British Empire Medal for librarian from Frodsham

FRODSHAM resident Ian Anstice was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to public libraries in the New Year’s Honours.
The 48-year-old is Cheshire West and Chester Council’s locality library and has worked in libraries since 1992.
In 2010 he set up the national website Public Libraries News and currently on secondment for three days a week promoting reading in 22 North West library services.
He said: “I am delighted to have been awarded this unexpected honour. Libraries have always been important to me and despite widely reported cuts nationally they are still going strong and doing wonderful things in their local communities.”
Mr Anstice is married to Naomi, assistant head teacher at Frodsham Manor House Primary School and the couple have two daughters, aged 14 and 12.
He believes the library plays a vital role in the community.
“Before Amazon, the internet and Google, people came to the library for information. You never knew what you were going to be asked. We are often still the first port of call for all sorts of things.”
Mr Anstice spends up to three hours every evening working on the Public Libraries News website, chronicling key stories on libraries from all over the country and abroad.
The site has thousands of readers from all over the world.
His work has been praised in the House of Commons and he regularly speaks at national conferences and on TV and radio.
“I now see children’s eyes light up when you give them a library card. To discover the world from an early age and become a member of a library for free is unique. Reading is part of children’s lives and should be free for everyone. It’s sad when I see children who haven’t had access to books.
“People should have access to all sorts of books regardless of what money they have.”
Mr Anstice has nothing but praise for Cheshire West’s libraries and now plays a pivotal role in their growth.
His work as a locality librarian involves buying children’s books for libraries across the county and he promotes reader development among libraries across the region
“We are very lucky in Cheshire West,” he said. “We have won two national awards and I take visitors from as far away as Australia around to see the unique things we do.
“Libraries aren’t just for books. They’re often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It’s actually kind of magical.”

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One Comment

  1. Very well deserved, in this day & age we tend to turn to modern technology for our reading needs. But the joy of walking around a library & picking a real book has never left me. We need more people to use these services & promote the joy of reading.
    As it says above Libraries are not just for books. But still a long way to go to get the message out to the general public & use them as a Community Hub.

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