Volunteers could open new chapter for libraries

This Is Wiltshire: Walcot library volunteers Victoria and Debra Estarbrook Buy this photo » Walcot library volunteers Victoria and Debra Estarbrook

VOLUNTEER-led libraries could be the face of Swindon’s services in the future depending on the results from the council’s upcoming consultation.

In December, Swindon Council will be launching a 12-week consultation into the borough’s library strategy for its 16 libraries after cabinet members approved plans at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to slash £300,000 from its £2.9m library budget.

The consultation will be looking into which facilities at the libraries are most important to residents with the intention of making the service more cost effective and modern. The council has to make savings of £48m in three years.

A range of options are being proposed to residents so they can voice their views on what they use the library for. No buildings will close unless there is overwhelming support from the residents to shut them down but many could be taken over by their communities.

Walcott Library has been entirely run by volunteers for four years. Its manager Deborah Estarbrook said the service has been working really well and appealed for more volunteers to step forward to help their local library.

“We aren’t trained but we help people with the computers and with general support around the library,” said Deborah. “It’s reassuring to know someone from the council is at the other end of the phone to help us if we need it.”

Councillor Keith Williams, cabinet member for highways strategic transport and leisure, said libraries needed to meet modern-day demands. “We need to balance the budget. The financial situation the council finds itself in means we have to look at options. We want to hear what people want from their library services. A lot of people don’t go to libraries to read books. They go to use the technology or rent a DVD. Libraries have to move with the moment.”

One option is rather than hosting a mobile library, to have a library service at doctors’ surgeries. He said compared to other local authorities Swindon has a lot of libraries for the amount of people they serve with 16 buildings catering for around 210,000 residents. In Wiltshire they have around 29 libraries for a population of 470,981.

Councillor Derique Montaut said he was worried about the library in the ward he represents, Liden, which has had a number of cuts to it over the years.

“Libraries are really important to the whole community,” said Coun Montaut.

Comments (18)

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12:32pm Sat 26 Oct 13

Shirley Burnham says...

Walcot Library has been a huge success as a community centre and shop. It is key to that community's cohesion - Power to the elbows of the volunteers! As a public library, maybe less so: see> http://questionevery
thingtheytellyou.blo
gspot.co.uk/2013/06/
ingress-and-egress.h
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Of course, the lending figures for Walcot may have risen since the reported data was collected (?) but I am surprised if the Council plans to replicate the Walcot solution in all Swindon's smaller libraries.

Are the references by Councillor Williams to Swindon having "a lot of libraries for the amount of people they serve" indicative of a some pre-emptive slashing and burning? Is the writing already on the wall, well before any 'consultation' is launched?

The public see through those who trade in evasions; they despise partisan abuse and confected anger for political one-upmanship. Every effort should be made by council and cabinet to give a consistent standard of library service to all residents of Swindon, without fear or favour.
Walcot Library has been a huge success as a community centre and shop. It is key to that community's cohesion - Power to the elbows of the volunteers! As a public library, maybe less so: see> http://questionevery thingtheytellyou.blo gspot.co.uk/2013/06/ ingress-and-egress.h tml Of course, the lending figures for Walcot may have risen since the reported data was collected (?) but I am surprised if the Council plans to replicate the Walcot solution in all Swindon's smaller libraries. Are the references by Councillor Williams to Swindon having "a lot of libraries for the amount of people they serve" indicative of a some pre-emptive slashing and burning? Is the writing already on the wall, well before any 'consultation' is launched? The public see through those who trade in evasions; they despise partisan abuse and confected anger for political one-upmanship. Every effort should be made by council and cabinet to give a consistent standard of library service to all residents of Swindon, without fear or favour. Shirley Burnham

1:19pm Sat 26 Oct 13

knittynora says...

