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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Library campaigning alliance lobbies Westminster government (UK)

A new campaigning alliance Speak up for Libraries will today (13 March) send the government a strong message that support for libraries is long overdue, as people from across the country meet for a rally and lobby in central London. Speak up for Libraries is calling on the government to give libraries its backing, warning that the service faces a bleak future due to drastic cuts, underfunding, and the lack of a clear vision for the future. The group is calling on Ed Vaizey MP, Minister with responsibility for libraries, who is giving evidence to the Select Committee today, to recognise the crisis hitting the service and to take urgent action. More than 100 libraries across the country have either closed, are now run by volunteers, or have been turned into social enterprises since April 2011. A survey by UNISON reveals that those that remain open are being pared to the bone by cuts to book budgets, opening hours, mobile and outreach services as well as to jobs. The rally in Methodist Central Hall will hear from speakers including authors Kate Mosse and Philip Ardagh, Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary and Ruth Bond, chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) as well as Dan Jarvis MP. Visitors will also have a chance to visit a pop up library staffed by fully trained librarians

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