<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 "libraries have been increasingly shunned in recent years as the public turn to the internet and other forms of entertainment".</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 "public libraries were much more than an 'ace caff with a library attached'". However, she also pointed to CILIP'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 "improving book stocks and other resources, including online access, extending opening hours, eradicating inefficiency and providing a much improved service to every community".</p>
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