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Libraries are the wrong target to save money

(74 Posts)
seekinginspiration Fri 29-Jul-11 20:08:38

To think that this summer (2011) is the opportunity to save your local library? Go there, and take out books. Yes, before the (thought police) check this ? it does involve politics,; but NO : the money involved is minimalistic: £20,000 to staff a library for one year. Yes my 21 year old son is using a kindle, yes my 15 year old never goes to the library?.. but the library is important. Every library in BRITAIN reflects Britiain because it reflects localism. Every library and every community is different ?. Please respect that ?.. libraries of Britain CAN be the CATALYSTS of change - new business; old business = re-groath and new beginnings. PLEASE recognize that libraries are the WRONG target for saving money. FAR from being ?the easy target? libraries are the wrong target. ?? and I could go on ?. About why libraries are so important to British society but I WON?T ? I will ask you to tell this government WHY ?. SO Please tell them. ??..

BitzyVonMuffling Fri 29-Jul-11 20:10:08

I'm sure that all made sense in your head. On the screen? Not so much.

StrawHat Fri 29-Jul-11 20:13:32

I work in one.
What do I do with DS on my day off? I take him to my local one.

Libraries RULE!
or maybe I'm just a bit weird

LineRunner Fri 29-Jul-11 20:13:56

I agree with your desire to protect libraries, and that using them is the best way for the public to help.

But it does not cost £20k to staff a library for one year.

Sirzy Fri 29-Jul-11 20:14:51

I do use my local library BUT I can see why there needs to be changes to the system to reflect changing times and local usage.

If people aren't using them then of course they will shut them/merge libraries.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 29-Jul-11 20:16:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fivegomadindorset Fri 29-Jul-11 20:19:12

To late they are closing 9 of ours, managed to get it down to that from the 20 they originally wanted to do.

NarcissaMalfoy Fri 29-Jul-11 20:19:37

£20k a year - You must have the smallest library in the world then. I counted 10 staff in ours in Monday, which considering it's all self service takes overstaffing to new levels.

seekinginspiration Fri 29-Jul-11 20:22:08

Yes,,,, BitzVonMiffing .... in my head it has made sense.... but I have faced the british public for 8 months telling me how much they care about their libraries... not just their local library, Did you watch JORDY finishing school because £21,000 spread over 12 months = a few coats and a few bad investments! ........ But, as always ... I appreciate your comments... better some than none. NOBODY was interested in my comments about BIOLOGY A level.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 29-Jul-11 20:23:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seekinginspiration Fri 29-Jul-11 20:26:11

Yes NarcissaMalfoy I do work in a Band C library - geograhically big - but classed a a small library. On Tuesday afternoon I was ONE person trying to cope with FIVE people. One wanted to send a fax, one wanted some printing, one wanted help with photocopying, one wanted help signing up for the summer reading challange: CIRCUS STARS and one wanted help to find a book they had heard about on the radio. ..... and Yes we had some volunteers ... but NOT in the SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!!!!!!

fivegomadindorset Fri 29-Jul-11 20:29:34

Our local library is open 7 hours a week. I work on one aswell and love it.

LineRunner Fri 29-Jul-11 20:33:35

So you get paid £20k and run the library all on your own?

That seems very unfair on you.

seekinginspiration Fri 29-Jul-11 20:36:56

No from the library I earn £,3,421 per annum but I work else where to survive.

LineRunner Fri 29-Jul-11 20:43:22

So you do about 7 hours a week? Plus volunteers?

Who runs it full-time, though? Qualified librarians usually get paid more than £20k per year.

I'm not doubting you, just trying to understand the finances. I think the Big Society is shit, and people should be paid properly to do jobs.

twilight3 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:50:23

WHICH is the right target to save money? Schools? Roads? Playgrounds? Parks? Benefits (and which ones)? NHS(again, which services)? Sure Sart centres? Community Care? ... Who has the right answer?

LineRunner Fri 29-Jul-11 20:53:15

How about having a look at:


The obscenely rich.


PumpkinBones Fri 29-Jul-11 20:58:25

Ah yes, the Big Society at it's best; removing services from the people who need them most, who are the least well-equipped to rise up and become a self managing volunteer led community. The message clearly being, "If you cared abut your libraries, you'd run them yourselves. As you haven't' they obviously don't matter."

As a charity worker, I'm hugely in favour of supporting and promoting volunteering, but the whole Big Society rhetoric makes me sick.

twilight3 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:58:37

What do you mean? How are you going to save money from the obscenely rich? confused

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 29-Jul-11 21:01:25

To play devil's advocate - do we really need libraries? Long term.

In another generation, say.

Are we not just naturally moving away from libraries towards - buying books, reading online, those kindle things even?

And how long, realistically, will it be before everyone's on the net?

What do libraries do that cannot be done elsewhere and, more to the point, will be done elsewhere through choice over time?

Libraries were great when lots of people couldn't afford to buy books, or more recently, couldn't access the internet etc.

But in years to come will we actually need libraries?

I don't know, should we start from the pov that we have always had them so we must protect them and always have them? Surely it should be what services does a library provide? is it the only way? is it the best way? is it the way that people want?

If libraries are closing, it is because not enough people are using them. If not enough people are using them - why? If people don't feel they need them - are they needed?

LineRunner Fri 29-Jul-11 21:03:32

Tax them. Tax the obscenely rich.

Too soon?

twilight3 Fri 29-Jul-11 21:07:10

usually the obscenely rich (unless we talking about royals who imo are sponges who should return everything to the state and take their arses to work) are rich because they worked hard for it. And then they pay 50% of their taxes. How much exactly should one tax them before they decide it's not worth the effort and they either stop workin their arses off or start evading tax.

hayleysd Fri 29-Jul-11 21:09:05

It costs a lot more than £20000 to staff a library at our local one each librarian us paid round that figure then they have a manager on around £35000! And there are about 6 librarians

bubblesincoffee Fri 29-Jul-11 21:13:47

I don't thin libraries are the wrong target actually.

They are a public service, and public services cost money.

Out of all the public services that cost money, like the hospitals, doctors surgeries, social care, the police, the fire brigade, schools, disability services, street cleaners, etc etc, libraries are really quite low down on the list of essentials.

It would be great if there was enough money to fund everything properly, but there isn't. Something has to give.

EdithWeston Fri 29-Jul-11 21:17:42

Do we have to go round again the pointless cycle of erroneous comment on how much the Crown contributes to the nation's finances? Because, yes, they are net contributors.

Ditto (yawn) tax the rich - done to death elsewhere.

But if the central Govt did somehow, against all odds, raise a worthwhile amount of money from that: is increasing the subvention to Local Authorities really the top priority??

Because it's important to remember that it is your local Council who is deciding about libraries. Not every LA is closing libraries, and I don't think there's a strong correlation between which party/parties control and authority and whether libraries are closing.

If you want to save your library, you need to lobby your Council. Have those posting on this thread written to (or been to see) their councillor? Have you looked at the wider budget and identified countervailing savings? Or would you prefer to lobby for a higher council tax?

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