By Hannah Johnson
The Guardian UK reports that library supporters have declared a “carnival of resistance” to protest library closures across the UK. The “carnival” will take place on February 5 with nationwide events and “read-ins” at over forty libraries.
The Public Libraries News website currently counts 398 libraries and 40 mobile libraries that are under threat of closure. These numbers are based on “media mentions”.
Many libraries across the UK are facing closure as a result of arts funding cutbacks. In December 2010, the Arts Council England became responsible for libraries as it took over the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, but received only 75% of the budget. Back in October, the UK government declared it would abolish 192 government agencies, including the MLA which handles public libraries.
Public Library News has posted a Google map that tracks library closures across the country, and the Guardian has started a blog dedicated to covering arts funding cutbacks.