This is the site of the inquiry into the future of the public library service in the United Kingdom. This inquiry is supported by people from across the UK who recognise the need to stop the destruction of our national infrastructure of public libraries.
We called for David Cameron and Nick Clegg to offer leadership and consider the likely detrimental impact that the conduct of flawed and rushed local library review processes will have on our communities and culture. We asked that they establish an independent inquiry into a comprehensive and efficient public library service in the face of other cuts to services nationally.
On 31st January 2011 Downing Street replied saying they had passed our concerns onto the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).
Yet DCMS have so far refused to intervene as decisions have not been made locally. Now the Minister, Ed Vaizey has said “Even after a decision has been made, I have to take the advice of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council before deciding to intervene”. The problem is that the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is reported as having said that Oxfordshire’s proposals are “politically courageous”, and in Somerset MLA seem to have been providing consultancy advice. It appears increasingly unlikely that the Minister will intervene on libraries or that he will only intervene to support local decisions by local councils based on flawed consultation, in the face of widespread public opposition.
Ed Vaizey has however said that “People have to come with ideas” for libraries. Please join our Public Library Service Inquiry group on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your voice and contribute to defining exactly what the UK public require from a comprehensive and efficient public library service.
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