Welcome to The Library Campaign

 We are an independent national organisation set up in 1984 to support Friends of Library groups and to campaign for improved services in publicly funded libraries. In March 2004 we became a registered charity (no. 1102634)

Keep up to date and join the conversation on social media:

on Twitter @LibraryCampaign.  There’s a link to our most recent tweets here. on Facebook   The Library Campaign For the latest daily digest of news relating to libraries click here.     

Latest!

A court case, a pledge and a  video from Darlington

Things are moving – not necessarily in the right direction for libraries – in Darlington. Crown Street library is being proposed for redevelopment or use as a Community centre and although the local MP has ‘pledged’ to save the building, she has not committed to it being a library. However a judicial review has been launched in support of the building remaining a library. Meanwhile local campaigners have made a series of videos documenting Crown Street and  about the removal of the local mobile library. See more under Library Campaigns

GENERAL ELECTION – WHO SHOULD GET THE PUBLIC LIBRARY VOTE?

Extract on public libraries from CILIP’s analysis of the various manifestos, covering all areas of publishing & libraries (https://www.cilip.org.uk/news/i-have-promises-keep)

Labour has made a number of above-the-line policy commitments to support public libraries including:

“Libraries are vital social assets, valued by communities across the country. We will ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated with wi-fi and computers to meet modern needs. We will reintroduce library standards so that government can assess and guide councils in delivering the best possible service.”

CILIP has welcomed this twin emphasis on strengthening and modernising the core library service as ‘vital social assets’ and on re-introducing standards as an effective way to correct the deficiencies of the Public Libraries Act.

We also welcome the recognition of libraries as important ‘3rd spaces’ in the Womens Equality Party Manifesto:

“The tunnel vision of our economy renders women and their contribution invisible. It fails to see the value of anything that cannot immediately be monetised; the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our green spaces. It views libraries as prime real estate for redevelopment, rather than community hubs, spaces to meet and read and learn or simply sit quietly.”

The Conservative Manifesto, on the other hand, clearly signals the continued emphasis on devolution:

“This Conservative government has devolved more power to English local authorities, closer to local people, than any previous government in over a century: across England, newly elected mayors, combined authorities, local councils and local enterprise partnerships are being empowered to improve local growth and public services. We will continue to give local government greater control over the money they raise and address concerns about the fairness of current funding distributions.”

Unfortunately, a continuation of austerity would almost certainly mean that some councils continue to explore the transfer of library services to ‘volunteer-led’ models, thereby exacerbating the existing postcode lottery of provision.

Manifesto for Libraries for the General Election 2017

The Speak Up for Libraries alliance, of which the campaign was a founder, is urging people everywhere to make public libraries a central issue in the General Election.

Support for libraries overdue

The election offers us another chance to make sure central government understands that libraries are a low-cost, essential council resource for all communities. They are vital to national agendas such as ‘Digital by Default’. And they are deeply valued by local residents and the nation as a whole.

Already, many library services are threatened by, or experiencing, deep cuts, widespread closures of vital local branches – or the damaging policy of turning them over to volunteers to run.

Yet the Government continues to cut the grants given to local authorities. Local councils currently face an estimated overall funding gap of £5.8bn by 2019/20. Although libraries are a statutory service, they are often seen as a soft target for cuts. Such cuts often save little but do great damage.

If people wait another five years, their own library could go. Nationally, a postcode lottery is a reality with only some communities benefitting from the presence of a council funded and professionally run library.

Libraries remain the lynchpin of communities, offering access to reading, learning, information and leisure.

Libraries are, or should be, a trusted public space for everyone.

They play a crucial role in improving literacy standards and in combatting the digital divide.

Speak Up for Libraries believes that libraries, far from being obsolete, are more important than ever. That is why we are asking the government to make a public commitment to their survival and development.

Support for libraries overdue



Speak Up for Libraries is asking MPs to sign up to the following manifesto when standing for election:

  • Give libraries a long-term future, with a vision for their future development and clear standards of service.

