Rosen on libraries on BBC Radio 4

Rosen on libraries on BBC Radio 4

Former children's laureate Michael Rosen is to present the first of a two-part programme called "Our Libraries: The Next Chapter "on BBC Radio 4 this morning (4th September, 11am).

The programme will explore the history of libraries and the how their role has changed, addressing the issues of closures and cuts to opening hours, and how they can survive.

The programme comes as protests against library closures in Sheffield continue, with a petition attracting 13,000 signatures and criticism from the spokesman for deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

Labour-run Sheffield Council has said it may have to close 14 of Sheffield's 27 libraries, in order to save £1.6m a year as part of budget cuts. It is looking for other groups to take on the libraries at risk of closure but has been reported to the Information Commissioner for failing to reveal the names of groups  being considered to run libraries in the city. The local authority has said that the information will be revealed in due course, but cannot currently be released due to issues of confidentiality.

A spokesman for Clegg, a local Liberal Democrat MP, said: "It is appalling Labour is keeping details in the public interest from public scrutiny. People have a right to know about the future of cherished facilities."