Thursday, December 06, 2012

Public libraries face rapidly changing landscape - over 1000 jobs to go

04/12/2012 - CILIP Press Release

A new survey of local authorities has revealed rapid changes in the way public library services are delivered, as well as continuing cuts to budgets, opening hours and staff.
Over twelve months more than 1,100 library staff will be lost, estimates the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) in a new report. CILIP reveals that 1,720 opening hours a week will be cut and £22.5 million in revenue expenditure reduced from public library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“Communities, families and individuals across the country are at the sharp end as cuts bite deeply into public library services,” said Phil Bradley, President of CILIP, “We are deeply concerned to see the number of staff continuing to reduce. Over the past two years we estimate that nearly 3,300 library staff posts will have gone. Without their expertise, knowledge and experience it will be a struggle to plan and deliver quality library services. Services that go way beyond lending books alone, services that transform lives by providing everyone with opportunities for learning, improving literacy skills, helping people with their information needs and fostering the growth of knowledge.”

Local authorities are increasingly running libraries in different ways. One in five responding authorities are considering co-locating libraries in the same building as a range of services, including police points, parish councils, housing services and leisure centres. There is an increase in the number of community managed libraries, with nearly 10% of libraries (260) likely to be run this way by April 2013. Half of local authorities are looking at alternative ways to run and manage libraries, such as trusts and partnership working.

Full release

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