  • Enforce the commitment in law for local authorities to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ library service. This commitment should also include digital, ICT and e-book services.

  • Acknowledge that libraries are important to individuals and communities – especially in times of hardship.

  • Enforce the duty that local authorities have to properly consult with communities to design services that meet their needs and aspirations.

  • Ensure that local authorities receive sufficient funding in order to deliver properly resourced and staffed library services.

  • Recognise that properly resourced library services contribute to the health and well-being of local communities and of society as a whole and therefore complement the work of other public services and of national government agendas.

SUFL colour banner PNG

Download a copy of the manifesto here: SUFL – GENERAL ELECTION 2017 manifesto

INFORMATION WAR?

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.35.41As we regularly point out, libraries are a tale of two planets. Hundreds are being closed, starved or dumped on to reluctant volunteers. Yet they remain uniquely useful, popular and are fiercely defended by their communities. Their potential to develop remains unlimited.

Unless government (national and local) gets a grip, the future is grim. Meanwhile, better information is badly needed.

A new report from Carnegie UK has plenty of good news as well as bad. Veteran campaigner Tim Coates says it should have highlighted the badness – before it’s too late.

Which do you support? Take your pick. – More here.

AGM and public meeting – 14 January 2017screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-23-44-51

Everyone is welcome to the AGM and meeting on 14 January 2017.

Please help us to cater for numbers by letting the Chair, Laura Swaffield, know that you plan to attend.

The Library Campaign welcomes new members and is keen to enlist new blood to the committee.

Why not join us for the AGM and meeting to find out more about the activities of the charity, offer your views and consider what contribution you might like to make?

Full details, here.

 

The National Pensioners Convention is holding their annual Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool on 14-16 June. 

They would welcome any library campaign groups having a stall at this event. You might just like to attend to engage in the different sessions, including the effect of cuts, digital exclusion, loneliness and what the future holds for campaigning.

More details and the programme can be found here.

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IMG_4754Library images sought


Do you have images that we could use and potentially share with others? 

 

Now – Fund your library
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CILIP launch a crowdfunding exercise for a library fund… Find the details here.  

What are your thoughts?

 

A plea to the SCL, ACE and the DCMS….

Time is running out for so many public libraries….

Francis Hendrix calls fScreen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.12.48or action… 

 

 


Are there alternatives to closure of libraries in Lancashire?

Lancashire Libraries propose drastic cuts to libraries. Frances Hendrix suggests alternative models to prevent closure. Read more, here

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 21.20.12Our junior reporter, 11-year-old George Hamerton, speaks up for libraries at the rally and lobby of parliament on 9 February 2016.

Read his speech and report on the day, here.

 

 

Join Speak Up For Libraries on 9 February for a rally at Central Hall Westminster prior to a lobby of MPs.

 

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It’s free.

It’s for everyone who cares about libraries.

The Library Campaign will even try to cover the cost of travel for anyone for who finds the cost of travel a barrier to attending.

For details and to book, click here.

 


Tim Coates calls for accurate and timely CIFPA data…

Tim Coates has analysed the latest CIPFA data, highlighting some extremely concerning trends…Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 18.14.44

Read more here

 

 

 

 

My Library By Right

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CILIP’s new campaign…

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Read more, here.

 


TASK FORCE logo

Libraries Taskforce delivers…..

Have you seen the report and toolkit?

Read more here.

TASK FORCE logo

 

AGM and Mini-Conference – 24 October 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 19.25.04 Details here: TLC AGM 2015 and mini-conference

 

Speak Up for Libraries Conference - Saturday, 14 November 2015

SUFL colour banner PNGThe ticket sales have launched, with an early bird booking rate of just £20, applicable to all bookings made by 20 October. There will be a session discussing the pros and cons of volunteers in libraries and another preparing for the Q and A with the Paul Blantern and Kathy Settle from the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce. And to round off the day, you’ll get to hear from John Dougherty, who has promised to bring along his guitar. What’s not to like? Grab your place now.

