Magazine article American Libraries

Britain Launches Campaign to Transform Libraries' Image

Magazine article American Libraries

Britain Launches Campaign to Transform Libraries' Image

Article excerpt

British Minister for Culture David Lammy launched a "Love Libraries" campaign, designed to transform the image of public libraries by presenting "a new vision of a 21st century reading service," with an announcement March 22 that three libraries would be turned into "models of a future library service with reading at its heart."

Managers of the three libraries--Newquay Library in Cornwall, Cold-harbour Library in Gravesend, and the Central Lending Library in the London borough of Richmond--will have 12 weeks to undertake a "hothouse transformation" in which designers and space planners will renovate the interiors while marketing experts will offer advice on services. The final products, to be unveiled with a week of events in early July, are intended to serve as a replicable template for other libraries.

The campaign has attracted the support of celebrity champions, including authors Philip Pullman, Tracy Chevalier, and Terence Blacker, who commented, "Don't let's fall for the lie that libraries play a less important part today than they used to. …

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