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.
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.
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:
- Ensure a fair funding settlement for Local Government to enable Councils to invest in public libraries at the heart of their communities;
- 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;
- Ensure adequate long-term sustainable support for Further and Higher Education and research in our colleges and Universities;
- Provide long-term sustainable funding for schools and encourage Heads, Teachers and Governors to invest in libraries as the ‘beating heart of the school’;
- Implement the recommendations of the independent Topol Review to enable librarians and knowledge specialists to transform evidence-based healthcare;
- Invest in the Prison Service and encourage Governors to develop their prison libraries and librarians as a core part of prisoner education and rehabilitation;
- Recognise the value of libraries in building literacy (including media literacy) and skills by supporting the CILIP Building a Nation of Readers campaign;
- Continue to promote the importance of good information governance and information security to business, supported by information professionals;
- Endorse the vital work of professional librarians in delivering a strong library sector that responds to current and future needs;
- 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.
MAKE A £10 DONATION TO HELP SUPPORT LIBRARIES IN THE UK
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