Margaret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.
We propose to take the rules that are available for conducting Library Inquiries and hold a national inquiry into the Public Library Service.
This will be the first genuine public led inquiry the country has seen, for the public, from the public, by the public – exactly as an official one would be set up with an independent chair; on the basis that this is now a matter of such national concern it must be dealt with independent of government.
The opportunity is to take localism national to fairly and reasonably assess library issues of national significance raised by local campaigns to provide societal guidance for Government as to what they are required to deliver.
We propose three phases:-
a. We want to draw into view every document, report and opinion about libraries that we have in the UK. This is an electronic/ web based exercise – these documents are already there. We will also be inviting written evidence and submissions.
b. We are speaking with Universities and others about support for formal ‘hearings’ in library closure areas were campaign groups can demonstrate need and councils can be invited to give evidence. Other interested organisations (county’s who are not closing libraries, industry, unions, and authors) will be invited to offer evidence at different county hearings.
c. Finally a UK hearing in London. Those who have gathered and heard evidence from around the country would send their findings of fact and act as a panel to hear additional evidence. The Minister/ MLA will be invited to attend and give evidence in response.
At this stage we are working to identify an independent chair person who will be asked to set out full terms of reference, universities around the country are being asked to provide facilities free of charge for any hearings and other help is being sought from across our society to facilitate inquiry.
If you or your group support this register and please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org