Dan Jarvis MP, Shadow Culture Minister, has today called for a message to be sent to the Government demanding that they act to save Britain’s libraries.
A new report, “Envisioning the library of the future” has been released by the Arts Council England demonstrating that much more should be done to support these important community services. Recommendations include making the most of digital technology, ensuring librarians have the necessary skills, placing the library at the hub of the community, and importantly, ensuring that libraries are resilient and sustainable.
Jarvis stated, “This report is a welcome insight into the value placed on libraries by the public, and the staff who work in them. I am pleased that it shares many of the conclusions found in Labour’s report Libraries – Innovation, Colocation and Partnership. It should be yet another wake up call to David Cameron that more needs to be done to ensure our libraries are sustainable.
“Libraries are trusted spaces which are open to all. Their potential is unlimited and across the country local authorities have been looking at innovative ways to save and improve our libraries. Despite this hard work, the latest figures demonstrate that in 2011/12 201 library service points were lost and a further 293 are now under threat. The responsibility for oversight lies firmly at the door of David Cameron and Ed Vaizey and they need to act now.
In December, Labour launched Libraries: Innovation, Co-location and Partnership. This report also looked at the future sustainability of libraries, and what a future Government should do to support the service.