The document sets out that any criteria for the statutory provision of public libraries should be based on the Core Entitlements within the Standards, listed below. Therefore, community managed libraries should meet the following Core Entitlements in order to be considered as part of the local authority’s statutory provision of public libraries.  

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 18.41.24

Core Entitlements:

Customers and Communities
WPLS CE 1: Ensure friendly, knowledgeable and qualified staff are on hand to help.
WPLS CE 2: Stage a range of activities to support learning, enjoyment and enable users to obtain the maximum benefit from the available resources.
WPLS CE 3: Provide access to a range of services and resources to support lifelong learning, personal well-being and development, and community participation

Access for All
WPLS CE 4: Be open to all members of their communities.
WPLS CE 5: Be free to join.
WPLS CE 6: Provide a safe, attractive and accessible physical space with suitable opening hours.
WPLS CE 7: Provide information resources for individuals and groups with special needs.

Learning for Life
Lend books for free
WPLS CE 9: Deliver free access to information
WPLS CE 10: Provide free use of the Internet and computers, including Wi-Fi.
WPLS CE 11: Deliver free use of online information resources 24 hours a day.
WPLS CE 12: Provide access to high quality resources in a range of formats, including those in the Welsh language, reflecting changing forms of publication.
WPLS CE 13: Share their catalogues, to enable a single search of all Welsh library resources.

Leadership and Development
WPLS CE 14: Promote libraries to attract more people to benefit from their services.
WPLS CE 15: Regularly consult users to gather their views on the service and information about their changing needs.
WPLS CE 16: Work in partnership to open up access to the resources of all Welsh libraries.
WPLS CE 17: Provide access to the library service’s strategy, policies, objectives and vision, in print and online, in a range of languages appropriate for the community.
WPLS CE 18: Provide a clear, timely and
transparent complaints process if things go wrong.

Read more here: New guidance on community managed libraries and statutory provision

Download a copy of the document here:

 Community managed libraries – in English

Community managed libraries – in WelshScreen Shot 2015-05-29 at 18.11.55

A small London-based charity called the Sheila Mckechnie Foundation (SMK) run Campaign Workshops in various locations. There is a small fee payable for individuals and small campaign groups.

One of these will be run in Birmingham on Friday 26th June, 2015 and spaces are still available.  This workshop is a full day training, including lunch. 

Campaign Workshop

The charity explains,

These workshops are geared towards beginner campaigners.  The workshop provides the opportunity to find out how to develop a campaign strategy and identify the key skills needed to run an effective campaign. They are suitable for those interested in influencing the policy decisions that affect their community or the people their organisation supports.

These workshops are geared towards beginner campaigners.  The workshop provides the opportunity to find out how to develop a campaign strategy and identify the key skills needed to run an effective campaign. They are suitable for those interested in influencing the policy decisions that affect their community or the people their organisation supports.

The workshop aims to equip participants to be more effective campaigners, including

  • Insight into the successful features of a campaign.
  • Knowledge about the key steps in planning a campaign.
  • Insights into how to influence political processes and decision-makers, as well as how to use the media to gain support for your campaign 
  • A chance to meet other campaigners, developing their professional network and receiving peer support.

Find full details here.

Download a registration form here, which needs to be completed and returned, via email to Christina at SMK on

Please also direct all enquiries about the day to Christina on the email address above.

Is cost a barrier to attending?

This workshop is not run or endorsed by The Library Campaign but if you are involved in campaigning for libraries and need help with travel costs or fee in order to attend, please get in touch prior to booking as we many be able to help.

To contact us please email us on

ITV : 23rd May 
Newcastle | Volunteers save Fawdon Library 

Barry & District News : 23rd May
“Delighted” council call Vale library progress “a success” so far 

Northern Echo : 22nd May
North Yorkshire | Costs could outweigh savings on library plan, claim campaigners 

Stoke Sentinel : 21st May
£350k cuts planned to mobile libraries in Staffordshire
If the plan goes ahead the two large travelling libraries will be reduced to one and the six mobile vehicles could be reduced to two.  143 communities could be affected.

