Friday, 18 April 2014

A library glossary #2

In January 2012 I wrote a post listing some of the new library buzz-words/concepts and my interpratations of them see;

and it's now time to add some more.

'Associate Libraries' - volunteer-led 'libraries' in Sheffield.

'Co-operative Libraries' - volunteer-led 'libraries' in Bexley.

'Community Book Exchanges' - what most library campaigners prefer to call volunteer-led 'libraries'.

'Inspiring Libraries' - what Hertfordshire CC calls it's plan to cut libraries.

'An enhanced online offer' - what Hounslow Council call their plans to cut the book budget by 50%.

'Community' - often used by local authorities, councillors, politicians and policy holders when describing a decision, new model of service or/and cuts that have been forced upon a community, for example 'community hub' or 'community library' see my post on this

'Save or Saved' - often used by the local/national press, councillors, volunteers etc to describe what happens when a library becomes volunteer-led, when in fact all that really has been achieved, in many peoples view, is keeping the building open. For a classic example see;

'Little Free Libraries' - tiny wooden structures containing books, which are not 'public libraries', often found in the US but now appearing in some trendier UK communities, if you can call Walthamstow trendy?

Public Sector Mutual - an agenda being pushed by the Cabinet Office to offload more public services and open them up to the rigours of the market. York Libraries and Archives have gone down this route with Birmingham maybe to follow.
Not, and i repeat Not, a road to Damascus moment when the government suddenly decided that it wanted more worker control in the public sector.

'Co-operative Councils' - a model favoured by the Fabians and the Labour Party to dress up cuts, with Lambeth as the testing ground. Not, and i repeat not, a road to Damascus moment when the Labour Party suddenly decided that it wanted more worker control and community involvement in the public sector.

'Devon Centre' - a collocated, shared services kind of library type thing in Devon.

'Library Consultation' - a process whereby a council makes a decision to cut, close or divest libraries then asks the public to ratify it and even if they say NO they still go ahead with it. See Lincolnshire, Herefordshire, Doncaster, Gloucestershire etc.

'Broader Community Offer' - no one is quite sure what this means but it's been heard mentioned in Devon.

'Working Smarter or leaner' - delivering a service with fewer staff.

'Service reform/Synergies/Doing more with less/Restructuring/Reorganisation' - delivering a service with less staff and a reduced budget.

'Library Core, Library Local and Library Extra' - a 3-tier library structure in Staffordshire with town centre folk getting more and rural folk getting less.

'Customer Service Assistant (CSA)' - a library assistant.

'Innovate don't save' - a phrase beloved of the self-styled library guru who has given up the fight and expects everyone else to. Can also be replaced with "if all people hear is 'saving' then no wonder they think libraries are dying". Uniformly hated by the vast majority of campaigners/supporters.

'Outreach Libraries' - What Manchester City Council calls unstaffed 'libraries' based in community centres, housing offices etc.

'Buddy Library' - a 'library' in Manchester that supports an 'outreach library'.

'Flagship Super Hub' - a massive co-located service centre containing a library presence in Cardiff.

'Community Partner' - what Lambeth Council are looking for to help run Waterloo Library, could be a voluntary organisation, SocEnt or volunteers?

Modernise - a word used by councils, recently by Bristol, to justify cutting services. For a good example see;
"Seven libraries in Bristol could close under plans by the city council to save money and "modernise" its service."

'A new chapter' or 'turning a new leaf' - a favourite headline used mostly be local journalists to describe the handing over of a library/ies to volunteers.

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