Back in July, Essex Council prepared to close 25 of its libraries due to what has been described as ‘stealth’ cuts. The plan was imminently underway until the saving grace of public protests and a celebrity-backed campaign led to the scrapping of these closures. In their place, there is a new plan: no libraries headed by Essex Council will close in the next 5 years. Still the underlying issue remains and libraries are still under threat.
Pressure to innovate is one of the reasons behind library closures. As we move into a world domineered by the internet, people are continually vacating physical spaces and adopting the digital space of the internet as their second home. As a result, London Libraries Consortium have created a mobile app merging the Audible feature of audiobooks with the written feature of Kindle books for library members. It goes without saying that this is a positive move considering the increasing mobilisation and digitisation of our world. We’ve gone from having your physical book stamped by a librarian, to the operation of a self-service machine dispensing a receipt, to the final form of opening an app and accessing almost any book from the comfort of your handset.