Libraries Connected today welcomes a new report by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Committee that calls for greater investment in public libraries to support the government’s Levelling Up agenda.
'Reimagining where we live: cultural placemaking and the levelling up agenda' highlights the vital role of libraries in providing access to reading and learning materials, digital resources, physical study space, and cultural activities. It also draws attention to the services libraries offer to businesses and entrepreneurs, describing them as "engines for entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation".
The Committee concludes that libraries are "an important part of communities' cultural infrastructure, particularly in deprived areas" and calls on the government to "support the development of a network of hubs providing cultural spaces, workspaces and free, fast internet access in places most in need of levelling up in order to modernise library service provision."
Isobel Hunter MBE, chief executive of Libraries Connected, said:
"We are pleased that the Committee recognises the crucial role libraries can play in tackling place-based inequalities across the UK. Libraries have so many cross-cutting benefits for literacy, health, culture, digital inclusion and business – it is reassuring to see this acknowledged at a time when many library services are facing the prospect of budget reductions."
"The evidence heard by the Committee makes a very strong case that public libraries have a central role in the Levelling Up agenda. We welcome the committee’s call for greater investment in libraries and urge the government to implement the report’s recommendations."