Libraries more than an 'ace caff'

<p>Readers have come to the defence of public libraries in response to an article in the <em>Times</em>. <a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article4783690.ece" target="_blank">The article reported that libraries </a>would start allowing visitors to talk on mobile phones, bring food and drink, play computer games and watch football matches. It stated that &quot;libraries have been increasingly shunned in recent years as the public turn to the internet and other forms of entertainment&quot;.</p><p>In a response to the feature, Caroline Moss-Gibbons, leader of council at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, wrote that &quot;public libraries were much more than an &#39;ace caff with a library attached&#39;&quot;. However, she also pointed to CILIP&#39;s Conway report which had noted the absence of an effective regulatory framework for public libraries.</p><p>Desmond Clarke highlighted that a third of library authorities had increased book lending in the last reported financial year, and called for a focus on &quot;improving book stocks and other resources, including online access, extending opening hours, eradicating inefficiency and providing a much improved service to every community&quot;.</p>