Library protests planned for Cardiff while Lincolnshire confirms cuts

Library protests planned for Cardiff while Lincolnshire confirms cuts

Protestors in Cardiff will use National Libraries Day this weekend to raise awareness of cuts facing the city's library service.

Campaigners in Birmingham have already announced their own plans to protest on the day, forming a human chain "hugging" the threatened Library of Birmingham. 

In Cardiff, a public protest is being planned for outside the Cardiff Central Library, as well as a number of events happening at other libraries around the city. Cardiff Unison and the Cardiff People's Assembly are asking people to gather at midday on 7th February at the Central Library with a book, to show opposition to the closures. The protests condemn the council's plans to cut £283,000 from the budget by slashing funding to seven libraries in the city, which could all face closure. The council will make a decision on the cuts on 26th February.

National Libraries Day was first celebrated in 2012, developed from its forerunner, Save Our Libraries day, arranged to highlight the threat of library closures.

National Libraries Day, now organised by CILIP, was conceived as a "positive and celebratory" day by children's author Alan Gibbons, one of the drivers behind its establishment.

This week also sees a blow for campaigners in Lincolnshire, where the council has approved its plans to hand 30 libraries over the volunteers. When the original decision was taken, protestors took the council to the High Court where a judge ruled that the council had not followed due process and would have to reconsider. 

However, after going back to the drawing board, the council has opted to push ahead with the original cuts plan.

Lincolnshire councillor John Hough, leader of the Labour opposition, told the BBC it was a "disgraceful decision" that would be "decimating to communities." Tory councillor Nick Worth said handing the libraries to volunteers was the right decision: "The majority of communities out there say yes they want to do it because they want to keep their library going, it's very important to them."