Home Book news Massive cutbacks to library services begin

Massive cutbacks to library services begin

by Louisa Klein

  29.11.2010
Unfortunately, in spite of the many protests, cutbacks to library services have begun. Librarians have said they are “angry and depressed” at the wave of library cutbacks announced, but feel “powerless” because they cannot speak openly about them. The Reading Agency director Miranda McKearney called “scary” the scale of library job losses involved.
In fact, at least 25 local authorities are going to cut their library services but, since many of the proposals are provisional and involve different options, it is unclear what the exact number of librarian posts are already at risk. Last year the statistical body CIPFA, which measures library book lending, found that almost 1,000 librarians lost their jobs, with 24,765 left in their posts at the end of March 2010. Thanks to the new cuts, this year the downsizing could escalate, with recent proposals including the axing of 20 smaller libraries in Leeds, and up to 23 out of 42 libraries set to go in North Yorkshire. Further closures in Dumfries and Galloway and in Barnsley are among the latest announcements. According to some recent accounts, in Wiltshire probably only 10 librarians will keep their job across the entire county, which has 34 libraries. A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council denied this was the case, but said that the council was “looking to get 240 managers out of about 550 across the council to apply for voluntary redundancy”, and that library workers with management experience were among those receiving letters to that effect.
 Unfortunately, in spite of the many protests, cutbacks to library services have begun. Librarians have said they are “angry and depressed” at the wave of library cutbacks announced, but feel “powerless” because they cannot speak openly about them. The Reading Agency director Miranda McKearney called “scary” the scale of library job losses involved.

In fact, at least 25 local authorities are going to cut their library services but, since many of the proposals are provisional and involve different options, it is unclear what the exact number of librarian posts are already at risk. Last year the statistical body CIPFA, which measures library book lending, found that almost 1,000 librarians lost their jobs, with 24,765 left in their posts at the end of March 2010. Thanks to the new cuts, this year the downsizing could escalate, with recent proposals including the axing of 20 smaller libraries in Leeds, and up to 23 out of 42 libraries set to go in North Yorkshire. Further closures in Dumfries and Galloway and in Barnsley are among the latest announcements. According to some recent accounts, in Wiltshire probably only 10 librarians will keep their job across the entire county, which has 34 libraries. A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council denied this was the case, but said that the council was “looking to get 240 managers out of about 550 across the council to apply for voluntary redundancy”, and that library workers with management experience were among those receiving letters to that effect.

 

 

 

 














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