July 5, 2013
Lincolnshire County council are proposing to close most of their branch libraries
In the local paper we read that book lending over ten years has fallen from 5m to 3m books per annum and that only 18% of the residents are now active members
What the local paper doesn't say is that the operation of the library service in Lincolnshire during that time has been appalling. In 1997 there were 1.3m books to lend, and now there are only 700,000 - the fall in borrowing is hardly surprising
Everyone understands that councils are faced with making cuts, but the proper way to handle them in a library service is to devote all the money that can be made available to the operation of small branch and town libraries. Every single central and overhead cost should be cut including management structures and distribution and systems costs
When small libraries are stocked and open - with experienced staff - local people like them. Councillors become popular - there is a virtuous circle to be found. But not by closing branch libraries
Posted by Perkins at July 5, 2013 11:20 AM
Not exactly relevant, but I've just read the article about CILIP's rebranding rebellion.
I have never seen anything quite so stupid in my life. This makes rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic look pretty commonsensical and shows just how totally useless the library establishment is.
They'll simply never take any practical action about anything (except Tom Roper and Frank Daniels and, oh, me). I'm sick of holding off condemning them. It's about time they were all sent off on the Titanic and torpedoed!
Posted by: James Christie at July 7, 2013 12:12 AM
And it seems the Daily Mail has equated public librarians with mass murderers like Mao-Tse Tung...
Once I might have had more sympathy, but I'm beginning to feel they've pretty much murdered the public library service - or to be precise stood in silence when they should have spoken up and as a result allowed the slaughter to take place - so I just don't feel like defending them.
Posted by: James Christie at July 7, 2013 9:11 PM
Even now the librarians are obsessed with themselves - their reputation, their qualifications, their professional status, their 'brand' - and not with the only thing that should bother them.
What should concern them is the quality of service they give to the readers in the different kinds of libraries. It is from that that reputation flows - not from discussion in a professional echo chamber
The current exercise is not the first attempt SYRUP have had at re-evaluating their role - there have been several - but they never start by trying to work out what their job is relative to the people using the libraries - they only talk about what librarians think that librarians do . It is nonsense - and quite rightly is destroying them ... The sooner the better, I say
Posted by: perkins at July 8, 2013 11:02 AM