Up to 40 libraries affected in Birmingham review

<p>Up to 40 libraries are at risk in Birmingham as a review of every library in the region begins.</p><p>Leisure cabinet member Martin Mullaney said that the &quot;root and branch&quot; examination was necessary as internet use and declining borrower numbers hit services. The study may result in library closure, or location changes, the <em>Birmingham Post</em> reports.</p><p>The review will look at the cost of running each library. Initial findings have shown huge variations in opening hours and customer use.<br /><br />Cllr Mullaney told a scrutiny committee, &quot;What is the future for our library service with increasing use of the internet and people borrowing fewer and fewer books?&quot;</p><p>Cllr Mullaney has just signed a &pound;200,000 cut to Birmingham Central Library&#39;s &pound;1.3m book buying fund as part of a &pound;5.4m cuts package. About 12% of staff running libraries, museums, parks and sports centres in the region are likely to lose their jobs, although most redundancies will be made in the sports section of the &pound;67m department, as the council looks to turn around a &pound;560,000 deficit. A libraries efficiency plan will also save &pound;50,000.<br /><br />The review will also consider the role of the &pound;187m Library of Birmingham, which opens in 2013.<br /><br />However, Cllr Philip Parkin, a Conservative member of the coalition council, said &quot;I fundamentally disagree [with Mullaney]. The main point of a library is about reading books.<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t buy the argument that library use is declining because everyone is going on the internet.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp; </p>