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to think that closing all our local libraries and expecting volunteers to take over and fund them is a rubbish 'big idea'??

(174 Posts)
snail1973 Thu 02-Dec-10 19:24:08

Bucks CC are proposing (well it is out for consultation but we all know what that means - it's a done deal) to close 14 libraries (out of 21). They are asking the local communities if they want to take them over.

I am really cross about this. Libraries are so vital for families with young children and the elderly. Just handing them over to the community and saying "there you go, you find the money and the volunteers to run them" is doomed to failure and so yet again the kids and the old will loose vital services.

And don't even get me started on SureStart (also gone in our area).

Are libraries being closed elsewhere in the country too?

southeastastra Thu 02-Dec-10 19:28:35

under threat here, dp uses ours now and again but books are so cheap to come by now.

MrManager Thu 02-Dec-10 19:30:46


It's The Big Society! A.k.a "Well, you can do it if you'd like but we're not bloody paying for it".

NonnoMum Thu 02-Dec-10 19:32:24

Yep. Another crap idea from CallMeDave and his gang.

But all the kids of the True middle-class (i.e nurses and teachers and librarians NOT the landed gentry a la Sam) won't be able to afford to go to University (won't be able to go to Sixth Form) so they could do it.

Before they leave the country for a better life.

LostArt Thu 02-Dec-10 19:36:20

Suffolk are planning something similar. They are asking for interested parties to run the library service, but on a much reduced budget. Which will mean far fewer books, volunteers rather than paid staff and/or libraries shoe-horned into other buildings. All in all it's pretty grim.

mousesma Thu 02-Dec-10 19:37:59

Terrible, terrible idea. Yes books can be cheap to come by but only if you have the disposable income to spend on them.

If the government is serious about raising literacy levels then why take away such an important free source of reading material for children?

Goingspare Thu 02-Dec-10 19:38:16

I used to work for Suffolk libraries. I needed a masters degree then.

spidookly Thu 02-Dec-10 19:40:41

"But all the kids of the True middle-class (i.e nurses and teachers and librarians NOT the landed gentry a la Sam) won't be able to afford to go to University (won't be able to go to Sixth Form) so they could do it."

More to the point, what will they be needing books for?

It's joined-up thinking?

Since the lower orders won't be reading books, we don't need qualified teachers any more demanding wages - why not get volunteers to run the schools for free?

Sure the kids won't learn anything, but it will keep them occupied while their parents are off scraping chewing gum off the pavement so they can claim the dole.

NunOnTheRun Thu 02-Dec-10 19:47:25

"..books can be cheap to come by but only if you have the disposable income to spend on them..."

Agree 100%.

So, anything of educational value to society will have a price tag attached.

What next, state schools?

BarbarianMum Thu 02-Dec-10 19:47:48

YANBU - we are waiting to see what will be happening w. ours (staff don't think my local one will close immediately but they'll reduce the hours til no-one uses it, then close it angry.

I dispute this 'books are cheap' thing. Not that cheap to buy a couple of new/second-hand fiction books a week for me, ditto for dc. Plus reference books when we want to fix the plumbing/are thinking of Devon for a holiday/want to know more about dinosaurs.

MadamDeathstare Thu 02-Dec-10 19:48:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ReshapeWhileDamp Thu 02-Dec-10 19:52:23

We're losing 20 out of 43 libraries in Oxfordshire. To save 2 million over 4 years. Idiocy. angry

I was talking to our local village librarians (in a very well-used small library that DS adores) and they said that the whole idea of volunteers taking over is crazy - the council still couldn't afford to run the building, what with overheads etc, so where is this meant to happen? And yes, you do still need qualifications to run a library.

spidookly Thu 02-Dec-10 19:53:36

People need to stop expecting to be PAID for things.

Where is all this money supposed to come from?

The thing that makes the UK such a strong economy is that we are spending more and more of GDP on making sure the people that matter take a bigger and bigger share of the pie.

Wages are going DOWN for the rest of you, and rightly so.

Fancy becoming a librarian when you could do something of no social value at all for tons of money?

It just shows that you must be an utter fool and deserve the ignominy and penury coming your way.

noblegiraffe Thu 02-Dec-10 19:54:45

Libraries aren't just about books either. What about the Rhyme Time for toddlers and the book clubs and the computer classes that get run in them? The reference section, the quiet area for study? How is Big Society going to work if you destroy the community?

Fucking bastards.

cat64 Thu 02-Dec-10 19:56:35

Message withdrawn

whyamibothering Thu 02-Dec-10 19:58:53

Council tax has not gone down though and libraries are supposed to be included in the services CT includes. Will we all see a reduction? No, of course not.

Libraries are vital community hubs. You can't expect volunteers to run them. Charities are struggling to recruit volunteers, so what hope is there for this scheme.

Where are all these people that can work for nothing?

littleducks Thu 02-Dec-10 20:00:15

This plan is still at consultation stage, it can be STOPPED

There are green booklets outlining the proposals and asking for feedback on the idea in the libraries, or the survey can be done online

There are also public meetings being held

spidookly Thu 02-Dec-10 20:02:09

"Where are all these people that can work for nothing?"


But soon they'll be unemployed due to cuts in public spending.

Hopefully around 1m.

They we can force them to "volunteer" in order to claim dole.


santasbluebaubles Thu 02-Dec-10 20:05:40

Ours has gone from being open 5 days a week down to 3. I think it's an absolute disgrace. The library is used for so many different things and the whole community stands to lose out.

I remember one of the questions I was asked at my daughters one year check by the health visitor was "is she a member of the library?".

Our government doesn't seem to believe that education and literature should be accessible to the masses.

southeastastra Thu 02-Dec-10 20:06:52

people just aren't using our local library, today in the paper there is a 'use it or lose it' story. my job (unrelated by public service) is also under threat.

it's depressing for lots of public services.

does the local library have books available for downloading?

Ewe Thu 02-Dec-10 20:14:15

I actually think this is one of the better things to outsource to 'big society' - it's been piloted in quite a few areas and been really successful.

People are passionate about libraries therefore more often than not the community will take them over - plenty of people can find a spare hour or two a week I am sure. I love the idea of libraries run by a local group and as such responding to the needs of everyone in that community.

1percentawake Thu 02-Dec-10 20:15:46

YANBU - another 'away with the fairies' idea!

Most of the Gloucestershire libraries are going to be closed. They are desperately looking for other services and volunteers to share costs and stay open with a very reduced stock.

Libraries are an easy target as are most of the public services we are going to lose and the rich can afford to buy books so Dave/Nick won't lose any sleep over it..

olderandwider Thu 02-Dec-10 20:25:00

I think some people would love to work in libraries. Quiet, friendly, hub of the community. I might volunteer myself!

What will scupper the idea is not a lack of volunteers, but the deadweight of Health and Safety, CRB checks, targets etc etc. Just as red tape put off people from working on parish councils, so it will deter people who simply went to lend a hand for an important local service.

curlymama Thu 02-Dec-10 20:25:07

Tbh, if people want it to stay that much then they should be prepared to help run it.

Libraries are important, yes, but not anywhere near as important as some other services. And at the end of the day, services have to be prioritised, the money is not endless.

A library would be bottom of the list of things that I want my council tax to be spent on.

spidookly Thu 02-Dec-10 20:25:39

Qualified librarians are becoming more and more important as we pump the world full of more and more information and documents.

Leaving all of that important work to hobbyists responding entirely to their own "community" will destroy a valuable networked resource.

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