Sturgeon appears in the BBC Radio 4 production, The Kraken Wakes, a modern retelling of John Wyndham’s classic 1953 apocalyptic novel, which has been adapted by the Scottish crime writer and dramatist Val McDermid.

The two-part drama stars Tamsin Greig and Paul Higgins as reporters Mike and Phyllis Watson, who are on a honeymoon cruise when they see strange red lights falling out of the sky and into the sea.
The lights are aliens who are invading the earth and destroying its environment by raising sea levels.

“There’s chaos in London, there’s no police force, and the British Government has collapsed, but its the Scottish government that survives and tries to re-establish civic order,” said Mr Higgins.

The lights are aliens who are invading the earth and destroying its environment by raising sea levels

“So mine and Tamsin’s characters are always twiddling with the radio, trying to get a signal, and they hear Nicola Sturgeon saying the Scottish Government is going to take control.”

Val McDermid, who is a fan of Wyndham’s works, retells the story “in the light of contemporary fears of climate change”.

Read the full article on the Herald Scotland website…

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