Apsana Begum, Labour MP for Poplar & Limehouse (London) is rightly
alarmed at the drastic library cuts planned for her patch in Tower
She has set up an Early Day Motion on libraries – and it needs MPs’ signatures.
It’s here: https://bit.ly/3beWJHD
Has your MP signed?  If not – ask them why not!
The wording is:
That this House notes the ongoing concerns on the effect of austerity
on local library services and that the covid-19 pandemic has led to
new worries that financial pressures on local authorities could mean
further cuts and reductions to services;
– believes in the value of local libraries and that despite the growth
in digital technologies, there is still a clear need to physically
access books and a demand within communities for modern, safe,
non-judgemental, flexible library spaces for people of all ages,
supported by the help and knowledge of the library workforce;
– further notes that local libraries are particularly important for
the vulnerable in society who need support and guidance and for
children and young people who benefit from engagement with libraries
outside of the formal classroom environment;
– is concerned that the covid-19 pandemic has highlighted existing
educational inequalities and the digital divide, and that many do not
have access to devices or internet provision;
– and calls on the Government to ensure that libraries are reopened
when it is safe as part of a sustainable, long-term future for local
public libraries.

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