Public demonstrations and a campaign involving some 500 writers and creative figures have staved off, at least for now, the threat of closure hanging over 11 out of 19 libraries in Liverpool, following a 58 per cent cut in the funding the city receives from Central government. Authors involved in the campaign included Malorie Blackman,  Cathy Cassidy, Jonathan Coe,  Carol Ann Duffy, Alan Gibbons, Caitlin Moran, and Meg Rosoff, while local citizens took to the streets in protest.

In the Liverpool Express, Mayor Joe Anderson announced that: “I can confirm today that none of our libraries will close. There is much to be proud about our library service – whether it is the increasingly popular e-book service or the award-winning Central Library – and after months of negotiations we have been able to enhance our proposed core statutory Library Service with alternative library services delivered by community groups and local organisations. The changes to the library service are against a backdrop of severe financial challenges imposed on the city, because our funding from Central Government has been cut by 58% which is affecting every service in the city.”

However, the future nature of the library service is still not decided, as the closure plans have essentially been postponed for a consultation period, with some kind of voluntary involvement very likely. “So far, viable proposals have been received for seven of the eleven libraries and we are continuing to plan the future of the remainder,” said Mayor Anderson. ” There may have to be changes to the way these libraries are run, with changed opening hours for example, but the proposals are an exciting mixture of ideas with local community organisations and voluntary groups joining up to form new partnerships with Liverpool City Council.”


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail