Monday, 8 August 2011

Love Your Libraries

Last Friday, the WI launched its Love Your Libraries e-petition following the government’s promise of a debate in parliament if a petition receives 100,000 signatures. As I write at 10.32am on Monday 8 August, there are already 1,831 signatures. The premise of the petition is that WI members believe libraries are an essential local education and information resource but with many libraries under threat, the future of the library service is at risk.

The WI wants to see the value of libraries recognised at both local and national levels, and members are calling on the government to honour both its commitment to act as a champion of the library service, and its duty of oversight; to ensure that a comprehensive and efficient library service is provided. If you are in agreement, please add your signature to the e-petition, which can be found at It can also be downloaded for written signatures at, or a copy can be requested from the NFWI office.

If you are reading this blog from your iPhone or Smartphone and in the habit of downloading the latest app, there's another one for your collection as of today – “Wild Jam Maker”. The app, created by WI Real Jam Festival sponsor Stoves, has been launched ahead of the festival, which takes place from 8-9 October, and has been designed especially for the country's “budding wild jam makers” and the many people who already make jam. It lists fruits and berries found in the wild that can be used to make jams, and there are also wild jam recipes, from hawthorn and crab apple jelly, to gooseberry and elderflower jam. Incidentally, the latter recipe won the best in show in the first WI Real Jam Festival held last year.

The WI Real Jam Festival is open to all; WI members and non-members, male and female, adults and children. Give it a go; even if you’ve never tried before you could discover a new talent in the process!

While you are about it, why not visit Denman College, the venue for the Jam Festival? Denman College is the WI's educational institution with a proud 63 year heritage of teaching and instructing WI members and non-members in all manner of crafts, cookery, literature, language, music and much more. Visit the superb WI Cookery School and sign up for a course. When you are staying at Denman College the world retreats and you are enveloped in the desire to learn.

Having had another quick check online as I finish writing this at 11.15am there are 1, 901 signatures on that petition.