Photo by Mike Coles
Photo by Mike Coles

Ian Anstice of Public Libraries News attended a lunch with Private Eye and has provided the following update:

Ian Anstice of Public Libraries News

A Private Eye invitation to lunch is something which I had heard of before. They’re semi-legendary for inviting a ton of interesting people, some of which are national newspaper reporters attending secretly for fear of offending their employers, and of course for the celebrity presence of editor Ian Hislop. It was therefore something of a surprise to be invited to one and I am indebted to The Library Campaign for paying my expenses to it, being I live nowhere near the capital and the dinner was in a private member’s club (very respectable and charitable) on the edges of Soho.

The invite was doubtless because of the importance accorded to public libraries by the Eye rather than any hope I had something juicy to impart. Jane Mackenzie – who writes the “serious stuff” including the Library News – was behind it and has invited others involved in covering public libraries in the past. She’s a passionate supporter of public libraries and fought for a section, however small, to cover the juicier, more obviously dubious, local council decisions. Just that week, an article appeared under the title “Lie-brary News” about the rather startling claims by Ed Vaizey that everything was fine and rosy.

Jane notes quite rightly that literature and the book trade gets a whole page while libraries, where a large part of the public get their books, got nothing. This is not just something that the Eye was guilty of, of course. Before the crisis in public libraries, the sector got very, very little mention in any national media at all. It has been noted to me by longer term campaigners that a mention in the BookSeller was something to be proud of in times past. Now the Guardian and some others cover public libraries frequently. Sadly, very little of the news is good and articles tend to concentrate on cuts and closures but this is probably not surprising. It’s a sad thing to note, though, that libraries got almost no mention during the recent General Election campaign.

The Private Eye is highly unusual, possibly unique, amongst nationals for having very little online presence. I know from experience that one cannot simply link to a story from it but rather someone, normally the wonderful Shirley Burnham, has to transcribe it first. I managed to ask Mr Hislop – who worked the table well and made sure he was in the conversation of everyone at least at some stage of the three hour lunch – why this was and he explained that this is a very deliberate strategy and plays a fair part in its success, with circulation and funding rising at a time when other papers are suffering loss of revenue and readership.

Another factor for the success is that the title actually publishes stuff that other papers don’t. A typical issue will lay into politicians and businessman, national and local, with a passion that is simply not present in other titles. When one reads it, one loses a lot of faith (if one had any left) in those in power. I also personally wonder how they get by without being sued out of existence. The answer is of course that litigation does happen but they make sure of their stories and have both a considerable fighting fund and a formidable reputation. If you want your misdemeanours to get really infamous then there is little better way than suing the Eye. This is something that is rare. On my blog, I have to be very careful what is said, not just because of course I cannot in any way be seen as criticising my public library employers but also because a lawsuit would finish me. One has to tread a fine line with this, with self-censorship being something which one cannot be proud of and that has to be minimised.

It seems to me that a lot of this bears a passing resemblance to public libraries. Branches are still, or should be, guardians of print and provide a sanctuary for those uncomfortable with the online world. We also, or should be, a place where people should be able to find out the truth, or at least all sides, of what is going on. The Eye attacks mercilessly those that peddle the news but take money from advertisers to influence how that news is presented. Recently, it has been quite aggressive about the dubious coverage in the Telegraph and the recent decision of the Independent to come out in favour of another Tory/Lib Dem coalition was a topic of conversation, with the suspicion that its Russian emigre owner was worried about his non-dom status if Labour got into power.

I’m not going to report here on who was at the lunch, other than Eye employees, because of aforementioned fears over confidentiality, but libraries got a good hearing.

A BBC presenter learned for the first time that the news she got from Google is biased due to being filtered to reflect her Google Plus contacts. The importance of the sector as providing a welcoming neutral place for those of all backgrounds, as an equalising force that allows access to information, a chair, study space and computers regardless of ability to pay was raised and not just by me. Jane MacKenzie and Ian Hislop were equally aghast at the idea that librarian professionals could be simply replaced by volunteers. There were real friends to public libraries around that table of influence.