Phone lines – How to contact The Library Campaign

cropped-logoIf you want to contact us, please use 0845 450 5946. The 020 8651 9552 number is now back in service, but this is a general number, mainly used for membership enquiries. Alternatively, you can email thelibrarycampaign@gmail.com Ed Vaizey

Tell Ed!

Ed Vaizey MP wants to know what we think about culture, and how the government could… er… support it!

CILIP’s 2015 Libraries Change Lives awards finalists announced.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 05.12.05North Ayrshire Libraries, Portsmouth City Library Services and St. Helen’s Library Services have been shortlisted for this year’s awards. Read more here.

Fed up with the ‘libraries are irrelevant’ brigade?

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 21.49.25 Super-librarian Ned Potter has come up with some great statistics, and
some great ways to present them.

Post grad student seeks experiences of those defending public libraries

Photo by Mike Coles

Photo by Mike Coles

If you are defending your library service, postgraduate student, David Taylor, would love to speak with you. For full details, see http://www.librarycampaign.com/post-grad-student-seeks-experiences-of-those-defending-public-libraries/

What is going on with Lincolnshire Libraries, back in the High Court?

A nail-biter!IMG_6847

What appeared to be a simple case is now rolling into day three. It’s a nail-biter, says the Chair of The Library Campaign, with a decision expected early next week. Read her account to date, here.

The role of FOI requests in campaigns

Have you used Freedom of information (FOI) requests in your campaigning work on libraries? A student, undertaking postgraduate research at University College, London, is keen to gain your views. Click here, for more info.

Judicial Review challenge of DCMS’s failure to investigate Sheffield library closures

IMG_0004Public Interest Lawyers would like to hear from individuals or campaign groups who have contacted the DCMS, asking for them to consider an inquiry into local library services. Read more here.     Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 17.45.19

Help Save Walkley Library in Sheffield.

Sign the petition.

Postgrad research into the use of FOI by campaign groups.

Can you help?tlcadvert03

Click here, for more information.

If you care about Shropshire libraries, get in touch!

A new campaiglibrary photon group seeks members and supporters. Find out more here.

 

Welsh libraries update

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 18.41.24Wales have released guidance on volunteer managed libraries and where they sit within statutory library provision. Read more and download the report here.

 

Campaign Workshop in Birmingham – 26 June 2015 Campaign Workshop

There are still places available for a Campaign Workshop being run in Birmingham on 26 June 2015. Full details here.

The Library Campaign AGM is fast approaching…

We are currently looking for a suitable venue in London for a date in July.  Details shortly. tlcadvert03Could you offer help or are you considering standing as a Trustee? Please get in touch.  We  would welcome any offers of help and are particularly keen to encourage new Trustees to join us to strengthen and develop what we can achieve as a charity. 

Ed Vaizey MP accepts challenge from Alan Gibbons to debate on the subject of Public Libraries

The Library Campaign have offered to facilitate the debate.  Watch this space for details.

Ian AnsIMG_1701tice meets with Private Eye

…and the discussion naturally turns to the plight on public libraries and their value.  Read Ian’s account here.

Libraries Matter! – Election questionsScreen Shot 2015-04-22 at 19.58.44

A page from our latest member magazine, reproduced here, along with links to other useful resources from Speak Up for Libraries, Voices for the Library and CILIP – the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, in the run up to the general election.

#NLD15 and Johnny Rotten means business!

Be there for libraries. The Library Campaign believes that National Libraries Day 2015 delivers an important message.  Let’s make 2015 the year we make a difference for libraries. john-lydon-quote-nld15-blue

Lincs Libraries – Madness!

Laura Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 20.52.40Swaffield, Chair of The Library Campaign, speaks out on the decision taken on libraries in Lincolnshire.

