Manifesto for Libraries for the General Election 2017

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The Speak Up for Libraries alliance is urging people everywhere to make public libraries a central issue in the General Election.

 

Support for libraries overdue

 

The election offers us another chance to make sure central government understands that libraries are a low-cost, essential council resource for all communities. They are vital to national agendas such as ‘Digital by Default’. And they are deeply valued by local residents and the nation as a whole.

Already, many library services are threatened by, or experiencing, deep cuts, widespread closures of vital local branches – or the damaging policy of turning them over to volunteers to run.

Yet the Government continues to cut the grants given to local authorities. Local councils currently face an estimated overall funding gap of £5.8bn by 2019/20. Although libraries are a statutory service, they are often seen as a soft target for cuts. Such cuts often save little but do great damage.

If people wait another five years, their own library could go. Nationally, a postcode lottery is a reality with only some communities benefitting from the presence of a council funded and professionally run library.

Libraries remain the lynchpin of communities, offering access to reading, learning, information and leisure.

Libraries are, or should be, a trusted public space for everyone.

They play a crucial role in improving literacy standards and in combatting the digital divide.

Speak Up for Libraries believes that libraries, far from being obsolete, are more important than ever. That is why we are asking the government to make a public commitment to their survival and development.

 

Support for libraries overdue



Speak Up for Libraries is asking MPs to sign up to the following manifesto when standing for election:

  • Give libraries a long-term future, with a vision for their future development and clear standards of service.

  • Enforce the commitment in law for local authorities to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ library service. This commitment should also include digital, ICT and e-book services.

  • Acknowledge that libraries are important to individuals and communities – especially in times of hardship.

  • Enforce the duty that local authorities have to properly consult with communities to design services that meet their needs and aspirations.

  • Ensure that local authorities receive sufficient funding in order to deliver properly resourced and staffed library services.

  • Recognise that properly resourced library services contribute to the health and well-being of local communities and of society as a whole and therefore complement the work of other public services and of national government agendas.

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Download a copy of the manifesto here: SUFL – GENERAL ELECTION 2017 manifesto

 

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NOTES:

Speak Up for Libraries is an alliance of individual campaigners and national organisations: Elizabeth Ash, Alan Gibbons (Campaign for the Book), The Library Campaign, UNISON and Voices for the Library.

Decisions on policy and funding for public libraries in the devolved countries (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) are made by their own assemblies/parliaments. Therefore, those seeking election to Westminster will have no say on library provision in their own countries.


Library closures:

  • Since 1st April 2016, Public Libraries News report that 134 static libraries and 7 mobile libraries are under threat of closure/handed to volunteers.
  • Public Library Statistics produced by CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) show that the number of public libraries in the UK has fallen from 4482 in 2009/10 to 3850 in 2015/16 (a drop of 632).
  • Statistics compiled by the BBC in 2016 show that the number of paid staff in libraries fell from 31,977 in 2010 to 24,044 now, a drop of 7.933 (25%) for the 182 library authorities that provided comparable data.



Local government funding and expenditure:

In a press release issued by the Local Government Association (LGA) responding to the final Local Government Finance Settlement published on 20/02/2017, Chairman of the Local Government Association, Lord Porter, is quoted as saying:

“Councils face an overall £5.8 billion funding gap by 2020. This will push councils perilously close to the financial edge over the next few years and force them all to make significant reductions to the local services communities rely on, including filling potholes, collecting waste, maintaining our parks and green spaces and running children’s centres, leisure centres and libraries, to plug growing funding gaps.”

 

Support for libraries overdue

Website www.speakupforlibraries.org
Twitter @SpeakUp4Libs
Facebook www.facebook.com/SpeakUpForLibraries

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The Speak Up for Libraries Conference in February 2017 is postponed

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Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the Speak Up for Libraries coalition has taken the decision to postpone the Conference on 18 February 2017. 

We are already planning for the rescheduled event and will release details as soon as they are confirmed.