And this is heartening because libraries have just been through their toughest five years ever and are now, due to the result of the election that took place the day after the lunch, almost certainly going to face another five years of the same or worse. The Private Eye, has become something of a national institution in shedding light on the darker side of what is going on. Public libraries have been providing information without fear or favour for far longer and, hopefully, with the help of such people as were at the dinner, be able to do so for some time to come.

“The Private Eye, has become something of a national institution in shedding light on the darker side of what is going on. Public libraries have been providing information without fear or favour for far longer and, hopefully, with the help of such people as were at the dinner, be able to do so for some time to come.”

Library march 20
Save Barnet Libraries – All ages on the march – May 2015 – Photo by Mike Coles The Library Campaign fears this is just the start of more campaigning to come, in order to defend and protect library services in the UK for now and for future generations.

Birmingham library users stage sit-ins

Barry & District News : 16th May
Rhoose Library campaigners ready to throw book at Council
Legal Aid for JR secured 

Brixton Buzz : 16th May
Lambeth | Cultural Consultation ’emotive’ as plans are put in place to publish findings

Photo by Mike Coles
Photo by Mike Coles

Don’t Privatise Libraries : 9th May
The last leg of the Save Barnet Libraries March (or Campaigning can be Cathartic)

Question Everything : 7th May
If a library closes in the New Forest, does Vaizey make a sound? 

Burton Mail : 8th May
Staffordshire | Bids open for groups to take on Barton Library
So far, there have been no expressions of interest from the community.

Barnet Library March - 9 May 2015 Image thanks to Alon Or-bach  Twitter: @alonorbach Cutting libraries has consequences.  Libraries are a lifeline, not just a nice to have.
Barnet Library March – 9 May 2015 Image thanks to Alon Or-bach Twitter: @alonorbach
Cutting libraries has consequences. Libraries are a lifeline, not just a nice to have.
Barnet Library March - 9 May 2015 Image thanks to Alon Or-bach  Twitter: @alonorbach
Barnet Library March – 9 May 2015 Image thanks to Alon Or-bach Twitter: @alonorbach

Manchester City Council : 7th May
Response to claims homeless people have been banned from Central Library

Cambrian News : 7th May
Porthmadog Library to get £250,000 boost
Community hub “where customers can access a range of council services as well as the traditional library amenities”.

Leon’s Library Blog : 6th May
Vote for Libraries

Kilburn Library

A page from the latest issue of The Library Campaigner, a magazine produced for members of the charity but reproduced here for all to use in the run up to the elections.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 19.58.44

 Download a copy here.

Speak Up for Libraries is a coalition of organisations and campaigners, working to protect library services and library workers, now and in the future.

There is information on the Speak up for Libraries (SUFL) website: Manifesto for Libraries here and an updated resources sheet, here.

Voices for the Library provide links to useful information and materials as part of their Vote Libraries campaign, including a downloadable poster. All can be found here.

And find a link to CILIP‘s Electionwatch campaign here.

Bexley Times : 27th March
Bexley and Bromley councils partner to out source library services
“Bexley and Bromley (it’s been a joint service for years) ‘soft market testing’ to outsource their
remaining libraries”
 — Ian Anstice, @publiclibnews on Twitter

Irish Times:  28th March
Letter The public library service
Irish ‘Library Council’ abolished in 2011.  Note the consequences:  a shocking similarity to England


Shropshire to make 16 libraries volunteer-run 

BBC News : 27th March
Why local government matters in this election
2 refs to libraries … 

Birmingham Mail : 27th March
Council’s 39 under-threat community libraries could be saved by deal 
“It is now looking very likely that we will go down the staff cooperative route …”


Arts Council : 25th March
The health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries
Full Report :

THE GUARDIAN : 26th March
A master’s in librarianship could enhance your shelf life

Shropshire Star : 26th March
Leading Article | Libraries a challenge for groups
22 Shropshire libraries are earmarked for volunteers, leaving only 6 ‘hubs’ to be run by the Council. 

