Libraries are cradles of lifelong learning - we let them run down at our peril. We urge the Government to urgently increase and ring-fence funding for 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 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. Given Arts Council England’s role as the development agency for libraries, we believe it needs to work with local authorities to restore library services where they have fallen into decline. 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.
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.