Saturday, June 19, 2010

Libraries: your comments

From Book Notes in the current issue of Carousel:

In March the Government published their long-awaited "Modernisation Review" of public libraries. The Society of Chief Librarians also published their manifesto entitled "The Numbers". It appears that overall borrowings are down and there are increased mutterings about libraries being community centres, decreasing their book stock and increasing other non-book items. Tim Coates, formerly of Waterstones and now a vocal library campaigner says "All the thinking and all the immense power in the public library service is in the hands of people who are more interested in the mechanisms and agendas of national and local government than they are in books and reading". Libraries are changing, and need to change but it does seem that some of the changes are ill thought through. In our local Suffolk library, for instance, there is no need to ever talk to a librarian. Books can be ordered online (which I welcome), then you take them off the reserved shelf, check it out and indeed check it back in. What is your experience? Do let us know.

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