As I have posted previously, Walcot library has 10 hours of professional support from paid library staff. Volunteers are great as far as they go but unless staff have a good book knowledge there is a limit to how far they can assist an enquiry. This is a floater from SBC who are obviously paving the way to close small libraries unless they can get community volunteers.
This is NOT the way forward for libraries.
As I have posted previously, Walcot library has 10 hours of professional support from paid library staff. Volunteers are great as far as they go but unless staff have a good book knowledge there is a limit to how far they can assist an enquiry. This is a floater from SBC who are obviously paving the way to close small libraries unless they can get community volunteers. This is NOT the way forward for libraries. knittynora

2:23pm Sat 26 Oct 13

Peter Mallinson says...

I would like to thank Shirley Burnham for her kind comments, the volunteers will appreciate them.

In these hard economic times we really cannot afford to fully man the Libraries with salaried staff. What we do in Walcot is not a perfect solution but a compromise.

In 2009 the Library would have closed but here we are in 2013 with an intact Library that maybe one day could revert back to something like Shirley wants.

We the volunteers are only custodians who hope that when the time is right the running of the library could be by salaried staff only.

We are in other words buying time.
I would like to thank Shirley Burnham for her kind comments, the volunteers will appreciate them. In these hard economic times we really cannot afford to fully man the Libraries with salaried staff. What we do in Walcot is not a perfect solution but a compromise. In 2009 the Library would have closed but here we are in 2013 with an intact Library that maybe one day could revert back to something like Shirley wants. We the volunteers are only custodians who hope that when the time is right the running of the library could be by salaried staff only. We are in other words buying time. Peter Mallinson

10:49pm Sat 26 Oct 13

timt1964 says...

cheap labour,bet SBC love that!!
cheap labour,bet SBC love that!! timt1964

7:41am Sun 27 Oct 13

house on the hill says...

timt1964 wrote:
cheap labour,bet SBC love that!!
Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: cheap labour,bet SBC love that!![/p][/quote]Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!! house on the hill

8:28am Sun 27 Oct 13

Shirley Burnham says...

house on the hill wrote:
timt1964 wrote:
cheap labour,bet SBC love that!!
Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!!
It is exactly this finger-pointing in Swindon that has allowed all political parties to be totally ineffectual in protecting the library service from cost-cutting vandalism. Common sense and residents' needs still take second place to pathetic political posturing. As a result every year libraries are slashed, staff are removed and service quality eroded. This council's cabinet has now boarded its Time Machine and flown back to disinter its 2009 rhetoric. No-one in authority and few commentators in the local press seem to give a toss. Your stance is terribly depressing.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: cheap labour,bet SBC love that!![/p][/quote]Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!![/p][/quote]It is exactly this finger-pointing in Swindon that has allowed all political parties to be totally ineffectual in protecting the library service from cost-cutting vandalism. Common sense and residents' needs still take second place to pathetic political posturing. As a result every year libraries are slashed, staff are removed and service quality eroded. This council's cabinet has now boarded its Time Machine and flown back to disinter its 2009 rhetoric. No-one in authority and few commentators in the local press seem to give a toss. Your stance is terribly depressing. Shirley Burnham

9:58am Sun 27 Oct 13

Elizabeth A says...

Whilst the efforts of the volunteers are laudable let's not forget that libraries are not just about open doors and shelves of books. People value libraries for the service within, for the breath of book stock on offer, and for the invaluable advice of experienced staff and professional librarians. Access to library staff at the end of the phone is no substitute for this.

And how sustainable are volunteer run libraries? What is the long term plan, if any?

I'm concerned to hear that the volunteers openly admit to having no training. This is something that needs addressing. I trust that the volunteers are CRB checked or is this another important aspect disregarded?

