As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat

Alex Hern reports on the launch of “Vision for a 21st-Century Library” by the shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis Labour culture team.

 

It may be overshadowed by the attacks on the NHS, the disabled, and the poor, but the coalition’s attacks on Britain’s library system continue apace.

Speaking ahead of National Libraries Day this Saturday, shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis said:

“This Tory-led government have reneged, countless times, on their full responsibilities and have left it up to the courts to decide cases that Jeremy Hunt had the power to intervene in.

“Cuts to local library services are extremely short-sighted. The Literacy Trust recently published statistics that suggest illiteracy costs the UK economy up to £81 billion a year.

“There are also over four million children that don’t even own a book and six million adults that cannot read job application forms. Therefore it is irresponsible and economically naive, for any government to allow 600 libraries to potentially close.

Left Foot Forward reported almost a year ago on the government’s attempt to force protestors to take court action over library cuts:

Campaign groups are looking to take legal action against the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and his minister Ed Vaizey, for breaking their duty to “superintend and promote the improvement of, the public library service provided by local authorities”. On Tuesday, Ed Vaizey said that “the death of libraries had been greatly exaggerated”.

And Liberal Democrat minister Sarah Teather recently shocked a meeting of concerned constituents when she ‘suggested’ direct action as a last resort to library closures.

The fight to keep libraries open is often overshadowed by other, admittedly crucial, causes, and so the shadow minister is launching the third campaign this issue has seen in a year, following the We Love Libraries and Love Your Libraries campaigns.

Jarvis added:

“I am deeply concerned about this which is why I launched a report into a “Vision for a 21st-Century Library”. I am actively working with local authorities, with dedicated library campaign groups such as CILIP, and with Labour colleagues in Parliament, to ensure that we are doing all that we can, right across the country .

“I recognise that libraries must modernise and I have been impressed with the range of services being offered by different libraries that I have visited in the early stage of my national library tour. It is imperative that we keep the pressure on the government to act faster and smarter to save these vital pillars of our communities.”

See also:

Exposed: The six myths of IDS’s benefits cap – Shamik Das, January 23rd 2012

The five reasons why the NHS bill is still being opposed – Alex Hern, January 19th 2012

Employment minister Chris Grayling does not appear to understand his own disability reforms – Daniel Elton, January 13th 2012

Ladies of the WI join the ranks of the bolshy book borrowers – Kevin Meagher, July 1st 2011

Campaign to save libraries steps up a gear – Claire French, February 1st 2011

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32 Responses to “As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat”

  1. Joe Anybody

    #UK : As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat http://t.co/o458QBL7

  2. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat http://t.co/SQ3ihdWB

  3. Richard Hawkins

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat, writes @AlexHern: http://t.co/VOQRxU2D

  4. Northern TUC

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat, writes @AlexHern: http://t.co/VOQRxU2D

  5. jogga singh teidy

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat, writes @AlexHern: http://t.co/VOQRxU2D

  6. Patrick

    Has the Left ever acknowledged on this site that ANY public expenditure cuts are necessary?

  7. Political Planet

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat: Alex Hern reports on the launch of “Vision f… http://t.co/AQBO8uUV

  8. James Harrison

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat, writes @AlexHern: http://t.co/VOQRxU2D

  9. seuss

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat, writes @AlexHern: http://t.co/VOQRxU2D

  10. Ian Clark

    Left Foot Forward on National Libraries Day: http://t.co/ezcT8TXV #savelibraries #NLD12

  11. Linda Hughes

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat, writes http://t.co/I4yZgt10

  12. Anonymous

    Never. Quote figures? It’s all woolly woolly. Part of the plan.

    Try asking them the following 2 questions and you won’t get a reply.

    1. How much does the government owe when pensions are included? (Hint – 7,000 bn)

    2. What should the regional benefit caps be? (Hint, its lower in Labour run areas, so its a no no)

  13. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat http://t.co/gXNEVfYR

  14. Richard

    Hi there,

    Is there any chance a link to http://www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk could be added here?

    Thanks.

  15. Enquire Librarian

    Don't forget National Libraries Day 2012 is **4th February**… http://t.co/ZnTNpbGg

  16. Bracknell Library

    Don't forget National Libraries Day 2012 is **4th February**… http://t.co/ZnTNpbGg

  17. Nat. Libraries Day

    National Libraries Day in Left Foot Forward: http://t.co/8fDJSbQk #NLD12 #LoveLibraries #Savelibraries

  18. Andy McLintock

    National Libraries Day in Left Foot Forward: http://t.co/8fDJSbQk #NLD12 #LoveLibraries #Savelibraries

  19. Thomas Connelly

    National Libraries Day in Left Foot Forward: http://t.co/8fDJSbQk #NLD12 #LoveLibraries #Savelibraries

  20. Karen Christensen

    RT @natlibrariesday: National Libraries Day in Left Foot Forward: http://t.co/rQYqAGho #NLD12 #LoveLibraries #Savelibraries

  21. Voices 4 the Library

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat – Left Foot Forward http://t.co/p2frsEzh : Left Foot Forward As Nati…

  22. Puss in Books

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat | Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/9JVTaWAh #inf429

  23. Shirley Burnham

    Please give info as to where / to whom Ed Vaizey was speaking when he said “the death of libraries …. greatly exaggerated” that your report mentions was on Tuesday. Thank you.

  24. Shirley Burnham

    @anniemauger @CILIPVicePres Shadow minister thinks CILIP is a 'library campaign group' http://t.co/Br9dnrRQ Is this now the case ??

  25. Thomas Connelly

    As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat – Left Foot Forward http://t.co/p2frsEzh : Left Foot Forward As Nati…

  26. Anti-Cuts Alliance

    RT @leftfootfwd: As National Libraries Day nears, our libraries remain under threat http://t.co/sz7TxwAm

  27. Kev Atref

    Don't forget National Libraries Day 2012 is **4th February**… http://t.co/ZnTNpbGg

  28. Newsbot9

    Have you ever begged for forgiveness as a member of the 1% for your crimes against Humanity?

    See, I can do silly statements as well, criminal!

  29. Newsbot9

    2. Caps? Oh yes, your little scheme to INCREASE the welfare bill by splitting up families.

  30. Anonymous

    Ah yes. Labour, quick to defend the 172K a benefit claimant. Bugger all for the poor workers on min wage.

  31. SaveCroydonLibraries

    Left Foot Forward on National Libraries Day: http://t.co/ezcT8TXV #savelibraries #NLD12

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