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Local authorities in England have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. It is for individual local authorities to decide how best to provide a public library service that meets local needs within their available resources. The net expenditure on the library service by local authorities in England increased in 2018/19 from 2017/18.
DCMS works across central and local government to encourage investment in libraries to ensure they can continue to support the delivery of local and national priorities and needs. The DCMS funded Libraries Taskforce was established, by DCMS and the Local Government Association, to devise and implement the “Libraries Deliver” strategy which is helping support and reinvigorate the public library service in England. It has worked with sector partners to advocate for libraries and to share and promote good practice to help libraries better serve their communities.
In October 2019 DCMS also announced the £250 million Cultural Investment Fund, of which over £125 million will be invested in regional museums and libraries over five years from 2020/21. The funds will be used to upgrade buildings and technology so public libraries across England are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.