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Issue 1243 - Better Literacy

We believe books matter. We believe reading matters. And across the UK, libraries are closing at an alarming, unprecedented rate; librarians are disappearing fast. This must stop. That is why today we launch our new Big Issue campaign – we’ll back those fighting to keep libraries open across Britain, agitate for better support for bookshops, and in the coming weeks we will unveil exciting new projects to take books where they are needed.

As Big Issue founder John Bird told Parliament last year: "If you're going to cut libraries you must be prepared to build more prisons and more homeless hostels.” We want to hear from you – tell us what matters to you and we’ll spread the word.

• Also... Affable, angry and well-informed in equal measure, Hollywood superstar Michael Keaton explains why he is making a meal of McDonald’s history and reveals his passion for Scottish folk. PLUS discover the History of the Modern World in 12 McDonald’s.

• "Everything I have done is wonderful." So says Werner Herzog in his Letter To My Younger Self. Find out how the bonkers film-maker acquired his cast-iron conviction, rock-hard self-belief, and why he’s pleased nobody ever "got hurt" on his film sets.

• “There’s not enough government support for all the people who need it,” says Evgeny Lebedev. The boss of The Independent and Evening Standard explains why he’s agitating for an urgently-needed one-stop homelessness phone line to help young rough sleepers.

• Our featured vendor this week is Michael Rossi in Cardiff. He has sung alongside Charlotte Church, but his real passion lies in Black Sabbath.

Please note once this edition is no longer on sale with Big Issue vendors (from Monday 20th February) it will be classed as a 'back issue'. All back issues are priced at £4 per copy plus P&P

The Big Issue

The Big Issue’s own-brand products support the creation of a range of work-based opportunities for disadvantaged people.
The Big Issue has spent over 27 years at the helm of self-help revolution. It all began with the launch of The Big Issue magazine in 1991, which was created to offer homeless and disadvantaged people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by selling a magazine on the streets. Since then over 200 million copies magazine have been sold by over 100,000 people. Vendors buy the magazine upfront for £1.25 and sell it on to the public for £2.50, and in doing so each runs their own micro-enterprise. In 2005 Big Issue Invest was launched, with the aim of extending The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of social enterprises and charities across the UK. To date the organisation has directly invested in over 350 such organisations, and manages or advises on more than £170 million of social funds.
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