From The Mirror UK:
MORE than 1,300 libraries face closure in the next few weeks as the ConDem cuts bite, a Sunday Mirror investigation can reveal.
It is feared that about a third of Britain’s 4,517 libraries are under threat, along with 6,000 jobs, as councils prepare to set their budgets next month. Local authorities are struggling to balance their books as the Tory-led Coalition slashes funding – but campaigners warn that library closures will “rip the heart out of communities”.
Oh, wait! It gets better!
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has refused pleas to fight for libraries to remain open – instead suggesting they could be run by volunteers.
Mr. Vaizey is certainly putting the ‘community’ back into ‘community resource’. I trust this is based on his previous experiences at the volunteer run libraries in his neighborhood, his early education at St Paul’s school, then later at Oxford. Those volunteer run libraries that were part of his formative education must have been so grand and impressive that it would be an excellent idea for all British libraries to be run by volunteers. I would presume the people within the 8% unemployment rate would be the ones taking on such duties along with retirees and students. Sounds like a formula for success to me.
I really feel for my English peers in this one. It’s one thing to have different parts of the country closing libraries here in the US, but to have it countrywide all at once? Damn. I certainly hope he is taken to task for his words and that people are pushing back. (Much as they have in checking out all of the books from one of the libraries as a means of protest.)