Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Northants Council Does U-turn on Libraries! --BREAKING NEWS--

I am (cautiously) delighted to tell you that Northamptonshire County Council has just announced that they have reversed their decision on library cuts, and that 'no library will close at this point'.  The Chronicle and Echo reported that all Northamptonshire Libraries (including Roade) are 'expected to be saved from the chop'.  This is really excellent news (if true), and many congratulations should go to all those who fought so hard on February 5th to get their point across to councillors. 

However--a word of warning.  The battle is not over yet.  The council has pointed out in its press release that there will be 'a fundamental review of the library service to make it fit for the 21st century'.  They also use phrases like, 'merging with other local services', 'community-led independent libraries', 'prosperity or volunteering hubs'--and fostering 'intergenerational activities'.  In short, they want a 'Big Society Library Service' here.  But what do the council tax payers of Northamptonshire want?   I just talked to Richard Purves of BBC Radio Northampton and reiterated my feelings on the importance of libraries.  I hope people will hear what I had to say and want to get vocal for their own local.  We have a little tiny breathing space now to think about what is next.  I'll be working with my local libraries and discussing what I can do to help--but I'm only one person. We've seen what people power can do in Egypt--and what it did on behalf of libraries on 5th February 2011.  So please, if you're reading this and you're in Northamptonshire--go to your local library TODAY and give them your support. We fight on!


Anonymous said...

yes quite correct, it is indeed very good news , but as a library worker in northants i can tell you that all the management talk about is for us all to push getting more and more volunteers in to do anything, shelve books, help with the internet,run clubs, they say this will free up the regular staff to do other stuff, but i seem to remember them saying that about the self service system which has its own fair share of problems , not to mention alot of customers prefer a real member of staff rather than a machine.
what the management/councellors fail to see is that every form of service or buisness,even your local football club are looking for volunteers and there just are not enough people out there who can afford to work for free, and surely the standard of customer service is going to drop when you get rid of a lot of dedicated trained , library staff!!!

Katherine Langrish said...

Good news but I agree it pays to take it all with a pinch of salt and keep a sharp eye out for developments. Now to see what happens in Oxfordshire.

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