Oxfordshire grants libraries a reprieve:
What about all other similar councils?
Oxfordshire has granted a temporary reprieve to its twenty libraries threatened with withdrawal of funds and possibly closure. Library users and campaigners across the country will now ask: why not us?
Campaign for the Book organizer Alan Gibbons said:
“Everybody will welcome Oxfordshire County Council’s recognition that its closure programme is incompatible with the requirement of the 1964 Libraries Act that it provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient service.’
“But what is the difference between Oxfordshire’s situation and that of areas such as Gloucestershire, North Yorkshire, Somerset, Lewisham and Suffolk? To show fairness, Culture Ministers Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey must now intervene and call a moratorium on library closures. They could now face a series of legal challenges.”
Oxfordshire’s change of heart comes just two weeks after the enormously successful Save Our Libraries Day which saw 110 Read Ins across the country attended by up to 10,000 people.
Alan Gibbons said: “In Oxfordshire the public turned out in force, supported by authors such as Philip Pullman, Mark Haddon, Colin Dexter and Mary Hoffman. I call on library users and campaigners to redouble their efforts. Concerted action can force elected representatives to change their minds.”
The TUC have called a national demonstration on March 26th this will be an opportunity for all library campaigners around the country to come together and voice their opposition to library cuts and closures. So far there are 15 coaches going from Oxford and this is likely to grow. To book your seat call 07890081211 or email me back.