February 17, 2018

UK Libraries Get a Boost, But Is It Enough?

By LJ Staff

While the UK government has granted an extra £2 million ($3.64 million) for public libraries, those at a conference held in response to anxieties about library service said that wasn’t enough. The meeting was held after a report indicated that libraries were failing, with fewer visitors and books borrowed. Bob McKee, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals, told the Guardian that, because the money won’t improve buildings or fund materials, “It is disappointing that they have not faced up to these two central issues.” Citing a report that visits to libraries had risen by 1.6% last year, Chris Batt, chief executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, said, “The tide has turned for public libraries.” Still, said Audit Commission Director David Curtis, “I don’t think we want to be seduced by short-term information.”