Whilst the current bank of volunteers are happy to run Walcot, for example, are there numbers queuing up behind them to step in later on and to commit their time feely and regularly to keep the service running? And will this model best serve the needs of other communities, now and in the future?
Whilst the efforts of the volunteers are laudable let's not forget that libraries are not just about open doors and shelves of books. People value libraries for the service within, for the breath of book stock on offer, and for the invaluable advice of experienced staff and professional librarians. Access to library staff at the end of the phone is no substitute for this. And how sustainable are volunteer run libraries? What is the long term plan, if any? I'm concerned to hear that the volunteers openly admit to having no training. This is something that needs addressing. I trust that the volunteers are CRB checked or is this another important aspect disregarded? Whilst the current bank of volunteers are happy to run Walcot, for example, are there numbers queuing up behind them to step in later on and to commit their time feely and regularly to keep the service running? And will this model best serve the needs of other communities, now and in the future? Elizabeth A

9:58am Sun 27 Oct 13

Elizabeth A says...

Whilst the efforts of the volunteers are laudable let's not forget that libraries are not just about open doors and shelves of books. People value libraries for the service within, for the breath of book stock on offer, and for the invaluable advice of experienced staff and professional librarians. Access to library staff at the end of the phone is no substitute for this.

And how sustainable are volunteer run libraries? What is the long term plan, if any?

I'm concerned to hear that the volunteers openly admit to having no training. This is something that needs addressing. I trust that the volunteers are CRB checked or is this another important aspect disregarded?

Whilst the current bank of volunteers are happy to run Walcot, for example, are there numbers queuing up behind them to step in later on and to commit their time feely and regularly to keep the service running? And will this model best serve the needs of other communities, now and in the future?
Whilst the efforts of the volunteers are laudable let's not forget that libraries are not just about open doors and shelves of books. People value libraries for the service within, for the breath of book stock on offer, and for the invaluable advice of experienced staff and professional librarians. Access to library staff at the end of the phone is no substitute for this. And how sustainable are volunteer run libraries? What is the long term plan, if any? I'm concerned to hear that the volunteers openly admit to having no training. This is something that needs addressing. I trust that the volunteers are CRB checked or is this another important aspect disregarded? Whilst the current bank of volunteers are happy to run Walcot, for example, are there numbers queuing up behind them to step in later on and to commit their time feely and regularly to keep the service running? And will this model best serve the needs of other communities, now and in the future? Elizabeth A

11:15am Sun 27 Oct 13

Davey Gravey says...

Shirley Burnham wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
timt1964 wrote:
cheap labour,bet SBC love that!!
Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!!
It is exactly this finger-pointing in Swindon that has allowed all political parties to be totally ineffectual in protecting the library service from cost-cutting vandalism. Common sense and residents' needs still take second place to pathetic political posturing. As a result every year libraries are slashed, staff are removed and service quality eroded. This council's cabinet has now boarded its Time Machine and flown back to disinter its 2009 rhetoric. No-one in authority and few commentators in the local press seem to give a toss. Your stance is terribly depressing.
Spot on. Cheap point scoring whilst services are being ruined helps nothing or nobody.
[quote][p][bold]Shirley Burnham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: cheap labour,bet SBC love that!![/p][/quote]Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!![/p][/quote]It is exactly this finger-pointing in Swindon that has allowed all political parties to be totally ineffectual in protecting the library service from cost-cutting vandalism. Common sense and residents' needs still take second place to pathetic political posturing. As a result every year libraries are slashed, staff are removed and service quality eroded. This council's cabinet has now boarded its Time Machine and flown back to disinter its 2009 rhetoric. No-one in authority and few commentators in the local press seem to give a toss. Your stance is terribly depressing.[/p][/quote]Spot on. Cheap point scoring whilst services are being ruined helps nothing or nobody. Davey Gravey

11:46am Sun 27 Oct 13

Peter Mallinson says...

The volunteers are trained to do what is required of them, that is helping people use the IT, self service machine and photo copier. They are also there to maintain order, clean the premises, open and close the premises and do other tasks when required.

There is a salaried member of the library staff who attends 10 hours per week to do the data processing that cannot be done by volunteers for data protection reasons.

