Disband MLA, says Brown

<p>Labour MP Lyn Brown, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Libraries, has called for a National Library Development Agency to replace the Museums, Libraries and Archive Council&#39;s library role.</p><p>Speaking at the Public Libraries Association Conference in Liverpool, Brown announced a review by the All-Party Group into library leadership, saying there was &quot;endemic professional uncertainty&quot; about the role of public libraries and questioning in forthright terms the MLA&#39;s ability to provide the strategic and political direction needed by the service.</p><p> &quot;To whom do we look to represent us, promote us, and, when necessary, defend us? Is the answer to the question the MLA? I think, sadly, probably not,&quot; she said. &quot;I would gently suggest that we have had many years now where there has been little leadership role coming from the MLA and perhaps we have created a body that is systemically incapable of delivering a leadership role for the library sector.&quot;</p><p>Instead Brown wants a National Library Development Agency to offer support, advocacy and direction for the service, guided by a cross-sector partnership board incorporating DCMS, local authority interests and private sector expertise.</p><p>At the same conference, culture secretary Andy Burnham announced the widely anticipated government review of libraries, promising a modernisation review to make libraries attractive places for the whole community. </p>