Who We Are

Who we are

Speak Up For Libraries is a coalition of organisations and campaigners working to protect libraries and library staff, now and in the future.

Elizabeth Ash


The Campaign for the Book was established in 2008 to raise the profile of reading for pleasure and the role of libraries and librarians in promoting it. Its organiser is author and educational consultant Alan Gibbons. The Campaign has held a 200 strong conference. The Campaign called the 110 read-ins in 2010 and from this Alan initiated National Libraries Day.


The Library Campaign
Supporting friends and users of libraries, the Library Campaign is the national umbrella and support organisation for library user groups. We are a national charity covering England and Wales. Our basic aim is to advance the lifelong education of the public by the promotion, support, assistance and improvement of libraries through the activities of friends and users groups. We are a membership organisation recognised by government and parliament (we recently gave oral evidence to the Select Committee inquiry into library closures.)


UNISON is the biggest union in the UK for the library and culture service. We represent the majority of the 24,000 library staff employed as librarians, library assistants and managers in all library authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. Launched in 2010, Love Your Libraries is our campaign to make sure that library services are protected and invested in so that local people and communities can enjoy and benefit from them now and in the future. Since the launch of the campaign UNISON has been dismayed to witness the growing threat to local services posed by the cuts to local government funding.


Voices for the Library
Voices for the Library exists to give people the facts about Public Library Services in the UK, about the work librarians do, and to save Public Libraries. We provide a balanced view of the service and the professionals who work there, and discuss ideas for the way forward. We don’t want to lose our libraries, and we aim to ensure future generations continue to enjoy access to free unbiased public libraries and librarians.

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7 thoughts on “Who We Are

  1. As a pensioner who has always loved to read I visit my library at least twice a month with the cost of buying books very high I feel that libraries are essential I can take my time browsing or use the Spydus to look and reserve what I want, I do get through at least a book every 2 days and would be lost without my local library not just for the books but getting out of the house and walking (I have limited mobility), My daughters also use the library a lot I taught both to read and they have never stopped. Libraries are essential not just for books but for a lot of other services.

  2. (To my PM)
    There is considerable disquiet in Whitstable at the prospect of permanent closure of the town’s Public Library.

    At the same time, Schools Minister Nick Gibbs claims to include “cultivating a love of reading” as part of the plans of Ofsted and the Government to ‘drive up standards’ in the schools- including Whitstable Community College which, in common with all the schools I have visited recently, appears to have no library at all, and provides no organised opportunities for pupils to browse through a wide range of books - and even borrow one to read at their leisure.

    The Minister’s plans (and those of his Secretary of State and Ofsted) for encouraging literacy appear to be limited to having teachers and pupils alike prevented from using their own judgment in choice of books to be read and to read, instead having books from a narrow Anglo-centric government-prescribed list from which the majority of classic English language literature admired world-wide is excluded, and the reading experience of pupils in schools is limited to bulk issues from the Minister’s list for formulaic ‘reading’ and burdensome analysis as the contents are ‘dinned into’ the pupils - which most experienced teaching professionals and successful writers condemn as a dimwittedly counter-productive so-called ‘solution’. Why, then, do schools not include regular visits to public libraries in their timetabling?

    In addition, the Whitstable Public library is immediately adjacent to the Whitstable Junior school and includes a disused first floor Hall or Lecture Room equivalent in size to around two school classrooms while schools nationwide face a forthcoming shortage of school places described in the Press as ‘an imminent crisis’. Would it not make sense to explore converting this space into extra classrooms/study space for the schools?

    Would the Minister agree that library closures run counter to the need to encourage love of reading amongst the young?

    And would he also agree that as the Government is ‘proprietor’ and funder of both the schools and the library services there is a strong case for exploring the possibility of merging these concerns (above) and keeping the Library open by providing services to the schools and adjusting the relevant funding streams , and would he accordingly ask the head of KCC library service and the Boards of Governors of CCW and Whitstable Junior whether they would welcome from me and my colleagues a draft Executive Summary of a scheme of Schools-Library Partnership to both keep the library open and make it better earn its keep?

    As a parent of a Yr 11 student at CCW I am very happy with their provision, but I would be happier still if she and her classmates spent, say, the last period of one school day a fortnight in the Public Library to browse and maybe borrow, under the supervision of a teacher or teaching assistant holding a class library members card for pupils to borrow against and encouraging and monitoring their library use and developing reading habit. The one-mile walk would in addition help encourage fitness and combat obesity!

    And as a local taxpayer I would prefer the valuable asset of Whitstable library be put to better use as outlined here rather than what? Closed? Sold off? Permanently lost as a Public asset? Maybe other Whitstable residents would agree.
    Mike Greenwood (former teacher, headmaster, school governor, and Development NGO Chair & CEO)

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