Saturday, 17 October 2015

A library glossary #3

Following on from my original glossary and it's update post here's another instalment of library spin and doublespeak.

Community Resources - what Bristol Council calls those it's trying to manipulate and blackmail into running its libraries.

Libraries Extra - what Brighton Council call a staffless 'library' that offers less!!!

Lending Locker - what 'LiveWire' (the Trust you can't trust) propose to replace some of Warrington's libraries with, "it's Amazon Jim but not as we know it".

Digital Playgrounds - an Arts Council funded programme worth £3.9m which they claim will get disadvantaged kids expressing their creativity through technology.

Library Guardian - what the supervisor of a certain volunteer-led 'library' calls himself.

"ongoing changes by library authorities" - a phrase used by the Libraries Taskforce to describe what others call cuts/closures. Cowardly and complicit doublespeak.

The Engagement Team - not an elite bunch of NASA scientists in charge with docking a shuttle to a spacestation but the name given to Librarians in the new all singing all dancing multi-million pound Chester 'Storyhouse'.

Community Partnered Libraries - 'libraries' without paid and trained library staff in Surrey.

Library Carpentry - not making shelves with users but something to do with data.

"Connecting Communities" - what Coventry Council calls its policy of cutting/closing libraries and community centres.

Satellite Library - an unstaffed bookdrop in Lancashire.

Partnership Libraries - what Barnet Council calls a volunteer/community org-led 'library' that's open for 15hrs a week, users/campaigners call it a staffless book exchange that's hardly ever open.

'Innovative' - what Swindon recently called their proposals to close 11 libraries and what the DCMS/Councillors/library establishment commonly call anything that fits with their agenda to cut, co-locate, privatise, commercialise and amateurise libraries. (can be substituted with '21st Century')

"Changing the narrative" - a plea to campaigners from the UK library establishment to stop sharing news stories etc about library cuts/closures, and stop putting these in the context of a savage ideological austerity agenda, after all if we keep saying that libraries are failing then they will fail! Seen by many campaigners to be insulting, spin and propoganda.

"More than just a library" - what some volunteers and councillors think they'll achieve by turning library buildings into book-IT/exchanges/community centres and substituting paid/trained/qualified library staff. It's generally regarded by staff/camapigners to be higly suspect and insulting and is just another example of a complete ignorance of what libraries are and have always been.

'Always-on generation' -  a phrase used by a company (Axiell) flogging tech to libraries, not quite as annoying as 'Digital Natives' but nearly!

Hub Activators - What the new 'Community Learning Hub' (once Upper Norwood Library) hopes to employ.

Micro-Libraries - 200 books in a Cornish pub.

'Hub & Spoke Model' - a model of library provision in which folks in city centres get shiny hub libraries and the rest get 'satelitte' libraries with decreased hrs/staff/resources.

Healthy Living Centre - a proposed gym with some books run by a so-called 'Social Entereprise' (uses 0-hrs contracts & forced Greenwich library staff to take strike action) in Lambeth.

Libraries Unlimited South West - a spun-out privatised 'mutual' library service in Devon chaired by someone with a "Stalinist agenda", according to a Guardian article!

The Answers People - what Essex CC call their online (cut) Reference Library service.

"In this context libraries will act as creative incubators, centres for social innovations and intercultural dialogue facilitators" - from the 'Public Libraries 2020' website. No one really knows what this means but it sounds great when you're talking to Politicians, Cllrs and other people that don't use libraries.

"a measure of library provision" - a reduced library space in Walton (Liverpool)

Neighbourhood Centre - apparently a "community focussed multi-functional building" in Lancashire, really means a shoe-horned collection of cut services, including a 'library presence', under one roof.

Library Fundamentalists - what Kate Andrews and the Institute of Economic Affairs call people who want to protect and promote public libraries. (Neoliberal Chancers - what people who want to protect and promote public libraries call Kate Andrews and the IEA)

"Safeguarding" - what Staffs CC call selling Lichfield Library.

Re-imagining - what Birmingham Council claim to be doing to their library service whilst users/staff/campaigners/unions claim it should be another word ending in "ing".

Maintaining - what Barnet Council claim to be doing to their library service whilst users/staff/campaigners/unions claim it should be another word ending in "ing".

Libraries Extra - what Brighton & Hove Council call a 'library' which doesn't have any staff and denies access to unaccompanied U18's (see my post on 'open+')

Library Access Points (LAP's) - A volunteer-led 'library' type of thing with a computer in Cambridgeshire.

The Word - "a state of the art, new library and digital media centre" in South Tyneside. (3D Printer mentioned)

Hybrid Library - A library building in North Yorkshire containing one paid/trained member of library staff surrounded by an army of volunteers. This sole library worker will manage the library and supervise/train the volunteers as well as offering 12-15 hrs of professional support to the partly cast-adrift local volunteer-led "community library", it's claimed that the job description contains the words "superhuman powers" and "stress assessment"!

"a local non-statutory library offer" - Lambeth Labour (the co-op council!) bollocks for a volunteer-led 'library'.

