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The future of public libraries

In 2008 the Department for Culture Media and Sport announced that it was carrying out a ‘modernisation review’ of public libraries. We were expecting a comprehensive action plan to emerge. However, last month – more than a year later – the Arts Minister, Margaret Hodge, launched a ‘consultation document’, Empower, Inform, Enrich. It contains a number of short essays and lists a great many questions, inviting comments by 26th January. It can be seen at

It is extremely disappointing that DCMS is taking so long to review thoroughly the state of public libraries and, instead of providing leadership, has simply invited (once again) the submission of ideas and suggestions.  Members concerned about public libraries are encouraged to send their comments to by 26th January.