Round up

Campaign For The Book
Newsletter : January 2013
While the DCMS has managed to transform itself into a grotesque hybrid of Pontius Pilate and Lord Nelson stubbornly pressing the telescope to the wrong eye, this doesn’t come close to a serious analysis.  The reality is simply that this government has no interest in the continued existence of a publicly funded library service, run locally by full time staff.

Don’t Privatise Libraries Blogspot : 2nd January
Boris and the Mystery of the Public Libraries Trust!

Huddersfield Daily Examiner : 2nd January
Library expert Biddy Fisher criticises Kirklees Council’s short-sightedness

This Is Gloucestershire : 2nd January
Two libraries to shut for revamp

Get Surrey : 2nd January
Villagers volunteer to take over library services
The library is one of 10 in the county which will become a community run project as Surrey County Council decided that paid staff members will no longer be used to manage them.

Daily Echo : 2nd January
Hampshire | Council chief to open new library
The new library for a Winchester estate will open this month following the closure of the previous branch.

Dorset County Council : 2nd January
Roll-out of community-run libraries in Dorset

This Is Scunthorpe : 2nd January
North Lincolnshire | Bottesford in line for new £150k library at Cambridge House
Bottesford Library is currently located in a shop unit on Cambridge Avenue, but will reopen in the new facility next summer. : 2nd January
Mission creep – a 3D printer will not save your library

[Stop the privatisation of Public Libraries] Boris and the Mystery of the Public Libraries Trust!


In January 2011 the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced that he was planning to create a trust to manage London’s threatened Public Libraries;


“Boris Johnson will tonight announce plans to set up a trust to run libraries in London that are at risk of closure.

It would “manage and improve” libraries for councils that could no longer afford to do so.”

“The trust would be run by Team London, which is being set up by the Mayor this summer to bring together all his mentoring and volunteering projects.

Banks and individuals will be asked to top up existing funds. Private donors have already contributed £2?million.”


It all seemed pretty certain, even Tim Coates thought so, with £2m already secured and Team London ready to be up and running in Summer 2011 but then in an article in March 2011 it states that “he is considering the idea” and that it has been put forward by the London Councils as part of the London Library Change Programme! Later that year he is spotted at a number of libraries promoting a literacy scheme (as reported in this insightful article on the Heat magazine website), run by the National Literacy Trust in cooperation with Team London, to help with the promotion he roped in Peter Andre, a bit like promoting fine arts with a painter and decorator! And then in Dec 2011 he launches under the Team London banner the ‘Love Libraries’ scheme which looks to place 2,000 volunteers, or ‘Library Champions’, in London’s Libraries, but what has happened to the trust and the £2m?

It all seems to have vanished, was it just part of the Boris self-publicity bandwagon?


But Boris does still care about libraries, in April 2012 he offered his support to the Brent campaigners saying;

“I think it is a great shame. It’s very sad what’s happened to the libraries in Brent.”


“I have heard about the efforts of the campaigners and various community events they have held to fight for them and I admire them for that.”

but then again it might be seen to be politically advantageous to back a group fighting Brent due to it being Labour controlled?

Then in Sep 2012 he opens a new library in Hillingdon (Tory controlled) complete with a Florist, a Starbucks and 2,000 books! (in case you want to buy flowers and a coffee when the shelves have been emptied!)


All this and 2,000 volunteers, as they say actions speak louder than words!


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