Bristol Post : 26th March
Letter | Libraries – Something clearly wrong with funding
Mayor declares he has placed a one-year moratorium on library proposals 

Folkestone Herald : 26th March
Good news for Kent library users: 35p ‘reservation fee’ to be removed 

Local Gov Lawyer : 26th March
Government issues policy statement on transparency on publicly funded services


Politicians vie for author votes at lively hustings
The lively debate, which ended with Vaizey and Bryant arguing on stage over issues including funding for libraries, was moderated by SoA chairman Daniel Hahn.

Loughborough Echo : 24th March
Leicestershire Residents unite with plans to run Hathern Library 

Gazette & Herald : 25th March
North Yorkshire | Views sought on Norton library’s future as community “hub” 

Socialist Party : 25th March
Saving libraries: it’s a page-turner!
Bristol and Coventry feature in this article


Happy National Libraries Day!

Laura Swaffield, Chair of The Library Campaign, says,

“Today lots of us are out there celebrating the amazing things libraries do – and taking the message to people who don’t get it (such as ….er… councillors).

Quite a few us us are having to add on a SAVE OUR LIBRARY campaign. So many libraries are threatened with savage cuts, closures or being dumped on to unwilling ‘volunteers’.

It’s come to something when arch-rebel John Lydon has to stand up for decent values while our rulers (local and national) are determined to smash everything that makes us a civilised society…”


Johnny says,

“…yes, Saturday 7 February is National Libraries Day.

Be there.

Be there.

Libraries are the most important essential part of our culture and civilisation.

They record every single thought us as a species have ever endured and experienced.

You are a fool to turn your nose up at this.

I love libraries. I love the work done by librarians.

Everything about me recovering when i was 8 years old is due to those librarians and I will forever love them as an entire tour de force of civilisation.

God bless ya. Johnny Rotten loves ya.

Please do not take our libraries away”

You can listen to his address on the National Libraries Day website…..


be there.

Get involved because really libraries matter!  


Join us to make 2015 the year that we are all there for libraries

– to ensure that politicians, at both local and national level, understand the real and wide reaching value of libraries for all sectors of the community,

– to impress on everyone, the vital need for sufficient funding, staffing and stocking of libraries to deliver the comprehensive and efficient library service to which we are all entitled under the 1964 Act. 

Laura Swaffield, Chair of The Library Campaign, writes,

Nothing rational explains the decision by pig-headed Lincs County Council to destroy most of their library service – even though they don’t need to!

They insist on dumping 30 libraries on to ‘volunteers’, keeping just 15.

They have been shown that they can keep them all open, and avoid sacking 160-odd staff – and STILL make all the savings they want.

They know that opposition to the plan is total.

They know that NOBODY wants to take on the near-impossible task of running a ‘volunteer’ library.

They have been made fools of in the High Court last July – the judge said their so-called consultation was worthless, and they were at fault for not looking at a professional plan to – I repeat! – make all the savings they want, without this mad destruction.

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.

Yet still they plough on.

What are they thinking???

The daftest explanation is Lincs CC’s own. They said in court that volunteer libraries was a ‘political’ decision. They’ve wanted to do it for ages. Nothing to do with making cuts at all, yer honour. A wrecked library service is what they really, really want.

[In fact they’d decided on it before last year’s local elections. Strangely, they did not tell the electorate until they’d been voted back in. I wonder why…]

If I worked at Tory HQ I’d be worried. Here’s a last, moribund example of their Big Society – which has become a bitter national laughing-stock. Here’s a clear demonstration of the world their austerity policies will create… when they are trying so hard to bury the whole issue. (Not that the other political parties are doing much to counter this madness.)

Save Lincs Libraries has demonstrated again and again that the policy is stupid, universally hated – and totally unnecessary.