"alternative delivery models" - a phrase beloved of both the SCL & the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce, it basically means offloading library services to suspect Social Enterprises, mock mutuals, Trusts you can't trust, blacklisting building firms and Baptist churches!

Customer Experience Supervisor - someone who works for the University of West London Library Services helping students (not customers) and doing a bit of shelving.

Express Library Service - not a library aboard a train but a plan/ploy by Birmingham Council to extend its Central library's opening hours by introducing self-serve kiosks that speak 70 different languages or something like that!?! (anyway they're not re-employing the culled staff)

Library Ambassador - someone in Northamptonshire who's daft/naive enough to pay twice for their library service.

Rightsourcing - can't even bring myself to explain this one!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Save Barnet Libraries Lobby, 12/10/15, 7pm at Hendon Town Hall

Image result for save barnet libraries

to join us at Hendon Town Hall at 7pm on 12 October for the Council Meeting where the final proposals for our service will be announced. 
Maybe you signed the petition, joined a Save Barnet Libraries march, took part in the consultation? 
Maybe you’ve read the report of the consultation and know that more than 90% of Barnet residents oppose the council’s three options for cuts to library services, closure of libraries, and unstaffed opening hours? 
Now make sure your views are represented. 
Come to the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding committee meeting, starting at 7pm sharp, at Hendon Town Hall on 12 October.

To get involved, e-mail us: Save Barnet Libraries is supported by: Barnet Alliance for Public Services East Finchley Library Users Group Mill HIll Residents’ Association Osidge/East Barnet Library User Group Save Childs Hill and Golders Green Libraries SaveBarnetLibraries Barnet Unison #kids4libraries

Lewisham Library Campaigners raise concerns re cuts, volunteers & consultation with Head of Service.

We were interested to finally get to read these proposals.  If we had not been informed by a contact  we still would not know and neither would many residents in Lee Green ward.  This is an important issue as the consultation is supposed to start tomorrow.  It is to be hoped that this very important public survey will not follow the same disastrous route of the supposed collection of material relating to the foundation of the borough 50 years ago.  Who knows what was missed as it was so incompetently handled by the council.
We will be distributing leaflets at our Local Assembly on Tuesday.  This would have made an ideal event for a public announcement, but no!  It is left to interested members of the public to disseminate council information.
In addition large sums of public money have been spent on both the Manor House and Forest Hill.  The mortgage remains on the Manor House until 2049.  If the buildings are to be maintained, provide public service and be paid for, where is the accountability? What do we get for our money?
The actual suggestion that any taker of a contract could be allowed to decide to reduce the size of the library space calls into question Why?  Why would the council allow a contract of such a nature, damaging to local services, to be written, accepted and signed in the first place?  Both Forest Hill and the Manor House have plenty of alternative space. Torridon Road is already a small library.
When the council proposed community libraries in 2010 there were very few takers, and one cannot say the result, which is the council's preferred model, has been an outstanding success.   The visits and issues figures speak for themselves.  If these 3 libraries are removed from the control of the public library service where will people go?  What will the CIPFA figures reveal?  Look at the map and see just 3 council run libraries?
Where will volunteers come from?  There are already ideas that they may be needed for public parks and gardens.  Where does it end, and do we get our money back?
It is accepted that public finances are in dire straits, but, surely brains could be put into gear to resolve such issues in a much better way.  And please do not suggest the public come up with ideas.  The public does this regularly and often, but, as Mr Corbyn is saying, nobody listens. 
As a Labour run council it is time Lewisham listened and stopped patronising the public.

yours sincerely,

Peter Richardson (Chair of the Users and Friends of Manor House Library)"

Having had feedback that those seeking the consultation on-line were having difficulty, we tried it ourselves.
There is no link available on the proposals within the library menu of the Council website.
Searching for Library Consultation 2015 produces no result.
Consultation Portal proved no information about impending consultation details.

When will this be rectified?

When will the public be informed about consultation meetings?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Richardson, Chairman,
The Users & Friends of Manor House Library.

Patricia Richardson, Secretary
The Users & Friends of Manor House Library"
For proposals and consultation see;
and for press coverage see;

Friday, 2 October 2015

Proposed decimation of Barnet Libraries - Update.

Shocking new proposals for Barnet Libraries just released, for full report see;

·         46% of workforce to be sacked

·         Redundancy payments will cost £1.5 million

·         71% of panellists, 88% of questionnaire respondents opposed the reduction of staff opening hours

·         Council are now proposing to cut the 634.5 staffed library hours a week to 188.  

·         Under the proposal Libraries will initially be required to open for only 15 hours a week, with or without staff

·         Four Libraries, Childs Hill, East Barnet , Mill Hill, and South Friern will be run by volunteers

·         The Library Proposal is to cut Library costs by £2.85million by 2019/20. The present budget is £4.5 million.

·         Phase one of planning for and changing the library service has been estimated at £399,300

·         Phase Two will cost £750, 000

·         It is estimated that “reconfiguring libraries to release space” will cost £2 million.

·         The cost in introducing technology that allows unstaffed opening will cost £2.41 million,

·         This means that at least £6,560,300 will be spent implementing changes to the Library Service  with the rationale of saving £2.850,000