 

For queries, please email SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

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Speak Up for Libraries Conference in February 2017 to be rescheduled

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Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the Speak Up for Libraries coalition has taken the decision to postpone the Conference on 18 February 2017. 

We are already planning for the rescheduled event and will release details as soon as they are confirmed.

All tickets already booked for the Conference will be refunded.

 

For queries, please email SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

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Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2017 – Booking now open!

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On 18 February 2017 Speak Up for Libraries will be holding this year’s national conference on public libraries.  It will bring together library campaigners, union members, library users and library workers.

Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
18 February 2017
 at UNISON Centre
130 Euston Street
LONDON NW1 2AY

PROGRAMME

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Full details are contained in the brochure, which you can download here.  Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2017

There is also a flyer which you can download, here 

Please download and share copies for those not online, to help spread the word.

BOOKING

Book your place online on our Eventbrite page

Places are limited so don’t delay booking.  We are offering an Early Bird booking rate of only £20 per person for those who book a place by 18 January 2017.  If places remain after this date they will be at the full price of £25 per person.

All bookings include refreshments and lunch.

Each delegate will choose two workshops when booking.  The options are:

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Please note, if you are booking for someone else, please ensure you know of any special requirements they may have as well as their preference for workshops as this information will be required.  You will also be asked to indicate if the person you are booking for wishes for a group/campaign or organisation to be listed alongside their name, and/or their email address, on the delegate list for the event.

For queries or help to book a place, please call  020 8651 9552 / 07968 491 355 or email SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

And the hashtag for this event is #SUFLconf17
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Speak Up for Libraries update

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An update

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CILIP’s new Action Plan 2016-2020 sets the objective of securing the interests of all libraries in national policy through a series of campaigns beginning in 2015 with My Library By Right.

In delivering this policy objective, CILIP has decided to work in parallel with the SUFL coalition to pursue their respective interests rather than as a partner. This will enable both CILIP and SUFL to work independently, able to harness effectively our differing perspectives and approaches to campaigning to the benefit of users.

CILIP acknowledges the great contribution that the other partners in the coalition have and are making to ensuring the future of our public library service.

Speak Up For Libraries has appreciated CILIP’s participation and assistance since the coalition was established in 2012. It has been important that the professional body for library staff has supported the campaign and helped to run our conferences and other events. The ‘My Library By Right’ campaign is a sign that CILIP will still be campaigning on the issues affecting libraries.

SUFL respects CILIP’s decision on how to use their resources in the future. SUFL will continue to campaign around our founding principles and we hope to work with CILIP when the occasion arises. However the urgency surrounding cuts in public library services is unabated and SUFL will do what we all we can to support users and staff of those libraries hit by such cuts and to make the case for a properly funded public library service accountable and run at local level.

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If you are not currently in touch with Speak Up for Libraries, join us on social media and email us to be added to the mailing list for future events and updates.

 

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Speak Up For Libraries is a coalition of organisations and campaigners working to protect libraries and library staff, now and in the future.

Website: www.speakupforlibraries.org

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SpeakUpForLibraries

Eventbrite: http://sufl.eventbrite.com

Email: SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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Does your MP speak up for libraries? Ask them to sign EDM 1025

EDM No. 1025: 

That this House recognises that public libraries are hugely important to our communities; acknowledges that many have already closed or are under threat; welcomes the Speak Up For Libraries lobby of Parliament in support of the public library service on 9 February 2016; and calls on the Government to ensure that councils have enough money to provide well-staffed quality services to enforce the law that says local authorities must provide a comprehensive and efficient library service, to implement policy which secures people’s statutory rights to a quality library service and to give libraries a long-term future by including a programme of library development and modernisation in the 2016 to 2020 Department for Culture, Media and Sport Business Plan.

 

EDM No. 1025: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/1025 

Has your MP signed in support?

 

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To attend the rally prior to lobbying your MP, find the details and how to book, here.

