CILIP calls for report into library closures

The Charted Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has called on the government to release a report into library closures.

A report into the impact of library closures and the growth of community-run libraries was promised by the government in its response to a Culture, Media and Sport 2012-13 inquiry into the subject.

It also said it would continue to produce a report annually on the state of the service.

CILIP has now urged the government to make good on its promise and produce a report which can be debated in parliament.

CILIP's call follows heavy criticism of the government for setting up a web page aimed at helping people take control of local libraries, which campaigners saw as encouraging volunteering at the expense of a full professional service.

CILIP president Phil Bradley said: "We need to better understand the current position regarding community-managed libraries and how far funding cuts have impacted on the public library service generally. I call upon the Secretary of State for Culture to publish the review that the Government promised by the end of 2013 into the cumulative effect on library services of the reduction in local authority provision and the growth of alternatives such as community libraries."

He added: "This promise was made in the Government’s response to the Culture, Media and Sport 2012-13 Inquiry into library closures, and it is a promise that should be honoured. The annual review should be debated in parliament, which is what CILIP and the many other organisations and friends groups expected.  Failure to do so will only strengthen the view that the Government is only paying lip service to the concept of a comprehensive library service for everyone."