Libraries are facing widespread cuts and closures as councils try to save money following the government’s funding cuts. But not only are libraries a crucial part of the book world, they also play an integral role within literature. Test your knowledge with our quiz.
Let me know how you go – I got a miserable 4/10. Could do better.
I like very much that the questions also explain to the public why libraries are so important. In the UK and the US public libraries are under all sorts of threats – yesterday’s article said : Widespread library closures are expected as councils cut their services and look to volunteers in an attempt to balance budgets hit by the coalition’s spending review.
North Yorkshire is considering reducing its 42 libraries to 18 over four years, while Leeds is proposing to axe 20 smaller libraries. Cornwall, Brent, Lewisham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond, Barnsley and Warrington are also planning closures.
In Buckinghamshire, 14 libraries could become volunteer-run; in Gloucestershire, 12 will be closed if volunteers do not step forward. Camden, Westminster, Oldham, Southampton and Cambridgeshire are among the councils whose plans include greater use of volunteer staff. (I was distressed a while back when the only answer to this that was printed was would volunteers still go in to work in the snow like paid library staff would – nothing about the information, reader’s advisory and other skills librarians have!)
Recent statistics from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy showed a drop of nearly 1,000 in the number of paid library staff in the 12 months to March 2010, a 3.4% fall to a total of just under 25,000. Over the same period the total number of volunteers in UK public libraries rose 7.7% to 17,111.