Biddy Fisher, President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, has written a fantastic piece for the Yorkshire Post, explaining why libraries must remain at the heart of society. She describes many library schemes taking place across England and how libraries should respond to the needs of their communities.
Public libraries are a frontline statutory service. A reduction in this service leaves the entitlement of each member of that society in real jeopardy. Local authorities that have allowed library decline by stealth are culpable of denying their residents opportunities to engage with community based initiatives for improved health, higher literacy levels, greater educational aspiration, creative minds and greater community cohesion.
We are in danger of allowing the library service to be gradually (or not so gradually) eroded and dismantled around us.
With an avalanche of news stories about cuts in public libraries we must defend a core professionally managed library service and at the same time find new and creative ways of delivering that service often in partnership with others, responding to community needs in areas such as education, employability and health and well-being.