Shadow Culture Minister, Dan Jarvis is preparing to launch his regional Library tour on Monday morning at the impressive new £14million ‘Super Library’ at Canada Water in London.
Jarvis explained, “Libraries are a crucial part of local communities right across the country offering people of all ages access to information, technology and a local space to work and socialize. They are ladders for social mobility, engines for innovation and are part of the fabric of communities up and down the country. Their importance and value should not be be underestimated.
"Libraries are currently under severe threat as 600 may be closed as a result of short-sighted Government funding cuts to local councils. The loss of these services would be extremely damaging for many local communities and we are seeing people across Britain mobilise in their support.
“As part of my tour I will be talking to people up and down the country and asking them to contribute to my "Vision for a 21st Century Library". This will be a report which will demonstrate what a modern day library service should provide.
"The new Library in Southwark is an inspiration for this 21st vision, with the inclusion of a small theatre, restaurant, café, and performance space, neatly located near public transport and with first-class architecture.
“It is fitting that I have kicked off my national tour here at London’s first ‘super-library’ in Southwark. The Labour-led council, are opening a library which all of London can be proud of.
“I want this ‘super library’ to be replicated across the country. That is why I have decided to tour libraries from every region of the country, to engage in the debate and find out what different councils are doing to protect, nurture and develop these vital library services.
“I believe - and it is a view that is widely held; that Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey have displayed a total lack of leadership on libraries and I will do all that I can, to help local councils save them and develop them for the future. This tour is just the beginning"