Libraries are facing what is said to be the ‘greatest crisis’ in their history – nearly 350 have closed since David Cameron became prime minister.
The announcement yesterday was predicted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in – wait for it – March 2011.
That was when he tweeted: “I got the new ‘Big Society Cluedo.’ Much the same only it doesn’t have a library….”
How prophetic those words were.
Here’s part of the BBC’s report:
Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.
Over the same period, some 15,500 volunteers have been recruited and 343 libraries have closed, leading to fears over the future of the profession.
The Conservative Party’s attitude can be summed up in the glib headline on the Daily Telegraph‘s website: Don’t mourn the loss of libraries – the internet has made them obsolete.
Think about that for even a moment and you’ll realise it is a lie.
But there is a glimmer of hope, because it seems local authorities have a statutory duty to provide libraries:
When deciding what changes to make to public libraries, local authorities are legally obliged to abide by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. This Law means that public libraries are a statutory service; councils have a legal duty to provide them. Councils must ensure that the service they provide is “comprehensive and efficient”. They also have a duty to promote the service and to encourage people to use it. The Law also makes it clear that councils cannot charge people for library facilities that make up part of their statutory provision.
Are you going to demand that the law be enforced – or let your libraries die?
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: