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Library Cuts - Librarians & Library staff in the UK

About Library Cuts

Previous Entry Library Cuts May. 29th, 2011 @ 08:53 am Next Entry
This weekend 5 out of 12 Lewisham Council libraries closed down.

On Tuesday 3 of them will open up again as community libraries, 1 will become a resource centre for Age Concern and the last one will remain closed.

Overall I should be happy that 4 branches will still be in use for the communities that they serve, but I'm finding it hard to drum up the optimism.

The 3 community libraries have been taken over by a company that doesn't have the funds to carry out the repairs, that were a stipulation of it acquiring the leases for the buildings.

A last minute deal from managers has resulted in Library staff being asked to provide training to the volunteers that will run the libraries. This makes me sad as some of my colleagues are being made redundant, though those losing their jobs aren't the ones providing the training, I feel it's wrong for Council staff to have to facilitate in the loss of their colleagues jobs.

There is still some confusion as to whether Council staff will be expected to work in the Community libraries for events like the mother and toddler story times and the summer reading challenge. I'm hoping this won't be the case.
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From:nitoda
Date:May 29th, 2011 10:13 am (UTC)
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I know where you're coming from. I will be one of the volunteers working at Crofton Park Library and the only way I have been able to square that with my conscience is the knowledge that my NOT volunteering would not have made the council keep the place open and pay the staff, but my volunteering WILL help to ensure some service remains in my community. I'm not sure what the medium term plans are for the children's events/activities. In fact I'm not sure how well the volunteering stuff will go - frustratingly, although I've attended 2 meetings for volunteers and given in info about availability etc. I've not yet been contacted to say when I am needed next week. I'm planning to go in on Tuesday for the "grand opening" but both unsurprised and disappointed that I haven't been contacted by the volunteer co-ordinator as yet. It doesn't bode well for the service if they haven't organised the staffing for the first week! I also was concerned about the financial viability of the schemes - the guy running it talks big, but I can't see where he gets his funding stream.
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From:barking_watcher
Date:May 29th, 2011 11:04 am (UTC)
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It doesn't bode well for the service if they haven't organised the staffing for the first week!

I agree. I get the impression that the staff and a lot of the other logistics have been rushed through and hashed together at the last minute and I think the communities that are being served by and the volunteers that are going to working in these libraries are going to be let down by the Council, because they wanted to get rid of the financial responsibility as soon as possible.
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From:nitoda
Date:May 29th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
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Do you think there may also be a side order of wanting the enterprises to fail, so they can be closed for good with the council able to say, "But we did try ..."? Cynical, moi?
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