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Public Libraries, Literacy, and (Re)Building a Nation of Readers

Reading for pleasure is a time-honoured pastime dating back to the Georgian period, when books became widely available to the general public for the first time via industrial mass publication and the advent of lending libraries. With a focus on literacy as a tool for both moral and social improvement, England soon thereafter became a nation of readers, bolstered by the official establishment of public libraries in 1852.

Write Your Candidate about #VoteLibraries

The #VoteLibraries campaign asks library supporters across the UK to take the pledge to support candidates who will put libraries on the agenda in Westminster. If you believe that libraries matter in our communities, please take the next step and tell your candidates what you want to see in your constituency. 

#VoteLibraries Campaign Launches

A new campaign, led by CILIP, the library and information association, is calling on politicians to put local communities at the heart of their election campaigns. The #VoteLibraries campaign enables members of the public to pledge their support for their local library services and put pressure on the candidates in their area to commit to sustainable, long term investment for local library services.

Great School Libraries Report Released

The joint CILIP/SLG/School Library Association campaign #GreatSchoolLibraries took a great leap forward last week with the launch of the first comprehensive research report into the state of school library provision across England, Wales and Northern Ireland (in parallel with and drawing on the fantastic progress already made in Scotland).


Report: Public Libraries, The Case for Support

At a Parliamentary event at the House of Lords today, The Big Issue and Library Champion Bobby Seagull will join forces with CILIP, the UK library association, to make the case for long-term sustainable funding for libraries.

New £250 million Culture Investment Fund launched

Innovative cultural projects, libraries, museums and creative industries will benefit from £250m of new funding for the culture and creative sector, the Culture Secretary announced on October 12.

Bobby Seagull’s “Manifesto for Libraries”

The UK has an estimated 35,000 libraries and information services in 20 industry sectors. From health to public libraries, prisons to schools, libraries change lives for the better, every single day.

How Public Libraries Cultivate A Love of Reading

Literacy is one of the most important social challenges facing England today. According to a 2016 OECD report there are more than 9 million working-age adults in England with low literacy skills, numeracy skills, or both. Digital literacy is also an issue, with an estimated 12 per cent of the adult population never having used the internet. Indeed, with an estimated 35 per cent of jobs in the UK at risk of being replaced by automation in the next twenty years, a 2015  House of Lords report identified digital literacy as being as important an educational priority as traditional literacy and numeracy. Even though educational opportunities have expanded in recent years, low basic skills are more common among young people in England than in many other countries.

Webinar - Using the LibrariesDeliver Platform to Identify, Cultivate and Empower Supporters is designed to help local library leaders address the real challenges to library funding by organizing and focusing support from people across England and the UK. Overall, the Libraries Deliver campaign will provide a pathway for library leaders to connect with public about the work libraries do and the impact that librarians and staff have in their communities. 

Libraries - A Prescription for a Happier and Healthier Life

The County of Norfolk faces many health challenges. With a much older age profile than the national average, falls are a major reason for hospitalisation in the county. Over 16,000 people in are identified as having dementia. At the same time over two-thirds of the adult population are overweight and activity levels among children vary greatly as families struggle to include health and wellness as among their priorities.