British government report calls for supporting and improving libraries

December 10, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

We conclude that libraries remain an important part of communities’ cultural infrastructure, particularly in deprived areas, and call for further support to improve these services.

That’s the last sentence of a summary of a report published by the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. The report is titled Reimagining where we live: cultural placemaking and the levelling up agenda.

The report concludes that community libraries are an important part of the infrastructure of the local community, not the least because they provide digital access and services to those who would otherwise be deprived of them.

According to The Guardian:

The report highlights that libraries could be “engines for entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation through the services they offer”, citing the British Library’s Business and IP Centre (BPIC) Network. It also found that libraries provided “important services to people from a range of socioeconomic groups”, such as a physical study space and a venue in which to host community and cultural events and activities.

Libraries also contributed “to quality of life, alongside other infrastructure like heritage, museums, local media and so on”, said the committee, and gave people reasons to visit high streets and town centres, as around 25% of libraries in England are located on high streets and a further 65% are close to one.

Let’s hope that those in power pay attention.

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