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We submit evidence to the CMS Select Committee Inquiry into Library Closures

  • Date: 20 January 2012
  • Area: National

The Arts Council has submitted evidence to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee Inquiry into Library Closures.

The Select Committee inquiry takes place at a time of change for the public sector landscape as well as libraries. Public libraries are responding to a radically changing demographic, technological, economic and political environment.

The Arts Council assumed many of the responsibilities of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council on 1 October 2011.

We believe libraries are much more than a book lending service. We know that library buildings can be important as local hubs, especially where there is a lack of civic space. They offer choice about what, where and when people choose to learn, and library staff help people to re-engage with learning and skills development. It is access to these services that is most important.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport defines what constitutes a 'comprehensive and efficient' library service; and in turn local authorities interpret that in a way which best reflects local need. Our role as development agency for libraries will be to champion libraries within government, and to encourage approaches which develop their core roles of access to books and reading, support for learning, access to information and expert staff, and provision of civic space.

Find out how we work with libraries and read our full Select Committee response on the Supporting libraries pages of our website.