History of the SaveIWMLibrary campaign
The SaveIWMLibrary campaign began in November 2014, following news that Imperial War Museum (IWM) planned to close their unique reference library and dispose of printed collections. Prospect Union set up a petition on behalf of library staff in opposition to the government cuts, which IWM claim are the reason they are cutting staff and services.
IWM did not release information publicly about the changes and there was no public consultation.
Supporters consequently started a Twitter campaign, sought to raise awareness and wrote letters to lobby the museum, trustees and MPs.
Successes to date
Following immense public support – and in excess of 20,000 signatures on the petition – in April 2015 IWM announced that they had dropped plans to close the Library.
We were delighted that the library had been saved. However, its services were still under fire, with a proposal to charge for access to the Research Room, so our campaign continued…
In May 2015 Imperial War Museum announced that they no longer plan to charge for access to the Research Room. The press release can be viewed here: http://www.iwm.org.uk/sites/default/files/press-release/IWM_Research_Room.pdf
However, damaging changes and cuts at IWM Library have still gone ahead and the future of the Library and research services are far from certain. Our campaign will therefore continue until we are sure that the IWM Library is no longer ‘under fire‘.
We are delighted with the success of the campaign to save IWM Library to date. We wish to thank all the supporters who helped secure the Library’s future in 2014/15 for their efforts and campaigning, including: the 20,948 supporters who signed the petition in support of the Library and research services, Dr Jonathan Boff, Professor Peter Doyle, Rosie Eddisford, Familyletters.co.uk, Peter Hart, Nicky Hilton, The Committee of the Historic Libraries Forum, Dr Clare Makepeace, Kat Moody, Dr Viv Newman, Christopher Pipe, Prospect Union, Sian Prosser, Chris Sams, Professor Gary Sheffield, Voices for the Library, Simon Walker, Helen Williamson, and all our supporters on Twitter.