Call for national inquiry into library service

Call for national inquiry into library service

<p>A Somerset library campaigner is proposing a national public inquiry in response to the widespread closures threatening the library service. Steve Ross said it seemed &quot;sensible and cost effective&quot; to focus nationally on the issue, as well as on specific local situations. Many local campaign groups, including Gloucestershire, Lewisham and Dorset, and Somerset itself are considering legal measures to oppose the cuts. He&nbsp; warned: &quot;The trauma of the Government ignoring calls for inquiry in local areas would pull the country apart.&quot;</p><p>He said: &quot;The suggestion for a national public library service inquiry is an invitation for central government to offer leadership and an innovative social response....The fear is we are on a short term dash towards cultural oblivion that will place a straitjacket on innovation and lifelong learning in many communities, at a time when the country needs to prepare to face up to the bigger challenges the world faces towards 2050.&quot;</p><p>Campaigner Desmond Clarke welcomed the campaign, saying he urged everyone to get involved.</p><p>Currently approaching 400 libraries are threatened with closure, according to website <a href="http://publiclibrariesnews.blogspot.com" title="publiclibrariesnews.blogspot.com">publiclibrariesnews.blogspot.com</a>, with around half of councils still to announce their plans.</p><p>Steve Ross is calling for any supporters for the initiative to contact him at publiclibraryserviceinquiry@live.co.uk. </p>