Sieghart – The latest

About 100 people packed the room for the first-ever public discussion of the Sieghart report (in the House of Commons, hosted by the All-Party parliamentary group for libraries, on 14 January). Laura Swaffield, Chair of the Library campaign, reports

Sieghart – Action needed now!William Sieghart

The long-awaited independent report on England’s public libraries is out, after sitting on ministers’ desks for over two months… 

Take two minutes to make the minister mind

Sheffield’s libraries need your help. All they ask is a minute or two to send a letter to libraries minister Ed Vaizey in a last-ditch plea
to make him intervene.  They’ve even provided a template letter (though many will want to add
a few words of their own…) You don’t have to live in Sheffield to care about this. It concerns us all.

Over to you, Ed!WMFEvents snip

The Sieghart report on public libraries has sat on the minister’s desk for over a month. No sign of publication.

Maybe it’s because the minister (Ed Vaizey) is waiting until he can publish it alongside news of what he’s going to do about it. Maybe.

For action is urgently needed – and it’s perfectly possible, William Sieghart stressed ….

 

Save deepings libraryA small but telling victory…

Congratulations to Friends of Deeping Library in Lincolnshire, who have at last got their Executive Member for Libraries, Nick Worth, to admit that local people are not ‘willing’ volunteers. Read more…

ROGO logo.135xautoRead On. Get On.ROGO logo.135xauto Campaign launched

Save the Children, working with a coalition of charities and organisations has released a new report on literacy. The Read On. Get On. campaign has been launched, tackling childhood poverty through improved literacy, with the aim that every child will ‘read well’ at age 11 by 2015. The Library Campaign believes libraries have a vital role to play to achieve this target. ROGO logo.135xauto

Lincolnshire Council digs in its heels

Newsflash from Lincolnshire, where brilliant campaigners had to mount a judicial review as the only way to make the county reconsider its drastic pan to close most of its libraries – and offer them to volunteers to run. This despite overwhelming opposition to the plan when they consulted on it. If you can call it consulting… Read more

Unhappy birthday, 1964 Act!FoCL from Flickr

50 years ago, public libraries got solid support – official, by law. Or so we thought…

 

Lincolnshire libraries rescue could save libraries nationwide!

Campaigners leaving the High Court, London, at the end of the second day.

Campaigners leaving the High Court, London, at the end of the second day.

Shhh!

Helen Goodman MP is consulting – but with whom?

The consultation closes of 30th June and The Library Campaign are digging deeper. Find details here of the consultation. We’ll add details of how we get on when we get a response but The Library Campaign are committed to holding Helen Goodman to account for her claims of consultation.  Watch this space.

14 June 2014 – AGM and discussion held to shape the future of The Library Campaign.cropped-cropped-logo1.png

This event was open to all. Read the report of the AGM. And read the details of the open meeting, including a list of priorities. We’d love to hear what you think so please leave your comments. Click here to view and comment.   Save Lincs libs

Click here to donate: http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/donate/

 

Speak up for Libraries ManifestoSUFL colour banner PNG

Have candidates in your area signed up?

Has your local councillor, standing for election, signed up to the Speak Up for Libraries manifesto? Read more here.

Sieghart Inquiry – our submission

The Library Campaign submitted evidence to the DCMS/DCLG commissioned Sieghart inquiry. To see a summary of the points we made, and to see the full submission, click here library photo

Submission to Commons Select Committee on ACEACE logo

The Library Campaign’s evidence to the Commons select committee on the work of ACE (now supposed to be looking after libraries). In brief, we said that: (1) libraries aren’t a good fit with ACE’s overall work & thinking and (2) even allowing for that, its initial performance has been a disaster for libraries. Click here for the evidence submitted.

 How good is your library service?CIPFA logo only

Download the report for your library authority here.

LLL logoLLL – meeting for Londoners

A public meeting on Saturday, 26 April 2014 in London.

CIPFA data released and The Library Campaign speak out!

SCL logo The Library Campaign responds to the statement made by the Society of Chief Librarians on CIPFA data.  Read it and add a commenhere.  

