It’s the demonstration every Library & Museums campaigner has been calling for and now it’s on. The march will start from the iconic British Library and end outside the House of Commons for a Rally. Jeremy Corbyn is supporting the protest.
Public Libraries and Museums remain the lynchpin of communities, offering access to learning, reading, history, art, information and enjoyment. Libraries are, or should be, trusted public spaces for everyone. They play a crucial role in improving literacy, in combating the digital divide and in widening democratic involvement. BUT, in the UK since
2010, we’ve LOST:
• 8,000 paid and trained library workers;
• 343 libraries (600-plus including ones handed to volunteers); and
• One in five regional museums at least partially closed.
We’ve also seen:
• Libraries’ and museums’ opening hours cut;
• Budgets, education programmes and mobile/ housebound/specialist services slashed;
• An escalation in commercialisation and privatisation;
• A 93% increase in the use of volunteers in libraries;
• Income generation become the priority for almost 80% of museums.
This is a crisis and not an opportunity. Users, staff, campaigners and unions need to unite and fight before it’s too late. PCS Culture Sector, Unite the Union, Barnet UNISON & Save Barnet Libraries, and Campaign for the Book have been calling for a national demonstration to highlight the ‘clear and present danger’ to our national Library service. Support the protest on 5th November!
JEREMY CORBYN, Leader of Labour Party says: “I give my 100% support to this demonstration. The Tories have devastated our public services using austerity policies as justification. I promise that a Labour Government will act to ‘in-source’ our public and local council services and increase access to
leisure, arts and sports across the country. We will reverse the damage the Tories have done to our communities in the cities, towns and villages.”