I call it scandalous.


Hear Laura speak on Lincolnshire on BBC Look North

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 20.52.40

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.

Everyone, seemingly, wants to know if Sieghart will be just ‘another bloody report’ that won’t lead to action. William Sieghart has always said he’s determined otherwise.

So what do we know now?

Three assorted plums:

1. Sieghart tantalisingly said: ‘I can’t announce anything yet…’ but he reckons he will soon secure ‘one or two corporate breakthroughs in terms of delivering some new technology… which I hope will make a big difference.’

Let’s hope that means something concrete – money even. ‘Local authorities need a few carrots,’ he hinted.

2. The one concrete action so far, of course, is to set up a taskforce. Sieghart mentioned that old bugbear, lack of leadership.

To my surprise, he added: ‘What is delightful is that the Arts Council has ceded its leadership role to the taskforce. So I’m hopeful that it will have the people, the responsibility and the resources.’ That looks like quite a step. Maybe.

3. The leader of the taskforce, Northants Chief Executive Paul Blantern, was there. He seems a can-do kind of bloke.

And he swore he’d had an ‘absolute assurance’ that there was nothing suspicious about the way the Sieghart report limped out just as everyone was going off for the Christmas hols. The fact is ‘completely contrary’ to the myth, he said. The government was ‘anxious to get it out before Christmas’ to avoid delay.

Well, we’ll see. It’s encouraging that he asked about it. Still doesn’t explain why the report lingered on ministerial desks all through October, November and most of December…

Dr Blantern was the person I most wanted to hear. He didn’t say much. But I did like what I heard.

‘I am a delivery person’ he declared. Better, he said that while Sieghart sees the taskforce working for three or four years -‘bluntly, if we don’t achieve something in the next few months we will have failed.’

He’s not out to reinvent the wheel. The taskforce will ‘harness’ all the work that’s already being done. Fine.

His watchword will be: ‘How does it add value?’ He wants to get the decision-makers to understand what libraries can do for them. That’s the only realistic approach.

He’s now busy finishing off a paper on ‘what I think we can deliver, and the money we need’. Sounds good.

Oh, and he promised a first taskforce report in six months.

He was asked to do that by Ian Stephens, the new-ish chair of the Local Government Association’s culture, tourism and sports board. That’s encouraging. The LGA fully supports the report and the taskforce, he said.

Cllr Stephens had been to see lackadaisical libraries minister Ed Vaizey that very afternoon. He had specially emphasised digital inclusion and the two found themselves ‘in full agreement about moving forward’.

So I hope that means something. (Cynics might note that Cllr Stephens is from the Isle of Wight, not a very happy place for libraries.) But getting the LGA truly on side would make a big difference.

Also in the room were familiar faces from all the organisations that matter – the SCL, CILIP, Unison, The Library Campaign, the National Literacy Trust, Common Libraries, even Overdrive…

Everybody in the room welcomed the report. Everyone agreed that libraries – and librarians – are crucially important. Everyone agreed that the public gets it too.

Everyone, just about, complained that the only ones who don’t get it are those who could do something about libraries – central government, and large swathes of local government. That’s a very big mountain still to climb.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t help spotting some other big elephants in the room. Local authorities have been financially whacked – hard. And they will get whacked again, even harder. Carrots or no carrots.

The damage so far – libraries in their hundreds closed, dumped on to volunteers, or gutted by cuts – is beyond repair.

And we have already lost for ever the coherent, consistent national network that was such an important part of the libraries ‘offer’.


Everyone said they are dead keen to get going.

But get going on what? The taskforce is the only thing the report has delivered so far.

Now it’s time for the taskforce to deliver.

William Sieghart

There is an ongoing Library Consultation in North Yorkshire, finishing on the 8th February 2015. John Dean, the contact person for ‘Save North Yorkshire Libraries’, asks any interested parties to act to defend their library service.

