We are delighted to learn that the Mirror is supporting our campaign to highlight the importance of our public library network. Whilst the situation has been bleak for sometime, the picture looks set to get worse, with further spending cuts due from central government putting the squeeze on already tight local authority budgets.
Over three hundred libraries have closed since 2009/10. Further cuts to services could result in up to 1000 libraries being lost in the next five years. This decline in libraries results in a self-fulfilling prophecy; as libraries are cut or closed altogether, so decline the number of visitors to our libraries which is then used as an excuse for further closures. It is a death spiral that we can only escape by stopping the cuts and increasing library funding.
Libraries play a crucial role for many in levelling the playing field. They help develop children’s literacy skills and ensures they are not left behind; ensure those without internet access (over 6m people in the UK) can get online, access vital government services and seek employment; provides a safe neutral space free from commercial influences and provide free access to information for all.
We know that those who use the service understand why this statutory service must be protected. We want to hear from all of those who use their local library every day, from those who benefit from the services they provide, from those whose lives have been changed because libraries offered them something that would otherwise be out of reach. This website aims to highlight all your stories, providing evidence of the continued importance of the library service to so many in our communities.
We want to hear from you. If you’ve got a story to tell, if you want to share your experiences of public libraries or tell the world how your public library inspires you, drop us a line! Our contact details are available here, we look forward to hearing from you!
Let’s hear your voices for the library!