Friday 8 November 2013

GLL, Bibliotheca and Lincolnshire Libraries.

A little birdie tipped me the wink a few weeks ago that GLL, the 'worker-led' Social Enterprise that runs Greenwich and Wandsworth Libraries, might be interested in expanding into Lincolnshire?
And lo and behold a story appears saying that a "A private branch of Greenwhich Borough Council has offered to take over running the library service in Lincolnshire", this can only mean GLL.
The story also says that Bibliotheca Technical Library Services have shown an interest too, if this is true then it's a relatively new name to add to the usual list of interested parties. Bibliotheca is a major player in the field of library self-service technology and the article states;

"Biblioteca’s proposals could see some libraries become fully automated, with users given a keycard to access the building 24/7 and machines to check books in and out. This would cut costs by reducing staff."

All we really know at the moment is that Lincolnshire CC is proposing to withdraw funding from the majority of their libraries and are considering options ranging from volunteer-led 'book exchanges', cutting opening hours and staff, to divesting the service. Opposition to these proposals has been fierce, Save Lincolnshire Libraries has led the campaign and held a very well attended march and have had an incredible 23,000 people sign their petition, a national record if I'm not mistaken? They have also raised concerns about the public consultation stating;

"One of the big questions the campaigners now have is how the council’s consultation activities (covering a questionnaire and several events) only managed to engage 8,000 people, despite their massive budget of at least £50,000, with final costs not yet published.
Campaigners have felt for a long time that the council consultation made it very hard for people to express their views, and now the clear difference between the ability of the campaign group and the council to engage the public raises worrying questions about how fit for purpose this consultation really was."

Oh and in case you're doubting GLL's interest in all this, may I just draw your attention to the following message of 'support' left on Save Lincolnshire Libraries website;

Diana edmond
Happy to help if I can

Diana Edmonds (maybe she left of the 's' as a disguise?) just happens to be the Head of Libraries for GLL, touching isn't it?

For more on GLL see;

1 comment:

  1. Interesting development on several levels - if accurate?

    Previously Bibliotheca partnered with John Laing to deliver council services through library hubs using their "My Community" software, running on library self-service kiosks. With Laing out of the picture one might speculate that new routes to market are being sought.

    The "key card access" isn't new technology, already widely deployed to provide out of hours service/access in the education sector, and in small, remote locations in some public libraries. My fear is that some councils may see this as an opportunity to reduce staffing levels to zero in self-service locations.