Shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis has accused his government opposite Ed Vaizey of having "consistently refused to acknowledge the threat libraries are facing", as Public Libraries News reports that 157 public libraries have shut down or been handed over to volunteers since April 2011.
A further 225 libraries are listed as being under threat.
Jarvis said the closures thus far were "just the start, with many more cuts likely in the next few years", asking: "How can the Government act to minimise the damage to libraries if they refuse to accept that it is happening?"
He continued: "The Government cannot stop all libraries from closing, nor should that be their aim. But they could be leading a concerted effort to minise the damage and encourage measures to cut costs without affecting frontline services. Instead we are seeing half measures and a vacuum of leadership or ambition."