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Unison renews library campaign

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Unison has renewed its campaign against library cuts and closures, claiming there are reductions in services across the UK.

A report commissioned by the union - Taking Stock: The Future of our Public Library Service - claims that in recent years there have been dramatic changes.

According to Unison:

  • During 2006/2007 there were 71 library closures in England

  • Fourteen libraries stand to be axed in Wirral alone next year

  • In Birmingham, a petition gathered 2,000 signatures after a library was shut for health and safety reasons but has remained indefinitely closed

  • In Wales, budget cuts have forced the National Library to shut on Saturdays

As part of the Defend the Public Library Service Campaign, UNISON is calling on the government and local authorities to adopt a five-point plan.

  • Adequate resources for staff, services and premises

  • Encouraging staff and communities to shape the library service

  • Libraries and councils sharing information and best practice

  • Catering for library users from all backgrounds

  • Better staff training and professional development

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said: “The library service is nearing a crisis point after suffering years of funding cuts, deskilling of the workforce and recent threats of outsourcing."

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