Hundreds of libraries have closed. Can you help reverse the trend?

Burning books: The fate of our libraries marks another parallel between the Conservative Government and the Nazis.

Burning books: The fate of our libraries marks another parallel between the Conservative Government and the Nazis.

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?

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9 thoughts on “Hundreds of libraries have closed. Can you help reverse the trend?

  1. Terry Davies

    there is worse to come if libraries close. many claimants for Universal Credit will be obliged to use libraries to make their claim.
    They will be in competition, with Job seekers, and students meeting deadlines.
    there will be much animosity between these competing factions and others compelled to use library computers.
    closing libraries will create another underclass and oblige them to use foodbanks. the legality of a system which obliges claimants to enter financial details online against their expressed wishes needs a class action in courts. It would seem ID theft will be rife and all sorts of scammers will profit. most important incompetent assessors, and other DWP staff can blame computers and evade accountability for poor service standards. useage of foodbanks, and local police will increase and more crime and social problems will be the consequence.

  2. NMac

    I believe this is all part of the Nasty Tory Party’s plan to prevent those who are not extremely wealthy from educating themselves. It is something about which we should all be very concerned.

  3. Chris Bergin.

    I have always read very fast and get through around ten books a week. Our local Library is now run by volunteers and I much regret that I am a bit too frail to join them. My solution to that is to buy books as I cqn afford them with a prefence for large print where possible, and to donate them so that other readers can enjoy them as well. Libraries are places that open new worlds and new connections. I became interested in Georgian snuff boxes many years ago after reading Georgette Heyer and regency romances. Even Fiction can open your mind and imagination. Everyone needs some sort of escape and TV is an expensive thing to run. Havent had one for forty years and dont miss it at all.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Why do they close those libraries? Lack of cash from – guess where? – central government.
      Still, if its a statutory duty, they all need to rethink.

  4. Roland Laycock

    My local Library as been turned into a community centre most of the book as cheap novels what with children running round and singing and a lack of goods they might as well close it the loacl private schools seem to make use of it in the winter?

  5. mrmarcpc

    They shouldn’t be allowed to get way with another sneaky tactic of theirs, they’re trying to dumb down the public’s thinking and intelligence.

Comments are closed.