Labour's Policy Review - Libraries: Innovation, Co-location and Partnership

20 December 2012

Dan Jarvis

Labour's Policy Review - Libraries: Innovation, Co-location and Partnership 

· Building innovative partnerships with community groups, charities and businesses will drive up standards and increase user-ship 

· A framework of 'co-location' will ensure libraries can work with local theatres, community services and leisure centres 

Today Dan Jarvis MP, Labour's Shadow Culture Minister, will publish a Policy Review document articulating the importance and potential of libraries in our communities. The document will detail why libraries matter in the 21st century and will look at ways to develop the library agenda at a time of economic austerity. 

Dan Jarvis MP, Labour's Shadow Culture Minister, said:

"In a One Nation society, libraries should be at the heart of our communities, providing services which are vitally needed at a local level. To inform this work for Labour's Policy Review, I have travelled across the country and have seen fantastic examples of libraries which combine the core purpose of lending books with IT accessibility and a range of other important community services through co-location and forging partnerships. 

"In 2011, 130 libraries were reported as closed or handed over to volunteers, with hundreds more now under threat. Instead of providing much needed support, the Government has repeatedly underplayed the seriousness of the problem libraries are facing. There is no sense of urgency, no coherent strategic direction and no real guidance for councils. 

"This work highlights both the potential for libraries in our communities, and underlines David Cameron and Ed Vaizey’s appalling lack of action."