The ACE funding mentioned here seem paltry to me in terms of sustaining the dynamism of one of our most important local services. Many others seem to agree on the strength of the tone of this article which tells us:

Campaigners have given a cautious welcome to new Arts Council England (ACE) support for short-term public library projects, but questioned whether the money will have any long-term impact on the beleaguered services.

Seven library organisations are to receive a total of £1.6m as part of ACE’s four-year National Portfolio Organisation programme, announced on Tuesday. They range from projects in Cambridgeshire, Devon and Nottinghamshire to funding for the Society of Chief Librarians. It is the first time libraries have been included in the programme, which invests £409m of public and national lottery money a year in 831 arts and culture organisations in England.

Though they applauded news that the sector is to receive additional funds, library campaigners said that the move failed to address a gap in national leadership that would solve systemic problems caused by years of severe cuts by local authorities.

Tim Coates, a former managing director of Waterstones, said that the extra cash would not have a significant impact unless it was anchored to a national strategy to revive libraries across the country. Citing a response to a freedom of information request in which ACE admitted it held no record of discussions about declines in public library usage with its library partners, he added: “It is ridiculous to hand out public money when they are not looking at libraries’ performance overall.”

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