As in the United States, the United Kingdom is debating drastic cuts to public spending that goes to schools, social services and — you guessed it — libraries. But today, pro-library activists in Gloucester, England, successfully defended their county’s libraries. Though the City Council was planning to completely withdraw funding from two thirds of the county’s libraries, the pro-library campaigns convinced a judge to schedule a hearing which will challenge the legality of the Council’s plans.
The story is in one of England’s newspapers, The Independent. It explains that, as I mentioned in a previous post, libraries are a centerpiece of political clashes in the United Kingdom over the public budget.
The library is only one of many institutions that is bearing the brunt of the current political climate in the United Kingdom. In response to looming debts, plummeting tax revenue, and general economic decline, British officials are saying, the government must cut back drastically on funding for public institutions and services.
Others, such as several Nobel Prize winning economists and hundreds of thousands of protesting British citizens, argue that spending cuts are both unjust and unhelpful to the economy at large.
Whatever your opinion on the issue of cuts, it is inspiring to see people get up and fight for their right to have public libraries.
–Jonathan T, periodicals