Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Friday, 21 February 2014
"But" i hear you say "at this moment any research into the impact of public libraries is worthwhile", well is it?
Over the last 10-20 years there have been a multitude (20+?) of reports, inquiries, consultations into public libraries all backed up by research, some good some bad, and in the first stage of their programme ACE intend to pull this research together, but why concentrate on 'economic impact'?
Thursday, 13 February 2014
Just when we were thinking (or hoping) that Ed had washed his hands off libraries he pops up all over the place, first in Corby, visits a couple of libraries, with Cllrs Savage (very apt!) and Harker in tow and then declares that;
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Anyway it seems that Carillion are cutting up to eight 'professional' library posts in Croydon, four at the Central Library and another four across the branches. All this just weeks after buying the contract from JLIS, who had already warned of 're-structuring' (the management term for hollowing out). From what I've heard the service is already at breaking point with even the LMS breaking down and staff having to manually check books and other stock items in and out, so will these cuts bring it to its knees?
As I've said before i can only offer my condolences to the long suffering users and staff, public libraries are crucial statutory public services and shouldn't be bought and sold, they are far too important for that.
Now we have a jointly commissioned report by the DCMS and the DCLG chaired by William Sieghart (chaired the recent e-lending and public libraries review). The report will focus on;
- What are the core principles of a public library into the future?
- Is the current model of delivery the most comprehensive and efficient? and
- What is the role of community libraries?
And the 'expert' panel will be made up of;
Sue Charteris - a Public Policy Consultant famous for leading the inquiry in to library closures in the Wirral
Janene Cox - Current Chair of the Society of Chief Librarians (soon to be replaced by Ciara Eastell)
Luke Johnson - Chairman of Risk Capital Partners.
Roly Keating - CEO of the British Library.
Caroline Michel - Chief Executive Peters Fraser & Dunlop.
Stephen Page - Chief Executive Faber & Faber.
Joanna Trollope - Author
So as you can see a really representative, 'independent' (whatever that means?) bunch. What might strike you is the omissions of CILIP and ACE but what is really sickening is that there is no real voice for users, frontline staff, unions or campaigners.
It looks to me that this has been set up to give the government more time to cut, close and divest libraries and to deliver a report broadly in line with policy, a rubber stamp. for more comment see;
I would however urge everyone who supports libraries to submit evidence to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/public-libraries-what-do-you-think, i'm not sure what good it will do but we've got to keep up the pressure. As the Library Campaign puts it;
"The Library Campaign urges all who care about libraries to contact the inquiry. And to tell the minister we are sick of his inaction."