May 24, 2022

UK: Library Closures Inquiry Begins & Full Text of Public Inquiry Responses

From the BBC:

MPs have begun hearing evidence at a Select Committee inquiry on library closures.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been requesting views on the service since November.


When MPs questioned whether libraries could compete with the technology of the 21st Century, Ms [Abigail] Barker [a member of Voices of the Library], who is also a librarian, argued there were many online facilities libraries could offer.

“People have an outdated opinion of what a library is. I don’t think a lot of people making these cuts understand what a library is, what a library does or what a librarian can offer,” she said.

“We should not be looking at the library as a building, but the library as a service.

“The role of the librarian is almost being ignored by these cuts. We’re not just there to stamp your books – we’re there to enhance your visit to the library. Librarians are as important as the library building

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Culture, Media and Sport Committee publish library inquiry responses (via Voices of the Library Blog)

It is interesting to note the balance of responses from these different groups of respondents, especially from public library authorities. Only approximately 16 authorities or their representatives responded to the Inquiry. Considering that there are over 140 public library authorities in England this is a very low response rate. Compare this to 33 recognisable library user and campaign groups who responded, plus further individuals whose names we recognise as local campaigners.

Direct to Full Text of Public Inquiry Responses (621 pages; PDF)
Via Culture, Media and Sport Committee, UK Parliament

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.