This system has been in place for 4 years and has served the community well, without it Walcot would not have a Library.

Some posters do not understand that the money is not there to keep all libraries in Swindon fully staffed by paid workers, what we have in Walcot is a compromise.

Without this system the Library in Walcot would close, it is too small to be viable on it's own.
The volunteers are trained to do what is required of them, that is helping people use the IT, self service machine and photo copier. They are also there to maintain order, clean the premises, open and close the premises and do other tasks when required. There is a salaried member of the library staff who attends 10 hours per week to do the data processing that cannot be done by volunteers for data protection reasons. This system has been in place for 4 years and has served the community well, without it Walcot would not have a Library. Some posters do not understand that the money is not there to keep all libraries in Swindon fully staffed by paid workers, what we have in Walcot is a compromise. Without this system the Library in Walcot would close, it is too small to be viable on it's own. Peter Mallinson

1:47pm Sun 27 Oct 13

house on the hill says...

Shirley Burnham wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
timt1964 wrote:
cheap labour,bet SBC love that!!
Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!!
It is exactly this finger-pointing in Swindon that has allowed all political parties to be totally ineffectual in protecting the library service from cost-cutting vandalism. Common sense and residents' needs still take second place to pathetic political posturing. As a result every year libraries are slashed, staff are removed and service quality eroded. This council's cabinet has now boarded its Time Machine and flown back to disinter its 2009 rhetoric. No-one in authority and few commentators in the local press seem to give a toss. Your stance is terribly depressing.
I think you will find most in Swindon have given up on councillors of any persuasion doing anything other than make decisions that benefit them rather than the town and those who were conned into voting for them. And then they try and pretend we live in some sort of democracy! Ok so we get to vote every couple of years but once in they can do whatever they want and tear up the manifesto they were elected on and most do. I have no time for politicians, there aren't good and bad ones, just some who are slightly less useless than others.
[quote][p][bold]Shirley Burnham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: cheap labour,bet SBC love that!![/p][/quote]Well I understand you are a councillor so you tell us!!!!!!![/p][/quote]It is exactly this finger-pointing in Swindon that has allowed all political parties to be totally ineffectual in protecting the library service from cost-cutting vandalism. Common sense and residents' needs still take second place to pathetic political posturing. As a result every year libraries are slashed, staff are removed and service quality eroded. This council's cabinet has now boarded its Time Machine and flown back to disinter its 2009 rhetoric. No-one in authority and few commentators in the local press seem to give a toss. Your stance is terribly depressing.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most in Swindon have given up on councillors of any persuasion doing anything other than make decisions that benefit them rather than the town and those who were conned into voting for them. And then they try and pretend we live in some sort of democracy! Ok so we get to vote every couple of years but once in they can do whatever they want and tear up the manifesto they were elected on and most do. I have no time for politicians, there aren't good and bad ones, just some who are slightly less useless than others. house on the hill

2:57pm Sun 27 Oct 13

knittynora says...

HOUSE
"I think you will find most in Swindon have given up on councillors of any persuasion doing anything other than make decisions that benefit them rather than the town and those who were conned into voting for them. And then they try and pretend we live in some sort of democracy! Ok so we get to vote every couple of years but once in they can do whatever they want and tear up the manifesto they were elected on and most do. I have no time for politicians, there aren't good and bad ones, just some who are slightly less useless than others."
Same old stuff, if you really believe this why don't you set out your ideas and solutions and stand for election as an Independent. Carping from the side lines gets you nowhere.
HOUSE "I think you will find most in Swindon have given up on councillors of any persuasion doing anything other than make decisions that benefit them rather than the town and those who were conned into voting for them. And then they try and pretend we live in some sort of democracy! Ok so we get to vote every couple of years but once in they can do whatever they want and tear up the manifesto they were elected on and most do. I have no time for politicians, there aren't good and bad ones, just some who are slightly less useless than others." Same old stuff, if you really believe this why don't you set out your ideas and solutions and stand for election as an Independent. Carping from the side lines gets you nowhere. knittynora

7:44pm Sun 27 Oct 13

Elizabeth A says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
The volunteers are trained to do what is required of them, that is helping people use the IT, self service machine and photo copier. They are also there to maintain order, clean the premises, open and close the premises and do other tasks when required.

