Five Liverpool libraries 'ready for community groups'

Five Liverpool libraries 'ready for community groups'

Liverpool city council is preparing to hand over five libraries to local community groups to run, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The five libraries - at Breck Road, Dovecot, Fazakerley, Kensington and Walton – are to be transferred to local groups to manage as part of wider cost-cutting measures instigated by the council, following a reprieve for 11 libraries threatened with outright closure last year.

According to the Echo, Chartered Instituted of Library Information and Professionals (CILIP) president Jan Parry will also chair a task group to look at the future of the city's library service. A CILIP spokesperson confirmed to The Bookseller that Parry was keen to help, but said this step was so far unconfirmed.

Authors including Alan Gibbons and Cathy Cassidy have campaigned to keep Liverpool's libraries open.

In April, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson warned that all the city's libraries could be closed by 2017 if the Conservatives won the election and council budget cuts continued.

Alan Gibbons told The Bookseller: "As a local Liverpool campaigner and as a member of Speak Up For Libraries and the Campaign for the Book, we have pursued the central principle of a council-run service and trained librarians. This settlement breaks that principle and hands the service over to an uncertain future in hands of volunteers. It's a really retrograde step and I don't see it's compatible with a comprehensive and efficient service. It means librarian jobs will go."