Friday, 11 May 2018

DILON & whiteness in librarianship, my article for 'Opendemocracy' and privatisation in Herefordshire and Hertfordshire.

DILON

Firstly and most importantly - the issue of 'whiteness' in the UK library and information profession (96.7% white) is one that needs to be urgently discussed and addressed so it's great to see a new group 'Diversity in Libraries of the North (DILON)' set up which "advocates for POC/BME/non-white library and information workers in the north of England". For more about the group read this interview with the founder Jen Bayjoo.

'Opendemocracy' article

Recently I wrote a piece for 'Opendemocracy' on the fight against library cuts and the need for Labour to adopt a national policy supporting statutory public libraries and the paid/trained staff who work in them.

"Campaigners were told to "innovate don't save” and urged to "adopt a positive narrative…if you keep saying libraries are in crisis then people will start to believe it"
But groups like Voices for the Library, Speak up for Libraries & the newer Radical Librarians Collective spoke out against the cuts and the closures. We spoke out against privatisation and commercialisation. And we were ridiculed and side-lined but we kept speaking out.
Hundreds of local campaign groups were formed and spoke up too, organising hundreds of marches and protests and union and community activists even managed to organise a national demo in 2016."
Herefordshire

It's heartening to see Labour supporting Unison's campaign and petition opposing the privatisation of libraries in Herefordshire.

"UNISON believes that the public deserve the best possible service when it comes to Museums, Libraries and Archives and our policy is always to keep services in-house."


Hertfordshire

It looks very likely that Hertfordshire CC will adopt the PSM (Public Service Mutual) model for their library service. They cite Suffolk, Devon, York and Northamptonshire as successful adopters of this model but recently worrying figures have shown a 43% drop in usage in Devon and in 2016 both Suffolk and York showed drops!

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