There is a salaried member of the library staff who attends 10 hours per week to do the data processing that cannot be done by volunteers for data protection reasons.

This system has been in place for 4 years and has served the community well, without it Walcot would not have a Library.

Some posters do not understand that the money is not there to keep all libraries in Swindon fully staffed by paid workers, what we have in Walcot is a compromise.

Without this system the Library in Walcot would close, it is too small to be viable on it's own.
Oh dear. A volunteer is clearly quoted in the article as follows, " “We aren’t trained but...." and you now assert that volunteers are trained, yet list off basic tasks, that in all honesty even a child could do, such as working a photocopier or using a self service machine. Opening and closing up or cleaning are also menial tasks, not necessarily related to libraries or providing a library service. I too would be shy to admit to training if it were to such a rudimentary level!

A member of library staff to do data processing 10 hours per week really doesn't offer any level of service to library users either and this task could be undertaken more cost-effectively by anyone with basic admin skills.

Presumably all the training that you refer to has gone on bringing volunteers up to speed on IT. It would need to be quite extensive to cover the myriad of queries library staff deal with every day. Library staff are not just there to help with books - the aspect you omit to show any regard for in your list - but are skilled to help people access the on line information they require. Odd though, don't you think, that a volunteer doesn't recall this training at all?

What does this training involve exactly? And are all volunteers CRB checked, up to date with health and safety procedures, confidentiality, data protection and so on?

And, Mr Mallinson, I do admire your resolve and the time you and other volunteers have committed to this but I refute your assumptions:

"the money is not there to keep all libraries in Swindon fully staffed by paid workers, what we have in Walcot is a compromise.Without this system the Library in Walcot would close, it is too small to be viable on it's own."

Is this really so? You have only 10 hrs a week of admin support. That's a massive compromise in my book, a compromise too far. In fact I'd go as far as to say its a compromise that shows complete contempt for the community members willing to give up their time to keep the doors open and for the community the library serves.

Councils have a legal duty under the 1964 Act to provide a comprehensive library service for all who wish to make use of it. I'm not convinced this is the case here.
[quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: The volunteers are trained to do what is required of them, that is helping people use the IT, self service machine and photo copier. They are also there to maintain order, clean the premises, open and close the premises and do other tasks when required. There is a salaried member of the library staff who attends 10 hours per week to do the data processing that cannot be done by volunteers for data protection reasons. This system has been in place for 4 years and has served the community well, without it Walcot would not have a Library. Some posters do not understand that the money is not there to keep all libraries in Swindon fully staffed by paid workers, what we have in Walcot is a compromise. Without this system the Library in Walcot would close, it is too small to be viable on it's own.[/p][/quote]Oh dear. A volunteer is clearly quoted in the article as follows, " “We aren’t trained but...." and you now assert that volunteers are trained, yet list off basic tasks, that in all honesty even a child could do, such as working a photocopier or using a self service machine. Opening and closing up or cleaning are also menial tasks, not necessarily related to libraries or providing a library service. I too would be shy to admit to training if it were to such a rudimentary level! A member of library staff to do data processing 10 hours per week really doesn't offer any level of service to library users either and this task could be undertaken more cost-effectively by anyone with basic admin skills. Presumably all the training that you refer to has gone on bringing volunteers up to speed on IT. It would need to be quite extensive to cover the myriad of queries library staff deal with every day. Library staff are not just there to help with books - the aspect you omit to show any regard for in your list - but are skilled to help people access the on line information they require. Odd though, don't you think, that a volunteer doesn't recall this training at all? What does this training involve exactly? And are all volunteers CRB checked, up to date with health and safety procedures, confidentiality, data protection and so on? And, Mr Mallinson, I do admire your resolve and the time you and other volunteers have committed to this but I refute your assumptions: "the money is not there to keep all libraries in Swindon fully staffed by paid workers, what we have in Walcot is a compromise.Without this system the Library in Walcot would close, it is too small to be viable on it's own." Is this really so? You have only 10 hrs a week of admin support. That's a massive compromise in my book, a compromise too far. In fact I'd go as far as to say its a compromise that shows complete contempt for the community members willing to give up their time to keep the doors open and for the community the library serves. Councils have a legal duty under the 1964 Act to provide a comprehensive library service for all who wish to make use of it. I'm not convinced this is the case here. Elizabeth A