This event is open to everyone!

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Storify of Speak Up For Libraries Conference 2015

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Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
14 November 2015

 

 

 

 

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Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

And the hashtag for this event is #SUFLconf15
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Missed out on a place for Speak Up For Libraries Conference?

Missed out on a place?

You can:

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Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
14 November 2015

 

Explore the pressing issues affecting our libraries.

Discuss volunteers in libraries.

Update from Paul Blantern and Kathy Settle of the Libraries Taskforce and the opportunity to put  questions and comments forward.

(Find the minutes of the Libraries Taskforce meetings so far in the link above and here.)

Hear from John Dougherty, who’s bringing along his guitar.

Yes, THAT John Dougherty!

PLUS a post-event meet up in a local venue to continue the discussions. (Cash bar)

Join the waiting list

The event is now booked up, but get in touch if you are interested in being added to the waiting list.

If offered a place the cost will be  £25 per person.

All bookings include refreshments and lunch.

There will be no tickets available on the door.

 

For queries or to be added to the waiting list, please call  020 8651 9552 or email SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

And the hashtag for this event is #SUFLconf15
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Missed out on a place for Speak Up For Libraries Conference?

Missed out on a place?

You can:

  • Get in touch by phone or email to be added to the waiting list in case there is a cancellation.  
  • Follow the Conference online by watching the Twitter hashtag #SUFLconf15.
  • See updates on our website.
  • And be added to our circulation list for any future events or updates by emailing us your name, with ‘Add me’ in the subject line.

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Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
14 November 2015

 

Explore the pressing issues affecting our libraries.

Discuss volunteers in libraries.

Update from Paul Blantern and Kathy Settle of the Libraries Taskforce and the opportunity to put  questions and comments forward.

(Find the minutes of the Libraries Taskforce meetings so far in the link above and here.)

Hear from John Dougherty, who’s bringing along his guitar.

Yes, THAT John Dougherty!

PLUS a post-event meet up in a local venue to continue the discussions. (Cash bar)

Join the waiting list

The event is now booked up, but get in touch if you are interested in being added to the waiting list.

If offered a place the cost will be  £25 per person.

All bookings include refreshments and lunch.

There will be no tickets available on the door.

 

For queries or to be added to the waiting list, please call  020 8651 9552 or email SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

And the hashtag for this event is #SUFLconf15
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Share Button

Read More

Don’t miss out! Just days to book your place for #SUFLconf15 on 14 November

Don’t miss out! 

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Booking must close this weekend….

if not sold out before,

so don’t miss your chance to attend and participate in the Speak Up for Libraries Conference for 2015.

The conference brings together library campaigners, union members, library users and library workers. 

Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
14 November 2015
in London

Network with others.

Explore the pressing issues affecting our libraries.

Contribute to the discussions on volunteers in libraries.

Gain an update, first hand, from Paul Blantern and Kathy Settle of the Libraries Taskforce and put your questions and comments directly to them.

(Find the minutes of the Libraries Taskforce meetings so far in the link above and here.)

Hear from John Dougherty, who’s bringing along his guitar.

Yes, THAT John Dougherty!

PLUS a post-event meet up in a local venue to continue the discussions. (Cash bar)

PROGRAMME

Full details are contained in the brochure, which you can download here.  Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2015

BOOKING

Book your place online on our Eventbrite page.

Tickets are £25 per person.

All bookings include refreshments and lunch.

Please note, if you are booking for someone else, please ensure you know of any special requirements they may have before booking a place as this information will be required.  You will also be asked to indicate if the person you are booking for wishes for a group/campaign or organisation to be listed alongside their name, and an email address, on the delegate list for the event.

For queries or help to book a place, please call  020 8651 9552 or email SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

Bookings really must end this weekend!

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Facebook: Speak Up for Libraries

Twitter: @SpeakUp4Libs

And the hashtag for this event is #SUFLconf15
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