Libraries are the best cradles of lifelong learning - we let them run down at our peril. We urge the Government to urgently increase and ring-fence funding to public libraries which are essential gateways to information, culture and imagination.
"Libraries are very much for the people, and are the only unbiased, truly democratic place to access information in our communities. With over 280 million visits to libraries a year, it is clear that our public libraries are well visited and important."
Cuts to funding and support for public libraries threaten a resource that is vital not only to local communities and readers, but to authors as well. Many authors rely on the library service for income through Public Lending Right and ALCS.
A comprehensive and efficient library service must allow free access to physical books in a safe, comfortable, convenient and accessible space. It must be managed and curated by professionally trained staff.
What are we doing?
We support national and local campaigns to save libraries threatened by funding cuts.
Planned library closures are a breach of the requirements of the Libraries & Museums Act 1964 and the Charteris Report:
(1) From the commencement of this Act it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to superintend, and promote the improvement of, the public library service provided by local authorities in England and Wales, and to secure the proper discharge by local authorities of the functions in relation to libraries conferred on them as library authorities by or under this Act.
We believe Government has sufficient powers under its general jurisdiction to prevent these devastating closures and must act now to avoid irreparable damage.
The SoA has consulted and made submissions to Government regarding libraries.
What can you do?
Lend your voice to the many national and local library campaigns throughout the country. Find out how you can get involved in supporting your local library network.