Following the release of the Sieghart report on the UK library system, in full the “Independent Library Report for England,” the current UK government has announced its official response. As reported in The Bookseller, Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, has welcomed the report and agreed to the implementation of the libraries task force recommended in William Sieghart’s review.
Despite a few optimistic headlines here and there, such as Michael Kozlowski’s claim over on Good E-Reader that “UK Libraries to Undergo a Renaissance in 2015,” Vaizey’s comments have been greeted with profound skepticism in many quarters. Despite his statement that “I whole-heartedly support the public library service,” Vaizey has presided over a UK libraries system that the report itself condemns as “dysfunctional,” and has had a shameful vote of no confidence cast against him by the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), the British professional body for librarians. Furthermore, he is part of a government that is responsible for the entire problem in the first place, through its systematic underfunding of UK local governments.
“There have already been far too many library reviews in recent years which have come to nothing,” warned the Sieghart report. Vaizey has yet to convince anyone that this time will be any different.