Any campaign about public libraries has to start with the local council. It is legally responsible for their quality under the 1964 Public Libraries & Museums Act – even if it has outsourced delivery to an outside body such as a trust or charity. (If it turns over some libraries to be run by volunteers, it can choose whether or not to count them as part of its ‘statutory service’.)
Central government keeps local authorities at arm’s length. It will not, for instance, take responsibility for any decisions they make to cope with government cuts.
There are a few ways to take your case beyond the council. But none can be used until all the council’s resources have been gone through.
You need to know how the local council works, and how libraries fit in: LOCAL COUNCILS
If a council plan comes up that threatens libraries, you need to get going as soon as possible: STARTING A CAMPAIGN
We have some handy checklists to make sure you have everything covered: CHECKLISTS – THE BASICS
Getting your message out is the most important thing you can do. There are so many ways… COMMUNICATE!
Press coverage is vital. And it’s useful to know how journalists think.
What are the facts behind the council’s assertions? What are the flaws? You will have questions, and you have the right to get answers: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
If you are getting nowhere, there are (limited) ways to take matters further: BEYOND THE COUNCIL