‘Save North Yorkshire Libraries’ suggests that if you are worried about the plans of North Yorkshire County Council for stripping out almost all regular library staff from their libraries please would you:

  • attend any public meetings available to you;
  • write letters to the council;
  • complete NYCC consultation forms, available from libraries or online;


  • visit and write a contribution at ‘Save North Yorkshire Libraries’

The website is at

You may wish to help in some way with a paper petition across North Yorkshire in library towns such as Whitby, Scarborough, Malton, Norton, Pickering, Kirkbymoorside, Helmsley, Easingwold, Thirsk and Ripon. If any North Yorkshire resident is prepared to help send round this petition or collaborate in any way please would they contact the campaign via John Dean of ‘Save North Yorkshire Libraries’. E-mail John at

There is also an online petition being run by Irene Pritchard, a reader at Bentham Library North Yorkshire, via 38 Degrees for which the link is:

Many thanks to all who have helped in any way

John Dean

pile of books

William SieghartSieghart has spoken! The long-awaited independent report on England’s public libraries is out, after sitting on ministers’ desks for over two months. 

But – so far – the most important bit is missing. The bit where the government says: “OK, this is what we are going to do…”

Until we see that, library supporters remain in a state of impotent rage.

And isn’t it odd that the report comes out on the day that MPs pack up and go home for the hols….

The report itself is brief and to the point.

The killer quote is: “Two themes have emerged, consistently and dramatically.

The first was that there have already been far too many library reviews in recent years which have come to nothing.

The second was that not enough decision makers at national or local level appear sufficiently aware of the remarkable and vital value that a good library service can offer modern communities of every size and character.”

The Library Campaign agrees.

We also welcome the report’s insight that library services – despite heavy cuts and official ignorance – are still widely used and often offer innovative, impressive services.

But all this is rapidly going down the drain.

On this government’s watch (since 2011) over 900 libraries have already closed or been dumped on to reluctant volunteers to run as best they can – or are currently threatened with this fate. Countless others stay “open” but are cutting staff, stock and opening hours.

Sieghart has a good list of what needs doing. Some of it will cost a little money. But we are talking about peanuts.

Now we want action.


The report is brief, and an easy read. There are seven clearly-marked recommendations. But if you are in a big hurry…


The future of libraries as community hubs is essential for the well-being of the nation.

In England, over a third of the population visits their local library. In the poorest areas, that figure rises to nearly a half. It is no wonder that communities feel so passionately about their libraries.

Many local authorities are delivering impressive and comprehensive library services. … The need now is to build on and extend those practices to benefit every library in the country.

Despite the growth in digital technologies, there is still a clear need and demand within communities for modern, safe, non-judgemental, flexible spaces, where citizens of all ages can mine the knowledge of the world for free, supported by the help and knowledge of the

library workforce. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable in society who need support and guidance and to children and young people who benefit from engagement with libraries outside of the formal classroom environment.

In such a fragile financial environment as we have now, economies of scale across the country could have a huge and beneficial effect. And a national strategy could articulate what libraries are, and why they are a force for good for us all.

Our conclusions are clear, concise and practical. We make three major recommendations:

1. A national digital resource for libraries, to be delivered in partnership with local authorities

2. A task and finish force, led by local government, in partnership with other bodies involved in the library sector, to provide a strategic framework for England, and to help in implementing the following

3. The task force, to work with local authorities, to help them improve, revitalise and if necessary, change their local library service, while encouraging, appropriate to each library, increased community involvement


This is a tactful report, clearly aimed at being nice to the government so that it does something, instead of getting in a huff.

The references to the current financial meltdown are not absent, but are pretty pallid. There is no attempt to tot up the actual damage so far, in terms of mass closures and cuts, and loss of professional staff.

As for the hundreds of volunteers left holding the baby, Sieghart just says ” …there are questions over their long-term viability”. That’s putting it far too mildly.

There’s just one real mention of money – “to enable local authorities to extend WiFi access, computer facilities and workforce training for all public libraries in England”. That’s peanuts in government terms.

