Culture Secretary Maria Miller should step in to prevent the "cultural catastrophe" being caused by library closures in areas including Liverpool and Newcastle, author and broadcaster Baroness Bakewell has said.
The Labour peer urged the Government to take action to stop local authorities cutting down on their library provision.
Lord Gardiner said he took the points "very seriously indeed" and said local authorities had a legal duty to provide a "comprehensive and efficient library service".
He said in 2011-12 authorities had invested £820 million in their libraries and the closure of a library did not necessarily signify a breach of the legal duty.
"It is important that local authorities reflect on what is the local need," he said.