September 13, 2006
Phil Kerridge writes about Andrew Stevens' letter in the Guardian
REF Susan Hill & Libraries 11/9, Andrew Stevens Letter 13/9
For anybody like myself, who believes in libraries and books, the complacency of Andrew Stevens of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is terrifying. Last year a parliamentary enquiry described a situation where core performance indicators and gross throughput are falling as a signal of a service in distress. Mr Stevens' job should be to tackle these problems not concoct bland reassurance for your readers.
Since that enquiry libraries are closing as a result of budget cuts hitting public libraries in rural Britain. These reductions will bite deeper next year and the year after. Neither he nor the Minister, David Lammy, does anything about councils like Warwickshire or Somerset who only spend 6% and 3% of their gross library budgets on books.
Many of us have concluded that Mr Stevens' MLA does little more than conceal the truth about public libraries which is that they are experiencing damage that will place them beyond any useful purpose.
Posted by Perkins at September 13, 2006 10:28 PM
On Susan Hill's Blog there was agreement that we might judge a person by the books they value. A bookseller friend who is offered libraries to buy, personal ones, says that give her a library and she would know the person. I wonder how our libraries currently reflect our society?
The emphasis on IT doesn't always bring accolades. A friend attempted to order a number of books for her student daughter. Must be done on line she was told. On line she wsa told she must have a password. Must be delivered by post she was told, it will take about ten days. She waited and the password arrived. You can't have these books till September, she was told. These books are on a 'school list' and only availble in September. Forget it mother her daughter told her, I'll be back at Uni.
Is this encouraging continuing education?
Posted by: sheila at September 13, 2006 11:05 PM