SUFL colour banner PNGNational Conference aims for action on libraries

First thoughts from our Chair, Laura Swaffield, post conference. What do you think? What do YOU see as the next steps for the fight for libraries?  Please add your comments to this post. Photos and videos Tweets of the event #SUFLConf13 Reports by Ian Anstice on Public Libraries News Original Press Release   cropped-logo.png 

Do it yourself libraries here

   

neil gaiman Neil Gaiman speaks the importance of public libraries here.

     

Read The Library Campaign’s briefing paper for the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group here.

HoP

logo libraries lobbySpeak up for Libraries Conference is back and bookings are now open! #SUFLConf13

The Conference will take place in London on Saturday, 23rd November – 10am to 4.30pm and is open to all.

logo libraries lobby

Read Alan Wylie’s post on the Conference here.

 

National Libraries Day 2014 announced! #NLD14

National Libraries Day on Saturday, 8th February, 2014 at the end of a week long celebration of libraries across the country.  Read more here.  

DCMS will not intervene over library closures in Bolton and Isle of Wight.

Read the IoW decision letter here and the Bolton decision letter here.

       

logo.pngThe Library Campaign and national library campaigners highlight the decimation of library services as the DCMS watches on, failing to act.

Read more here.

 

CILIP logo

 

CILIP rebranding

A necessary step or not the time for such an exercise?

This has received a lot of attention on social media and in the press. Find the tweets from the meeting called here.      

ACE Libraries report launched -

ACE logoMissing in Action?

Read the report and our comment. We’d love to hear what others think.

   

Dan Jarvis MP calls for action NOW on libraries

 In reply, Justin Tomlinson MP says act NOW on libraries

 

Are we fussed who calls for action, or more concerned that action IS taken?

Let’s Get Real! Libraries are in Crisis. Now!

Laura Swaffield, chair of The Library Campaign, says it’s time to stop arguing and call for ACTION. She has presented this list to the Society of Chief Librarians. Comments – and additions – please!

heart book

Petition launched to save Herefordshire libraries from savage cuts proposed. Find out more here.

     savelibraries wordle heart

 

Controversy surrounds the negative statistics used to launch of Bookmark Your Library website which aims to promote libraries in the UK. Read more here.

Bookmark your library logo

Laura Swaffield, Chair of The Library Campaign, and children’s  author Alan Gibbons debated libraries on Radio Utopia.  Listen again here.

litopia

 

SCL announces ‘Universal Offers’ for libraries

Read the details here and give us your thoughts.  

Find out press release here.

Hear Debbie Hicks from The Reading Agency, Biddy Fisher, past President of CILIP and Ed Vaizey MP on Radio 4 at 23.42 minutes here.

 

ACE Community Libraries Report

The Arts Council has published a report looking at how communities are getting involved in the running and management of local libraries. Read it HERE along with our press release.

 Read our press release here.

 And comment from the Nicky Morgan, Director, Libraries at Arts Council England here.

For the latest news click HERE

You can also use the News tab above to access this and all previous news items.logo.png

For the latest Library News Round-up click HERE

This is a digest of all news items in the press each day, compiled by national library campaigner, Shirley Burnham.  This and all previous daily news digests can be accessed by clicking the Libraries in the News tab above.

Find CIPFA data for your authority here

A resounding success with actions planned for the future. Read all about it

Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2012

Lobby of Parliament 13 March 2012

The Library Campaign is supporting this lobby and encourages all supporters of libraries to take part. You can sign up at the Speak Up for Libraries page. If your local group wants space to explain your situation email by Friday 9 March.

Campaign Conference 22 October 2011 - reports and documents

Campaign User Handbook - published January 2007

1 comment for “Welcome to The Library Campaign

  1. Giancarlo Gemin
    January 28, 2015 at 9:26 am

    You might like to see the blog I did on libraries on the Writers & Artists website called “Visiting Libraries” (I won’t put a link just in case your firewall blocks it).

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