Vaizey must speak now over library concerns, says CILIP

Vaizey must speak now over library concerns, says CILIP

<p>The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has warned the government that its actions on libraries are causing &quot;concern and uncertainty&quot; for the future of the service. </p><p>CILIP president Biddy Fisher said: &quot;Parliament goes into recess today but [culture minister] Ed Vaizey can&rsquo;t simply go off on his summer holidays having created such a climate of concern and uncertainty around this most popular of public services.&quot;</p><p>Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday announced the government&#39;s intention to abolish the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), on top of the earlier decision to axe the Advisory Council on Libraries (ACL). </p><p>Speaking at the first meeting of the Library Support Programme Governance Board, charged by Vaizey with overseeing public libraries&#39; response to the government public spending cuts, CILIP chief executive Bob McKee said: &ldquo;The abolition of key library agencies calls into question the government&rsquo;s commitment to public library provision.&quot;</p><p>McKee went on: &quot;The coalition says nice things about libraries being at the heart of the &lsquo;Big Society, but nothing has been done to protect libraries from the worst of the cuts in the way that education and health have been promised partial protection.&rdquo; </p><p>He added: &quot;There&rsquo;s been criticism of library leadership in the past. But this announcement [on the MLA] simply dismantles the existing leadership framework and puts nothing in its place.&rdquo;</p><p>Fisher said: &quot;The minister must act quickly to allay public concern, demonstrate commitment to public library provision, and clarify how library leadership at government level will be structured in the future.&rdquo;</p>