Crucial legal requirements that require local authorities to provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service have been put under review
The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched a review of the statutory duties placed on local government. The DCLG are “inviting you to comment on the duties and challenge government on those which you feel are burdensome or no longer needed.”
The DCLG have identified 1,294 statutory duties that central government places on local authorities, three of these duties apply to public library services in England. All three of these duties are held by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport under the Public Libraries & Museums Act (1964).
“We are calling on everyone who cares about public libraries to explain to the Department of Communities and Local Government, loud and clear, why these statutory duties are so vital,” said Brian Hall, CILIP President, “These duties mean that local authorities have a legal obligation to provide comprehensive and efficient library services, and they allow the Secretary of state to monitor and inspect library services. Without them, it will be incredibly difficult to hold local authorities to account and local people will be much less likely to receive a quality public library service that is consistent across the country. I urge you to submit your views by the 25 April 2011.”