6:56am Mon 28 Oct 13

house on the hill says...

knittynora wrote:
HOUSE
"I think you will find most in Swindon have given up on councillors of any persuasion doing anything other than make decisions that benefit them rather than the town and those who were conned into voting for them. And then they try and pretend we live in some sort of democracy! Ok so we get to vote every couple of years but once in they can do whatever they want and tear up the manifesto they were elected on and most do. I have no time for politicians, there aren't good and bad ones, just some who are slightly less useless than others."
Same old stuff, if you really believe this why don't you set out your ideas and solutions and stand for election as an Independent. Carping from the side lines gets you nowhere.
It is the system that is broken and there isn't very much an individual can do to change that, but I am guessing you are part of the system and benefit from it. It's easy to criticise others, how about some ideas from you then as you clearly know so much?
[quote][p][bold]knittynora[/bold] wrote: HOUSE "I think you will find most in Swindon have given up on councillors of any persuasion doing anything other than make decisions that benefit them rather than the town and those who were conned into voting for them. And then they try and pretend we live in some sort of democracy! Ok so we get to vote every couple of years but once in they can do whatever they want and tear up the manifesto they were elected on and most do. I have no time for politicians, there aren't good and bad ones, just some who are slightly less useless than others." Same old stuff, if you really believe this why don't you set out your ideas and solutions and stand for election as an Independent. Carping from the side lines gets you nowhere.[/p][/quote]It is the system that is broken and there isn't very much an individual can do to change that, but I am guessing you are part of the system and benefit from it. It's easy to criticise others, how about some ideas from you then as you clearly know so much? house on the hill

1:31pm Mon 28 Oct 13

house on the hill says...

No useful comments then from you then other than to criticise others? Thought not! You clearly think you are superior so please avail us of your knowledge and ideas instead of just taking the easy option of slagging off other posters.
No useful comments then from you then other than to criticise others? Thought not! You clearly think you are superior so please avail us of your knowledge and ideas instead of just taking the easy option of slagging off other posters. house on the hill

4:59pm Mon 28 Oct 13

knittynora says...

House.
My apologies for not responding to you. I was wasting time having treatment at the GWH rather than monitoring the Adver talk board.
I was not slagging you off rather suggesting that someone who like yourself feels very frustrated with the local council might find it worth while to engage in the electoral process.
With regard to my opinions , I feel that instead of punishing the ordinary citizens of this country for a crisis they did not cause, the government might for starters consider taking action on bankers bonuses, dealing with widespread tax evasion by the rich and big business and having windfall levies on the utility companies. Follow that up with a mansion tax and maybe they wouldn't be cutting local government at all.
While the top 10% have come out of this mess even better off, I feel that we are left arguing over who gets the crumbs from the rich mans table
House. My apologies for not responding to you. I was wasting time having treatment at the GWH rather than monitoring the Adver talk board. I was not slagging you off rather suggesting that someone who like yourself feels very frustrated with the local council might find it worth while to engage in the electoral process. With regard to my opinions , I feel that instead of punishing the ordinary citizens of this country for a crisis they did not cause, the government might for starters consider taking action on bankers bonuses, dealing with widespread tax evasion by the rich and big business and having windfall levies on the utility companies. Follow that up with a mansion tax and maybe they wouldn't be cutting local government at all. While the top 10% have come out of this mess even better off, I feel that we are left arguing over who gets the crumbs from the rich mans table knittynora

9:05am Wed 30 Oct 13

Alan Wylie says...

