The finally tally of contributions for The Icelanders Cometh was £2365.00, 103% of the target set of £2304.16, raised by the final end date, 25 October 2016. This means that all the money raised – all £2365.00 – will be given to libraries in the UK who sign up to receive the free books on offer. Details of the participating libraries will be published as soon as they are confirmed.
Everyone who made a contribution will be contacted in the next few days regarding the claiming of the rewards they purchased to help fund the crowdfunding campaign.
Public concern for libraries
The Icelanders Cometh project ran in the context of widening concern about the state of the library sector. A major debate on the issue in the House of Lords on 7 October 2016 was notable for a powerful speech by Big Issue founder, Lord Bird, who spoke with passion and apprehension about the effects of making cuts to the public library service.
Further publicity will be garnered by a march – the National Libraries Demonstration – which is scheduled for 5 November 2016: starting at the British Library, pit-stopping at the British Museum, and finishing at the National Gallery. The Demonstration aims to ‘kick start the debate about the value of public libraries and alert the public to the ever worsening situation’, according to its organisers.
The Jolabokaflod Book Campaign will continue to use crowdfunding to help libraries, by running projects in-house and by encouraging people with passion to use the patch at CrowdPatch to organise their own campaigns. The Icelanders Cometh is only the start: they – and we – are here is stay.