Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

A heartening story for National Libraries Day – trade unionist honoured with a memorial library

Posted by wcmlibrary on February 8, 2013

Here’s a touching library story, ahead of tomorrow’s National Libraries Day. It was sent in to us by Surrey County Unison, who are Friends of the Library:

Ian McDonald, who passed away in 2009, has received a special national award for his outstanding social work, from UNISON, the UK’s largest union.

Ian’s branch, Surrey County UNISON, voted unanimously for him to be nominated for the award after his 12 years of service.  Ian, who died suddenly from cancer two years ago, was described by his colleagues as a powerful force in social work. On the application for this award, his colleagues said he was ‘loved and respected by his peers, his managers, his clients and his UNISON colleagues’.

In addition, a memorial trade union and socialist education library has now been opened in Ian’s memory, housed in one of the county’s main libraries in Guildford. It is funded by donations from UNISON branches, and the collection by family and friends at his funeral. This collection is now home to a wide variety of books from Karl Marx’s Capital to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, and includes hundreds of books useful to today’s trade unionists.

Paul Couchman, Surrey County UNISON Branch Secretary, said: ‘It took well over eighteen months of negotiating and planning to establish this unique, permanent, workers’ library in one of the most Tory councils in England but we did it. Ian would be proud’.




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