There isn’t a lot said about the importance of professional library staff. For digital support they “should be recognised for the significant role they play in modern society at present”. True – but that leaves out so much of what they do.

And there’s no suggestion that actual library USERS  should be involved in the task force (which, by the way, does not get going until “spring 2015”, whenever that is).

So – it’s a sound report, but it’s Mr Softee all round.

All the more shameful, then, that the immediate government response is pretty well zero.

THE GUARDIAN : 18th December
Experts demand urgent overhaul of England’s public library service

THE BOOKSELLER : 18th December
Sieghart: on the money

THE BOOKSELLER : 18th December
Government must fund digital resource for libraries, says Sieghart

FINANCIAL TIMES : 18th December
Council grant cuts ‘fair’, says coalition
Time to start fresh chapter, says report – Sieghart Report discussed

DAILY TELEGRAPH : 18th December
Thirsty? Go to a library, not a coffee shop 
Libraries must shed their old-fashioned image and become more like coffee shops with free Wi-Fi and comfy sofas, according to a report into the future of the service.

DAILY TELEGRAPH : 18th December
Councils ‘pushed to breaking point’ by new cuts

BBC News : 18th December
Public libraries should emulate coffee shops, says report 

ITV News : 18th December
Libraries on brink of ‘disaster’ told: Be more like Starbucks

THE INDEPENDENT : 18th December
The great British library betrayal: Closures have brought national network to
brink of ‘absolute disaster’, reveals official inquiry

THE INDEPENDENT : 17th December
EDITORIAL | Romantic fiction: A review of libraries that fails to address the real problem 
This delicate oversight ignores not so much the elephant in the room as the padlocks on the door and the boards across the window.

The Library Campaign : 18th December

Northamptonshire Telegraph : 18th December
Northants County Council boss to take charge of Government’s national library taskforce

Don’t Privatise Libraries : 17th December
Save Bob Lawrence Library – An open letter to Harrow Council … 

Sheffield Telegraph : 18th December
Sheffield libraries already vying to diversify

Daily Post : 18th December
Eight Gwynedd libraries under threat of closure 

Barking & Dagenham Post : 18th December
Axe swings as Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet agrees ‘savings’ drive
Valence and Thames View libraries are set to be axed

Camden New Journal : 18th December
‘Hurtling towards doomsday’ – union protests as Camden councillors prepare for £73m budget cuts 

Craven Herald : 17th December
North Yorkshire Why not subscribe to save library service?

William Sieghart
William Sieghart

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.

Broomhill Library Action Group explains…

Background facts

You may have seen media reports about the Minister for Culture & the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, conducting an inquiry into Sheffield City Council’s plans for public libraries. He has just issued a letter stating that he is ‘minded not to’ intervene. But before he makes a final decision he wants to know what you think!

The minister has a duty, under the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964, to superintend library provision and to intervene if a council is failing to provide a “comprehensive and efficient library service” for all who want to use it.

Death by a thousand cuts

Broomhill Library Action Group have always maintained that the council’s plans result in a service that does not meet these requirements. We presented many arguments, backed up with data, to
support our claim. Nonetheless the minister has chosen to disregard our evidence, and has
sent a letter saying that he is “not currently minded” to intervene.

Nine other library campaign groups around the country have tried to get the minister to intervene. He has rejected all of these. We believe the minister is not only wrong, but that we need to
persuade him he is wrong!

The minister has asked for further representations to be presented by 20 November 2014.

We are therefore asking as many people as possible to write to the minister, and to tell him to organise an inquiry to protect this valuable service.

We need you to state your support for an ongoing ‘comprehensive andefficient’ library service in Sheffield.

A cut and paste template is provided, into which people can just insert their own name and library, or can alter as they please – emails need to be sent by 20 NOVEMBER 2014 to: Ministerial Support

Please send it on to all your friends.

Thank you.

We will make a difference.”

BLAG template letter – for people outside Sheffield

And in PDF for those who cannot access the file above:

BLAG template letter – for people outside Sheffield – PDF

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