Author and campaigner Alan Gibbons has reissued his request for a public debate on libraries with culture minister Ed Vaizey.
In a letter written on his website, Gibbons congratulates Vaizey on the Conservative party’s recent election win and his return to his seat in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
He then refers to the minister’s agreement to publicly debate issues around “the number of library closures and the future of the service” in response to Gibbon’s comments in the Guardian regarding an open letter he sent Vaizey in April about the figures surrounding library closures.
In his latest letter, he writes: “I do hope you still feel inclined to hold such a public debate. The Library Campaign has indicated that it would be happy to take over the arrangements for such a discussion. If your office could contact me, I can set the wheels rolling to arrange a venue and date.”
He signs off: “Alan Gibbons, Campaign for the Book, Member of the Speak up for Libraries coalition”.
Earlier this week, users at the Library of Birmingham began staging sit-in protests against shorter opening hours being implemented as a result of council cuts.
Last week trade figures echoed the concerns of Profile Books m.d. Andrew Franklin, who speculated that more libraries would close under the Conservative government over the next five years while picking up his award for Independent Publisher of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards.