Culture, Media and Sport CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by the National Union of Journalists

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is the voice for journalism and for journalists across the UK and Ireland. It was founded in 1907 and has 38,000 members. We are an affiliate of both the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The NUJ represents 38,000 members working at home and abroad in all sectors of the media, including staff, students and freelances—writers, reporters, editors, sub-editors, photographers, illustrators and people who work in public relations.

The NUJ has discussed and agreed NUJ policy about library closures—in 2009 the union’s sovereign decision-making body agreed to deplore the closure of UK public libraries and condemn the lack of public consultation about library cuts. In addition the union agreed to campaign with other trade unions to oppose library closures and the downgrading of the role of books in public library provision.

In 2011, the union’s delegate meeting agreed that publicly funded libraries and information services play a key role in lifelong learning and agreed to campaign against service reductions, cuts and closures in public libraries; and to urge members to support and assist local campaigns.

The NUJ believes libraries are an essential part of our civic society and free public library provision is a vital source of information for all citizens. The closure of libraries has a detrimental impact on our local communities as it denies us the opportunity to engage with a range of literature that is accessible to all.

The NUJ is opposed to the privatisation or outsourcing of library services and the public outcry in response to library closures demonstrates the depth of affection felt for existing services.

We hope the committee will support the campaign to stop the cuts and save public library provision in the UK.

January 2012

Prepared 5th November 2012