Shadow Culture Minister, Dan Jarvis, has spoken ahead of National Libraries Day on February 4th and has urged the government to “act faster and smarter to protect these vital pillars of our communities.”
The Barnsley MP explained, “This coming Saturday will give the whole of Britain the opportunity to demonstrate how important local libraries are to our communities.
“This Tory-led government have reneged, countless times, on their full responsibilities and have left it up to the courts to decide cases that Jeremy Hunt had the power to intervene in.
“Cuts to local library services are extremely short-sighted. The Literacy Trust recently published statistics that suggest illiteracy costs the UK economy up to £81 billion a year.
“There are also over four million children that don’t even own a book and six million adults that cannot read job application forms. Therefore it is irresponsible and economically naive, for any government to allow 600 libraries to potentially close.
“I am deeply concerned about this which is why I launched a report into a Vision for a 21st Century Library. I am actively working with local authorities, with dedicated library campaign groups such as CILIP, and with Labour colleagues in Parliament, to ensure that we are doing all that we can, right across the country.
“I recognise that libraries must modernise and I have been impressed with the range of services being offered by different libraries that I have visited in the early stage of my national library tour. It is imperative that we keep the pressure on the government to act faster and smarter to save these vital pillars of our communities.”
“So my message to people, right across Britain is; show your support for your local library this Saturday. If you are on twitter, use the hash tag #NLD12 and tweet about your memories and experiences of your local library. Let’s all send a very clear message to David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey, that we will not allow them to stand idly by and neglect our libraries.”
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