Library and information association CILIP has delivered a 7,000 signature petition to Downing Street calling for an end to austerity in the service.
The document was delivered by the organisation’s library champion Bobby Seagull. It calls for greater investment in a service which, according to CILIP figures, has seen funding slashed £243m per year in real terms since 2010.
CILIP released a report last year saying the service required funding through local council to return to its pre-2010 level of around £1bn a year. The organisation is now calling for funding to be increased in the next Budget.
C.e.o. Nick Poole said: "I’m absolutely delighted by the outpouring of support the British public has shown for this petition. It really proves what we at CILIP have been saying all along, that great libraries and professional librarians build stronger communities. They are the heart of any high street, providing access to literacy and skills and an unparalleled inclusive ‘social infrastructure’ across the nation."
The petition will remain open until 11th March when the Chancellor’s Budget is announced.
Seagull said: "Libraries are such a vital part of local communities, I’m shocked by the funding cuts they’ve seen in the last 10 years. It really is a testament to the amazing work of professional librarians that they have continued to be the lynchpin of our local communities in such trying circumstances. It’s time for the government to step-up and guarantee them secure funding, so they can continue their amazing work."
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