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Library Cuts Threaten To Bring 'Bleak Future'

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Library books could be heading for the bin...
Library books could be heading for the bin...

Libraries face a "bleak future" because of cuts and underfunding, campaigners will warn the Government today.

A new alliance, Speak up for Libraries, will tell ministers that support for libraries was long overdue, plunging the service into a "crisis." Campaigners will join a rally in London ahead of a hearing by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on library closures.

More than 100 libraries have either closed or are being run by volunteers in the past year, while those left open were being "pared to the bone" because of cuts, according to a study by Unison.

Last month HuffPost UK Culture travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne to speak to residents about what their library meant to them. It was clear that the library played a key role in the well-being of the local community.

John Dolan of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, said: "By combating illiteracy and providing escape, inspiration and knowledge, libraries and librarians change lives for the better.

"We are deeply concerned that libraries are being damaged by cuts to staff, opening hours and book budgets. Whilst the impact is being felt now, its effect will be long term."