The council's proposals to create volunteer-led 'book exchanges' and to make further budget cuts of £300k is really no more than them reneging on their statutory responsibilities/dut
ies to provide a 'comprehensive & efficient' public library service.
The agenda they are keen to buy into, localism, is based on an ideological and not a fiscal basis, the savings to be made are tiny and will create a two-tier, fragmented and poorer quality service.
The details outlined in the £300k cuts also greatly concern me, cutting outreach, events, publicity, staff and book stock at a time when they should be focussing on the basics seems crazy and will ultimately lead to a hollowed out poorer quality service run by staff who are demoralised and burnt out.
All in all the proposals appear to be very badly thought out, maybe a plan of action would be for the council to meet with users, staff, unions and campaigners to ascertain priorities and a constructive way forward.

Alan Wylie
Library Worker and Library Campaigner
The council's proposals to create volunteer-led 'book exchanges' and to make further budget cuts of £300k is really no more than them reneging on their statutory responsibilities/dut ies to provide a 'comprehensive & efficient' public library service. The agenda they are keen to buy into, localism, is based on an ideological and not a fiscal basis, the savings to be made are tiny and will create a two-tier, fragmented and poorer quality service. The details outlined in the £300k cuts also greatly concern me, cutting outreach, events, publicity, staff and book stock at a time when they should be focussing on the basics seems crazy and will ultimately lead to a hollowed out poorer quality service run by staff who are demoralised and burnt out. All in all the proposals appear to be very badly thought out, maybe a plan of action would be for the council to meet with users, staff, unions and campaigners to ascertain priorities and a constructive way forward. Alan Wylie Library Worker and Library Campaigner Alan Wylie

9:06am Wed 30 Oct 13

Alan Wylie says...

The council's proposals to create volunteer-led 'book exchanges' and to make further budget cuts of £300k is really no more than them reneging on their statutory responsibilities/dut
ies to provide a 'comprehensive & efficient' public library service.
The agenda they are keen to buy into, localism, is based on an ideological and not a fiscal basis, the savings to be made are tiny and will create a two-tier, fragmented and poorer quality service.
The details outlined in the £300k cuts also greatly concern me, cutting outreach, events, publicity, staff and book stock at a time when they should be focussing on the basics seems crazy and will ultimately lead to a hollowed out poorer quality service run by staff who are demoralised and burnt out.
All in all the proposals appear to be very badly thought out, maybe a plan of action would be for the council to meet with users, staff, unions and campaigners to ascertain priorities and a constructive way forward.

Alan Wylie
Library Worker and Library Campaigner
The council's proposals to create volunteer-led 'book exchanges' and to make further budget cuts of £300k is really no more than them reneging on their statutory responsibilities/dut ies to provide a 'comprehensive & efficient' public library service. The agenda they are keen to buy into, localism, is based on an ideological and not a fiscal basis, the savings to be made are tiny and will create a two-tier, fragmented and poorer quality service. The details outlined in the £300k cuts also greatly concern me, cutting outreach, events, publicity, staff and book stock at a time when they should be focussing on the basics seems crazy and will ultimately lead to a hollowed out poorer quality service run by staff who are demoralised and burnt out. All in all the proposals appear to be very badly thought out, maybe a plan of action would be for the council to meet with users, staff, unions and campaigners to ascertain priorities and a constructive way forward. Alan Wylie Library Worker and Library Campaigner Alan Wylie

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