Local libraries help individuals and communities but are under considerable pressure according to the new Speak up for Libraries alliance which organised a rally in Westminster with library users, campaigners and staff.

North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon, who attended the rally, said: "local libraries help individuals to maximise their potential and also act as important hubs for communities. Drastic spending cuts endanger the service and the Speak Up for Libraries alliance deserves public support."

Alan Gibbons, Speak Up for Libraries Spokesperson said: "The Speak up for Libraries alliance will not stand by and watch libraries disappear from our local communities. I urge people to join us in campaigning for good quality libraries that are well staffed and well stocked. We want a clear vision and a long term plan for libraries from the government and for it to recognise how important libraries are for people – especially in a recession. Together we can save these precious community resources and safeguard them for generations to come.

The Speak up for Libraries alliance is made up of UNISON, the National Federation of Women's Institutes, Voices for the Library, The Library Campaign, Campaign for the Book and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and library campaigners.

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