Up to 1,000 libraries under threat, claims Coates

Up to 1,000 libraries under threat, claims Coates

<p>Library campaigner Tim Coates has warned between 600 and 1,000 libraries could close over the next 18 months amid a media blitz on last week&#39;s declining library visit numbers.<br /><br />Last week <em>The Bookseller</em> reported figures from the Department of Culture Media and Sport that revealed the proportion of adults visiting a library decreased from 48.2% in 2005/06 to 39.4% in 2009/10.<br /><br />The story has been picked up by the mainstream press over the past 24 hours with them also reporting on Ed Vaizey&#39;s library support initiative, which proposes cutting costs by giving libraries to communities to run amid other measures.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11037964" target="_blank" title="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11037964">Coates told the BBC</a>: &quot;I believe we will lose between 600 to a 1,000 libraries in the next 12-18 months and that may be only the beginning, we are seeing the destruction of the public library service.&quot;<br /><br />In an opinion piece for the <em>Guardian </em>called Libraries Need Investment to Thrive, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/24/libraries-need-inves... target="_blank" title="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/24/libraries-need-inves... Harris writes</a>: &quot;They would doubtless deny it, but [the] release of a new set of figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) looks like a textbook case of softening up the public for yet another fall of the axe.&quot;<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></p>