Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Advocacy under austerity, Vaizey, Northamptonshire and donations and cynical electioneering.

Advocacy under austerity

A rather excellent piece by Pedronicus on advocacy and austerity in response to a recent CILIP blog;

"In the present climate, where services are immediately and imminently under threat of extinction, in those instances I do not see any alternative other than what has been termed “protest advocacy”. There is not time to think in terms of “changing the narrative”, or “building relationships”. Libraries do not need more or even better advocacy: they need actual money to be available in local authority budgets which have been cut to impossibly low levels. They need to be nurtured and sustained at the level of national and local policy by people who are not driven by neoliberal ideology. On the level of our whole society, it needs ALL of us to reflect long and hard on whether we want to continue to allow our lives and those of our communities to be directed by values that see no worth in anything other than its monetary value or ability to generate income.
If we do that maybe we can collectively start to find some real answers."

and another very splendid piece by Ian Clark on the very same topic;
Vaizey, Northamptonshire and donations
The man who would rather not intervene, Ed Vaizey, visited a library in Northamptonshire recently. "Big deal" I here you say, well Northamptonshire is Paul Blantern (CEO of the county council and Chair of the Sieghart Taskforce) territory. Ed had some interesting things to say during his visit, things that outline the governments policy on libraries; donations, volunteers, philanthropy, hubs and private/public models.
"The visit comes weeks after the county council unveiled a new public donation scheme aimed enhancing library services.
The scheme however sparked fears that libraries in the county are under threat of closing down, something which was quickly denied by the local authority, who said it was just 'an example of the constant work in the county to make sure libraries are hubs at the very heart of our communities'.
When the Northants H&P asked Mr Vaizey for his thoughts on the scheme he said: "Libraries actually originally came into fruition mainly through generous donations.
"Andrew Carnegie is the most famous person who is responsible for hundreds of libraries in the UK, and back them libraries didn't become a statutory so they didn't start being paid for by the rate payer till about 100 years ago.
"We have a private public model for a lot of things such as local arts organisations, which gets government grants to cover the basics but they also raise money from people who support those organisations."

Cynical Electioneering

Oh you know how the government has cut local council grants by 30-50% and has refused to re-introduce the abolished English library standards and has abolished the Advisory Council for Libraries and has handed the development remit for libraries to an arts organisation and them cut it's funding and hasn't bothered to replace (as far as we know?) Yinnon Ezra (DCMS Specialist Advisor for Libraries) and sat on the Sieghart Report until one day before the xmas recess and has allowed Ed Vaizey to do bugger all about superintending the 64 Act and how 6000 library staff have lost their jobs since 2007/8 and how several hundred libraries have been closed or are at risk of closure and how 12% of all public libraries are now volunteer-led, WELLLL now they've decided that they want to promote library membership for children, is there an election coming up?


No comments:

Post a Comment