Authors need readers. The SoA campaigns to preserve libraries, promote a culture of reading and ensure authors are paid fairly for book lending.
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 library services for income through Public Lending Right and ALCS.
Libraries are funded by local authorities, which have suffered disproportionately from government cuts in recent years, and in many parts of the country library services have been completely decimated. We believe central Government should increase and ring-fence funding for councils to spend on library services. A comprehensive and efficient library service must allow free access to physical books in a safe, comfortable, convenient and accessible space, and must be managed and curated by professionally trained staff.
See here for more information on public libraries.
School libraries are being closed or scaled back throughout the UK. This means fewer pupils have access to books, and where they do have access it is often inadequate. Cuts to school libraries will especially affect children who have limited or no access to books at home, and will widen the gap between the best and the least 'well-educated' and 'well-read'. Children who are keen, wide readers have a far greater chance of being successful, well-rounded individuals in later life.
A school library also needs a trained librarian, in order to improve reading proficiency, grow children’s confidence and inspire a love of reading. But in too many schools librarians’ hours are being reduced or eliminated altogether.
We are calling on the Government to set out a new national strategy for school libraries which recognises the vital role of high quality school libraries in supporting pupils’ literacy, research skills and reading for pleasure. We want school staff, governors, Ofsted, students and parents to recognise the importance of a thriving school library.
See here for more information on school libraries.