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James Barisic 🇪🇺 #FBPE @jamesmb
, 10 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
The closures that @Rachael_Swindon highlights should also been seen in the context of government policy. She is completely right that this is how the Tories are reducing #socialmobility but it is also how they are reducing access to other vital services for the most vulnerable.
It has long been government policy (in common with other countries) that people should access government services online. Other countries recognise that there is a need to keep other options open to protect the most vulnerable. The UK government took a different approach.
The UK government decided to tell people who had difficulty accessing #digital services that they should go to the #library where staff would help them. They then gave no funding for the training of library staff or for their time or for the equipment needed.

This put incredible strain on #library staff who were already under strain due to finding cuts. The closure of #libraries and reduction in staff made it harder for vulnerable people to access services and support.

If you want some graphic examples of how this works, ask a #librarian (and I invite them to reply to this thread with their experiences for all to see).
A few years ago, I was asked to run a session at the @CILIPinfo #Umbrella conference. It was about #SocialMedia use by libraries. Talking to delegates back then, you could see this stuff was happening as funding was squeezed but the current government has accelerated it.
With fewer staff and fewer #Libraries, the strain gets worse for both users and #librarians. And the government manages (intentionally or not) to entrench the "haves and have nots" social division in the UK through the #digitaldivide.
The Tory government's underfunding of libraries is utterly stupid from an #education point of view but it is utterly despicable from a social point of view.
So the next time you think losing a local #library doesn't matter because it's just books, think of the old person who can't get online or the disabled person who has trouble using the government's website or the poor person who couldn't afford internet access. Think about them.
Ask who will help them get the help they need? Ask what would happen (let's hope it doesn't) if you were in a position that you couldn't get help because the government has closed all the physical access to it.

Because that's happening.

And #libraries are your last hope.
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