Thanks for your balanced response, Bob. I have and always will support pro-library initiatives and look forward to seeing a reformed CILIP that abandons its past divisive policies and adopts action that embraces and unites library workers.

Charlotte Stock

From: A general library and information science list for news and discussion. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bob Usherwood
Sent: 17 December 2015 18:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: FW: CILIP's "My Library By Right" campaign - sign the petition


I  hope that all colleagues will sign this petition and that they will support and give due recognition to  CILIP's action. As someone who was taken to task by CILIP management,  for suggesting that it was widely perceived as neglecting the ideological destruction of public libraries and indeed other public service,  I believe  that,  under its new leadership, our professional body  is   now much more willing to listen to members' views and take action. I suspect that some of the luke-warm responses to the present initiative  are the result of  an understandable anger at the inaction of the recent past. We owe it to those who have been,  or will be, deprived,  of a professional  and ethical public library service to support CILIP when their service and  our profession is under such  serious and visible  threat.  Let us give praise where praise is due and not only sign the petition but do our best to support the many other activities outlined in Rachel Kudlick's  email.

Bob Usherwood

On 12/17/2015 11:56 AM, Rachel Kudlick wrote:

My Library By Right is a new campaign from the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) that champions the public’s right to libraries.

Public libraries received more than 265 million visits in 2014-15 but despite this many library services are being put at risk through a combination of neglect, short-term thinking and the failure of HM Government to carry out their legal duty to the public.

Under English law, everyone has a right to quality public library services provided by Local Authorities using guidance that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is obliged to provide.

However, these rights are not widely understood and are being neglected in the face of economic pressures. This is putting important principles at risk, including the ability to access a quality library service wherever you live and at times to suit you.  

My Library By Right builds on legal advice received pro bono from celebrated Human Rights Barrister Eric Metcalfe of Monckton Chambers. This advice highlights the legal duty of DCMS Secretary of State John Whittingdale to provide clear statutory guidance on the definition of a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ service.


The campaign calls for:


·         The public’s rights to libraries to be recognised and respected

·         Public libraries to be treated as the statutory services they are

·         The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to carry out their legal duties under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act

·         Statutory guidance for local authorities on their duties under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act from DCMS, with support from CILIP and the library and information profession


Campaign activities:

CILIP will hold DCMS accountable for carrying out their duties under the 1964 Act including providing statutory guidance for Local Authorities, to superintend the statutory guidance with the Local Government Association, and to develop robust policies that support the development of public libraries in England.

Key campaign activities will include:


·         A petition calling on the Government to fulfil their statutory obligations

·         Engagement with the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce to develop robust proposals for the improvement of public libraries

·         Publication of a Public Libraries White Paper in early 2016 setting out realistic and achievable options for investing in the public library network

·         National Libraries Day on the 6th of February celebrating public libraries and encouraging the public toJoin It, Use It, Love It!

·         A parliamentary lobby on the 9th of February organised by Speak up for Libraries whose members include UNISON, CILIP, The Library Campaign, Voices for the Library and the Campaign for the Book



Support the campaign:


Sign the petition:


Share your support on Twitter:




Sent by

Rachel Kudlick


7 Ridgmount Street



Bob Usherwood PhD
Emeritus Professor
The University of Sheffield