Bobby Seagull’s “Manifesto for Libraries”

Read Bobby Seagull’s “Manifesto for Libraries” and join us in supporting 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.

From my own experience as a child, an adult and now as a teacher, I know how trained librarians can help children to expand their horizons, discover new ideas and build their skills. This is vitally important as we look to prepare the next generation to live and work in a knowledge-based digital economy.

Join Bobby Seagull and add your name to the growing list of library supporters

HM Government has an opportunity to transform lives across the UK by investing in the future of our libraries. That is why I am calling on Ministers, Members of Parliament and representatives in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to get behind my 10-point Manifesto:

  1. Ensure a fair funding settlement for Local Government to enable Councils to invest in public libraries at the heart of their communities;
  2. Invest in the future of our communities by voting to support the establishment of a National Library Improvement Fund with a capital budget of £50m per year over the 5 years of the next Parliament;
  3. Ensure adequate long-term sustainable support for Further and Higher Education and research in our colleges and Universities;
  4. Provide long-term sustainable funding for schools and encourage Heads, Teachers and Governors to invest in libraries as the ‘beating heart of the school’;
  5. Implement the recommendations of the independent Topol Review to enable librarians and knowledge specialists to transform evidence-based healthcare;
  6. Invest in the Prison Service and encourage Governors to develop their prison libraries and librarians as a core part of prisoner education and rehabilitation;
  7. Recognise the value of libraries in building literacy (including media literacy) and skills by supporting the CILIP Building a Nation of Readers campaign;
  8. Continue to promote the importance of good information governance and information security to business, supported by information professionals;
  9. Endorse the vital work of professional librarians in delivering a strong library sector that responds to current and future needs;
  10. Work with the library and information profession to develop fair and balanced approaches to copyright to enable us to fulfil our public task in a digital economy.


We are asking political stakeholders of all parties as well as senior civil servants to make a firm commitment to developing the thriving library and information sector our nation needs and deserves.

It is time to build the future – invest in libraries.

Bobby Seagull, Library Champion


Showing 6 comments

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  • Louise Carole
    commented 2019-12-15 22:34:31 +0000
    I am wondering if our library’s could be used for more hours than they are at the present time … may be an evening social event of some description on a regular basis… library run bookclubs … and events that all library’s can home no matter how large or small …
  • John Baker
    commented 2019-11-04 10:23:35 +0000
    Libraries are like social glue.
  • Christine O'Connor
    commented 2019-10-20 14:34:43 +0100
    I come from Hillingdon. We have 17 libraries, all staffed, all open, all newly restocked and undergoing refurbishment. We also have a mobile library to get to residents who can’t make it to the libraries. I don’t know how other boroughs are finding it difficult to do. Maybe they should come down and have a chat to the people running Hillingdon get some tips.
  • Jane Carlton
    commented 2019-10-20 11:14:12 +0100
    Libraries are vital for all sorts of reasons but, as a retired librarian, I know that in times of financial difficulty they are amongst the first to be cut back. This is short-sighted because libraries (and professional librarians) change lives, offer sanctuary, provide vital information resources, give access to the classics of many cultures, inspire, inform and educate. They are as precious as jewels and we are the poorer for allowing them to disappear; they must be properly funded and treasured.
  • John Baker
    commented 2019-10-08 18:44:05 +0100
    Libraries are a unique and irreplaceable community resource.
  • Jug P
    commented 2019-10-08 14:08:09 +0100
    Egalitarian access to top rate education is a measure of the civilisation of societies and their leaders. It should never be restricted by financial bias or other accidental privileges. Libraries are a fundamental underpinning foundation.

    Bobby Seagull succeeds illustrious predecessors, and rightly so. Arguably his various activities and experiences qualify him to be even better aligned and effective in this cause. I wish you every success and encourage others to support.

    Jug P – former Chief Actuary for Munich Re South Asia (Life and Health)