Libraries and Library Services have been serverly hit due to the Austery agenda. 8000 jobs have been lost, 343 Libraries closed, over 15,000 volunteers introduced and many more buildings handed over to either community groups or external providers. Libraries are one of the few free open spaces in society, they are often the heart of a community, offering much needed services. A place where well trained, dedicated staff can offer support and help. They are used daily by many who could not access services elsewhere, yet it is projected that a further 111 Libraries will close this year – these services are being targated on an unprecedented scale.
This seminar seeks to look at what is the future for these services and how can UNISON Northern respond. It is acknowledged that many campaigns have and are being run but a co-ordinated over-arching campaign that has the support of Politicians, service users, staff and trade unions is critical to save these services and UNISON is best placed to lead this campaign. Clearly this is a key issue for members in Local Government but this is a far broader citizenship issue and so attendance from all Branches, PSAs and Self-Organised Groups is encouraged.