Culture committee publishes inquiry evidence

Culture committee publishes inquiry evidence

Six hundred pages of written submissions to the library inquiry being held this week by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, including those from The Booksellers Association, The Publishers Association, The Reading Agency, and The Bookseller, have been published online.

The evidence includes submissions from numerous library campaign groups and individual library users, as well as from several county councils.

Views presented on the nature of a "comprehensive and efficient" public library service are highly variable. Kent county council writes: "The places people visit in their daily lives are changing with more people owning cars and routinely travelling some distance to access shops, leisure facilities, employment and study. The network of library buildings that was developed for an earlier age is, in many cases, not best sited to suit most local people."

However Save Oxfordshire Libraries' submission states: "A model appropriate for a large central library in a city may not be suitable for rural communities," and: "Assumptions are being made about the role of technology in the development of a library service for the 21st century without sufficiently robust evidence."

The inquiry opens tomorrow (Tuesday 7th February), with oral evidence from The Reading Agency director Miranda McKearney, Abigail Barker of Voices for the Library, The Library Campaign, and Sue Charteris, author of the Charteris report into proposed library closures in the Wirral.

Proceedings can be viewed live online via www.parliamentlive.tv.

The committee is chaired by John Whittingdale MP.