At the opening of the new library in Canada Water, Jarvis stated;
“Today I launched my National Tour of Libraries to inform our ‘Vision for a 21st Century Library’.
“Libraries are vital for our communities. They provide a centre for information and learning, but they also provide a community with a social and interactive hub.
“As Government cuts hit libraries throughout Britain, people are mobilising in their support – I want to know what you are doing in your local area, and what you believe a modern day library should provide.
“It was fitting that I launched my Tour with a visit to the new Canada Water Library in Southwark. Today this new “super-library” opened its doors to the queues outside with everyone eager to see what this amazing new building had to offer.
“Southwark council have been innovative in their approach to Libraries. They recently conducted research which demonstrated that in the last year their libraries saw a 14% increase from the year before. This is the result of continued investment in their structure and services.
“I believe that London’s “super-library” is an important place to start as it powerfully articulates the potential role of libraries in the modern day. They are, as Councillor Ward alluded to this morning, places “to learn, to enjoy, and importantly, to have new opportunities”.
“Local councils up and down the Country are facing deep, destructive and unfair Government cuts. The reality is that some councils are being backed into a very difficult corner and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) have estimated that up to 600 libraries may be under threat.
“I believe that this Tory-led Government need to acknowledge the permanent damage these cuts will do to our communities.
“So I want to speak with people from all over the country to find out what your library means to you, and what can be done to see it improved and modernised.
“Please get involved in this national debate and email me at [email protected].”