35 Birmingham libraries at risk amid Birmingham City Council cuts - full list & how you can you help save them

The Save Birmingham campaign proposes a community-led solution to protect and transform 34 libraries at risk of closure amid Birmingham City Council cutgs

The Save Birmingham campaign is calling for an urgent plan to save Birmingham’s libraries as the council proposes to close 25 out of the city's 35 public book lending venues.

The campaign was launched to protect community places in the city set up by Co-operatives West Midlands, the local representative body for the co-operative movement. A total of 25 out of the 35 public libraries in the city are at risk as the council bids to save over £300 million in the next two years. The Save Birmingham Campaign says this would mean only one library for every 100,000 people in the city.

Many residents have signed petitions and applied for official protection for their libraries through the “asset of community value” process on Change.org, with the help of the Save Birmingham campaign. 

The potential closure of these libraries could have devastating consequences for Birmingham's residents, according to the campaigners, particularly in neighbourhoods where libraries serve as vital hubs for local support services.

Kathy Hopkin, Co-ordinator from Save Birmingham, said: “Once our community libraries are lost, they’re lost for good. We’re calling for an urgent meeting with Council Leaders and Officers to find another way.

"Instead of closing down or selling off our community libraries, they could learn from elsewhere. We want the council to look at transferring the running of libraries to a city-wide community trust, to save our libraries and make them better able to meet local people’s needs.

Residents can also do their part by showing their support on the savebirmingham.org website, joining or starting local campaigns to protect their local community places, and applying to officially protect their library from quick sales.”

The Save Birmingham campaign is urgently appealing to Council Leaders and Officers to explore alternatives to shutting down or selling off these community libraries.

Their proposal involves residents taking over the management and ownership of these libraries, to transform them into vibrant community hubs, offering essential services that cater to the needs and desires of the community.

The campaign is offering expert advice from key partners such as Co-operatives UK, Locality and Plunkett Foundation, based on successful instances from other regions of the country.  In York, a community-led organisation was set up to run library services on behalf of the City of York Council. ‘Libraries Unlimited’ was launched in Devon, as a community-owned public service mutual that both provided new community-led services and delivered financial savings.

The Save Birmingham campaign is building on its recent accomplishments, offering positive resolutions to the financial crisis faced by Birmingham City Council. Through the collaborative efforts of voluntary and community groups, thousands of residents have joined this cause, nominating around 200 libraries for preservation and community ownership.

The 35 existing libraries are located across the city, as you can see from our list below - with some having change.org petitions to save them: 

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