1/3 of British Libraries on Borrowed Time
Cristina Garcia-Pozuelo Sanchez
An investigation by the Sunday Mirror revealed that more than 1,300 UK libraries face closure in the next few weeks as local budget cuts begin to bite deep.
About a third of the libraries in Britain and their local authorities are struggling to balance their books, and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced a £6.5 billion cut in the money given to councils, with most facing an average cut of 10 percent this year. The libraries expected to be hit hardest by the cuts are those in smaller communities; centers that offer everything from books and journals to internet access and community support. Calls for the government to stand up for these libraries have been resisted, with the Culture Minister “suggesting they could be run by volunteers.”
This news begs a number of questions, among them: How will the closures affect the public library market for new content in the UK overall? What will be the most affected areas?