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LIBRARIES NETWORK - UNISON REACTION

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UNISON, Britain's biggest trade union, has warmly welcomed the Government's commitment to pledge lottery money to t...
UNISON, Britain's biggest trade union, has warmly welcomed the Government's commitment to pledge lottery money to turn public libraries into a 'people's network' however the union warned that new technology cannot replace books, branches and staff.

Unison Head of Local Government, Keith Sonnet, said:

'New technology should enhance services in libraries not replace staff or other traditional roles. Libraries must be properly resourced and funded, to carry out their traditional activities as well as take up their new IT responsibilities.

'UNISON believes that libraries must be freely accessible to the public through a properly resourced network of branches with highly trained staff in well maintained, user-friendly premises.

'But many local authorities have already made large cuts to library services due to reductions in local government funding. This has resulted in branch closures, reduced opening hours, cuts in staff numbers and cuts in grading and pay to library staff. UNISON believes that this will inevitably undermine the Government's plans to establish a nation-wide public libraries IT network.'
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