Archive | January, 2013

£10 million from Government to take your library out of direct council control

31 Jan

The Tory-LibDem Coalition Government are determined to privatise our public services. They have obviously scraped together a bit of cash to incentivise this process among local Library Authorities. The article in Public Library News gives more detail and links to other articles. Suffolk is mentioned as a brand leader of this ‘brave new world’ (©Roger McMaster, long-gone head of Suffolk libraries). The article states:-

“The people of Suffolk have learnt that being in an IPS (Industrial and Provident Society) does not necessarily protect it from closures, with some mobiles likely to close in that county***, but it’s certainly now seen as one of the main future directions library governance is taking, with the others being straight closure or passing to volunteers (although of course, Suffolk IPS has a fair amount of volunteers involved in governance and fund-raising).”

***A recent article in The East Anglian Daily Times  ‘Bury St Edmunds: Older residents are affected by loss of mobile service’ confirms that the IPS is carrying out the Tory policy: “Alison Wheeler, general manager of Suffolk Libraries IPS, said the county council had made the decision in November 2011 adding the fleet had dropped from six vehicles to three.”

Mark Bee, Tory Leader of SCC appeared on the BBC local news on Thursday January 29 bragging that “people who formerly campaigned against us are now running the library service”. The IPS advocates may not think they are being political but Mark Bee seems to have no qualms in arguing that the IPS is pursuing policies that he his happy with, and citing them as evidence of the success of Tory policies.

Speak Up For Libraries Conference

6 Jan

Following on from the success of the Parliamentary lobby day in March 2012, Speak Up For Libraries held a successful conference in central London on 10 November 2012 to champion public library services and library staff. Members of Rosehill Readers attended the conference. The day-long event pulled together library campaigners and supporters from across the UK and gave them the opportunity to build on their existing campaigning skills and tactics, share ideas and strategies, and focus on a way forward to make their local campaign as effective as possible, with the goal of ensuring library services are supported and protected, now and in the future.

The SUFL Resources web page gives access to all sorts of information about workshops on the day, and the ongoing campaign for public libraries. Watch the video below: it is significant that author and campaigner Alan Gibbons acknowledges that, while wholesale closures and cuts seem to have been fought off by those who love their library services, there is an ongoing ‘hollowing-out’ to diminish costs and service to the public which Rosehill Readers has been highlighting for many months in Suffolk.

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