PUBLIC LIBRARIES –
THE GRASSROOTS MEET THE DECISION-MAKERS
On 22 November Speak Up for Libraries will be holding this year’s national conference on public libraries. It will bring together local campaigners, union members, library users and library workers – and give them a rare chance to talk directly to the people who make the decisions at national level. This is crunch year for public libraries, with a general election due and two major inquiries – on England and Wales – reporting soon.
Speak Up For Libraries Conference 2014 will have spokespeople from the three major political parties and the two report panels. It is vital that decision makers understand the real effects of their policies at local level. Already public libraries are suffering unprecedented damage. Government-imposed cuts to local authority funding have – too often – been unthinkingly applied to cut services, close essential local branches or pressure volunteers to take on services previously provided by expert staff.
The conference will be structured to enable people to network and discuss their ideas, before engaging directly with the speakers.
Speak up for Libraries Conference
10am to 4.30pm
22 November 2014
7 Ridgmount Street
Helen Goodman MP (Labour shadow minister)
Justin Tomlinson MP (Conservative)
LibDem spokesperson TBA
Sue Charteris, panel member of the Sieghart Review in England
Claire Creaser, chair of the Welsh Review of the Public Library Service
Barbara Band, CILIP President, will open the Conference
Ian Anstice, editor of Public Libraries News, will chair the workshop feedback session
Alan Gibbons, author and library campaigner, will chair the panel debate
Full details are contained in the brochure, which you can download here. Speak Up for Libraries Conference 2014
Please download and share copies for those not online, to help spread the word.
Book your place online on our Eventbrite page.
Places are limited so don’t delay booking.
All bookings include refreshments and lunch.
We are offering an Early Bird booking rate of only £20 per person for those who book a place by 24 October.
If places remain after this date they will be at the full price of £25 per person.
For queries or help to book a place, please call 020 8651 9552.
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Since 1 April 2013, 693 professionally managed libraries (static or mobile) have already been lost in this way or remain under threat (out a UK total of c.4,265). Yet further damage is predicted as local authorities plan for further significant reductions in their funding.* This has major implications. Public libraries – especially small branches in deprived communities – are a vital resource for families, pre-schoolers, students, older people, benefits claimants, job seekers and all who need internet access, books, information and the essentials for citizenship. Properly staffed public libraries are irreplaceable, and cost very little to run.
- Statistics produced by CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) show a net loss of 212 libraries or mobile libraries in the UK in 2011-12, and 71 in 2012-13.
- Public Libraries News estimates that in 2013-14, 491 libraries (including mobile libraries) were closed, or scheduled for closure, or became volunteer-managed.
- Since April 2014, Public Libraries News reports that 202 libraries (including mobile libraries) are threatened with closure, have closed or will be handed over to volunteers. http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com