To ask the Minister for the Arts, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Sedgemore) of 28 March, Official Report, column 722, how many letters he has received from members of the public saying that they would like libraries to provide subscription services.
I receive many letters from the public about the public library service either directly or through hon. Members. I regret it is not possible to count and analyse all of them. A significant proportion however recommend the replacement of the present free book loan service by a system of charging, often involving an annual subscription. Some letters, recognising the educational role of the service, have suggested that charges are limited to novels.