The fight to save British libraries begins

Britain's public libraries will become the focus of bitter political battles and legal action this month as users fight to prevent mass closures. More than 400 libraries from the Isle of Wight to South Wales and Yorkshire face the axe as councils make difficult choices about the future of local services to meet government demands for £6.5bn of savings over two years. The number could double as half of all councils are yet to announce their money-saving plans.

Libraries face cuts of 20 to 30 per cent, which may mean that as many as one in five libraries and one in four full-time librarian jobs are at risk. This comes despite the fact more than 300 million books were borrowed last year. Tens of thousands of people use the internet in libraries every day.

London's Mayor last week announced plans to establish a trust of volunteers to run the capital's libraries, a third of which are under threat.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/overdue-the-fight-to-save-our-lib...

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More on British libraries

Mr Vaizey, in the library, with the axe
[Letters to The Guardian commenting on "Libraries seen as easy touch when it comes to balancing the books," 8 January. Ed Vaizey is the minister responsible for British public libraries]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/11/vaizey-cuts-public-libraries?INTCMP=SRCH
Includes a letter from Jane Ghosh of Bristol:
"I really wonder why, when so many local authorities are decimating library services, the professional body representing librarians, CILIP, has not taken any real public part in this debate ...

CILIP and its predecessor, the Library Association, have presided in genteel silence over years of previous rounds of cuts to opening hours, professional staff and book funds ...

Now is the time for all those who value libraries and who realise they cannot be run by volunteers to stand up and be counted, and CILIP should be leading this ...

Would the government consider leaving the running of schools, doctors' surgeries or the law courts to well-meaning amateurs?"

British libraries under attack

See also:
Libraries seen as easy touch when it comes to balancing the books: up to 800 – a fifth of the total – could close as local authorities look for savings:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/07/library-closures-brent-council

I'd like the local communities to actually vote on such things

People don't want library services cut, who does?
But then give alternatives. No saying don't do anything, life isn't like that.
Start voting on what you want your council tax money to be spent on. Save the libraries, cut back on what?
I don't mean voting for officials, I mean more like a local refferendum, or the way it seems to work in the US with specific tax's imposed to support the libraries, or the parks etc.

In a perfect world we'd have everything, but funnily enough people don't want to pay extra to get that.

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