The truth about public libraries in the UK

  • England
  • Tim Coates

  • Public Library
  • I think the leaders of the public library service should be honest and realistic about the state of libraries in the UK.

    The policies promoting 'libraries are more than about books' for over 25 years, simply have not worked. The public do not believe that libraries have some unique expertise in, for example, technology, or social care or community adhesion. As a consequence, many millions of books have been removed and all the figures show that library use has fallen by at least 70%. Those local politicians whom you call upon to give more funds do not regard the libraries as they now stand as having sufficiently high priority. They clearly would prefer to reduce the funding.

  • Instead of trying tp promote even more features of public libraries: Green weeks; warm places; international peace; artificial intelligence- and the rest- concentrate on what the public want libraries to be for, so that they use them. And if you don't know, ask the public, not your members.

  • Better, clearer, non-political leadership