Monday, 31 October 2011
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Until the official transcript of this morning's Culture Media and Sport Select Committee session with the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, appears, here's a version in note form put together by reviewing the live television stream. Note that we were incorrect to tweet during the session that Hunt had said that the Isle of Wight and Somerset court cases were due to report before the end of the month; he said that it was Gloucestershire and Somerset. Nevertheless, Brent campaigners will be surprised to hear this, as they believe their Court of Appeal case will come first.
Hunt was asked three questions by the committee, all by the chair.
Q: How does he understand the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act requirement for a comprehensive and efficient service?
A: Original definition of comprehensive and efficient in Roberts Report of 1959. Comprehensive = good selection of books, when books more expensive, efficient = reducing no of authorities. He takes responsibilities seriously, modernisation yes, vandalism no. Has had extensive discussions and engagement with Brent, Lewisham, Somerset, Gloucestershire and IoW about their programmes, not appropriate to comment in detail on individual cases as judicial reviews in progress, Somerset and Glos this month, Brent from Court of Appeal next. 151 library authorities, 140 are modernising, dealing with cuts without large library closure programmes. What we are here to protect under 64 Act is services not buildings, not to stand in way of sensible modernisation, make sure local authorities doing everything they can through library plans to maintain good library services
We're picking up a lot of blog posts from delegates. The prize for comprehensiveness must go to Ian Anstice on his Public Libraries News site, who has shared twelve pages of verbatim notes, as well as a summary post. It's also well worth reading Lauren Smith, who blogs at Walk You Home, Voices for the Library's post, Information Overload, whose subtitle, From Local to National, sums up the spirit of the conference very well and the Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries blog
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
One of the chief actions to come out of last Saturday's conference was that we should organise, in February, a national demonstration for public libraries in London, route to include Downing Street and/or the DCMS. One suggestion is that at DCMS, or in Trafalgar Square, we might have a read-in. This is not in opposition to 4 February, 2012, which is National Libraries Day. It could take place later in the month, so that the local activities on 4 February are an opportunity to build for the march.
This will take a lot of organisation, so the next Executive Committee of the Library Campaign will be a planning meeting, open to all who want to play a part. It's at 2pm on Saturday 19 November, at a central London venue: place to be announced as soon as we have it.
Note (31 October): we may have to move the time forward too; more news when we have it
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
The most comprehensive account of Saturday's conference was on Public Libraries News: http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/2011/10/library-campaign-conference-latest.html
Other press accounts:
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Privatisation and public library services
Croydon and Wandsworth
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Monday, 17 October 2011
We can now announce details of workshop leaders for the workshops on Saturday.
Registration is still open at http://andrewtlc.blogspot.com/2011/09/online-registration-form.html or by email
Thursday, 13 October 2011
Today Mr Justice Ouseley ruled in favour of Brent council. This is a blow, but the thousands of people involved in campaigning for libraries will not give up just because the law is an ass. But how? The place to debate these issues is at the first national forum for library campaigners since the coalition seized power, the conference on 22nd October. Details here: http://andrewtlc.blogspot.com/2011/09/online-registration-form.html