Pint of bitter and a juicy murder story, please, librarian

Libraries axed under coalition spending cuts could be resurrected in pubs, shops and GPs’ surgeries if radical proposals being studied by ministers are put into action.

Councils have already invited Starbucks to open coffee bars between the book shelves to generate funds, while people in rural areas are being told that they can keep up their reading by borrowing e-books.

With local authorities ordered to save millions of pounds this year, libraries were quickly singled out for closure. For several, including some in London, this is imminent. But after an angry backlash from readers and authors, a blueprint for the library of the future is being developed.

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