The Bookseller has launched a campaign to oppose the "wantonly destructive cuts to the UK national library service".Called Fight for Libraries, the campaign will be centred around a Facebook site where news about library cuts and opposition to them will be reported, and which will also function as a hub for all news, sites and information on the struggle against library cuts.
"The next few weeks are critical to the future of libraries in this country, and to the literary culture they help support. Up to 800 libraries are faxed with the axe in the coming days. The Government back-down over Booktrust over Christmas, and its watering down of tuition fees, shows that it is not immune to pressure, whilst history has shown that local councils will back down on library closures once they realise the depth of local opposition. I don't think David Cameron wants to be remembered as the Prime Minister closed down all the libraries," says Editor-in-chief of The Bookseller Neill Denny.
The Facebook site hosts a manifesto and a set of demands, with The Bookseller supporting the calls for a national public enquiry into the library service, demanding a halt to the unfair and disproportionate targeting of libraries for cuts, and calling for the 1964 Libraries Act to be observed in letter and spirit. It also has a poll asking people to commit to supporting libraries."Libraries are under threat right now. A library lost today will not be re-opened tomorrow - the book trade has to take a stand," added Denny. "
Please use the Fight for Libraries site to see what is going on and update it with developments in your own area.
Minister for culture Ed Vaizey has said he will "consider the use of statutory powers" in support of public libraries, but only on a "case-by-case basis", appearing to rule out the growing calls for a national inquiry into the service as it faces what library campaigners have said are disproportionate cuts.