Click here for the full article, from The Guardian.

John Bird painted a grim picture of the UK with a reduced library service, warning the House of Lords on Thursday that cuts would result in “disorder, crime, problems for schools and the fact that children will not be able to get a job because they will not have the skills and abilities”.

Opening a debate on libraries, bookshops and booksellers, the Big Issue founder told the house that “we have lost more than 500 [libraries] since 2010”, and almost 9,000 librarians. Describing the UK’s public library service as essential, he called on the government to “supply some emergency relief money to stop local authorities doing this dastardly deed, this process of philistinising our communities”.