Love libraries is "a campaign to get everyone excited about what public libraries can do for readers and how we can make them better" (via Bookglutton). Over 12 weeks, three libraries will be transformed into "models of a future library service with reading at its heart" and you can follow the progress of the facelifts to Coldharbour library, Newquay library and Richmond library via the Love libraries site.

Readers Comments

  1. Martyn Everett Friday 24 March 2006

    Its good to see Libraries getting more attention - but we should keep an open mind about the changes that are being made to public libraries - as they are not all positive by any means. I find it worrying that the statistics used to support this campaign are carefully selected to present a particular image. For example the figures quoted for the number of visits made to Libraries are based on carefully selected years. Take for example the claims: "UK residents made 340 million visits to public libraries in 2004-5 – that’s 5.7 visits per person. In England there were 288 million visits." "After a period of decline, visits to libraries are on the up. They hosted 22 million more visits in 2004-5 than they did in 2001-2, an increase of 7% " In fact in 1993-4 UK residents made 393 million visits and in 1998-9 they made 345 million visits - that's 6.8 and 5.8 visits per person. Over a 20 year period total visits have dropped by 14% while visits per person have dropped by 16%.
    Years of centralisation, the large scale closure of "service points" and a massive decline in bookstock are all having a negative impact. While libraries are being "re-branded' and transformed into "one-stop shops" for local council services, and being transformed into agencies for central government policies there is little debate on the way that their real potential as "street corner' universities is being gradually eroded.

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