The main aim of the event, to be held outside The Library of Birmingham, is to remind all the candidates in the May Birmingham City Council elections that the strong public support for our libraries, demonstrated in our campaigning over the past 3-4 years, is still there. Birmingham does not accept that the cuts to LOB and the community libraries should be permanent and that we should move on to next business.
At the event there will be a mix of entertainment and discussion about the future of our libraries, including musicians, storytellers, short speeches plus open mic – do come and have your say about why libraries are so important. We will be talking to library users about the campaign and asking them to distribute our statement to family, friends, colleagues and within their communities
FOLOB LIBRARY RESTORATION COMMITMENT
This is the statement which we are sending to election candidates. We will report on their responses.
We ask that all candidates for election to Birmingham City Council in May should make a commitment to restore the city’s library service so that we have a properly funded, high quality local and central library service, publicly owned and publicly managed. In particular we ask:
- that the funding for the community library service should be raised to at least the inflation-adjusted level before the budget was cut by £1.93m in April 2017; that opening hours and the number of opening days should be increased, with at least one evening per week at each library; dependence on partners should be reduced; and that there should be an adequate maintenance and repair budget;
- that funding for the Library of Birmingham should be set at a level to enable to enable restoration of the original opening hours (which included evening and Sunday opening); and that the range of services should be restored to its original level
Martin Sullivan, Secretary, Friends of The Libraries of Birmingham