It’s good to see the new Public & Mobile Libraries Group up and running after such a long hiatus, particularly during such challenging times for public libraries.
The stated aim of the group is ‘…to provide information, training, development and networking opportunities to all levels of staff working in public and mobile libraries and to act as advocates for public library services.’
Despite the travails of the past year and the prediction of next year being even worse I am trying to enter the New Year with a sense of optimism. Therefore, I’m hoping the PMLG will provide the political advocacy for public libraries that has been lacking within Cilip so far and that they are not curtailed by the traditional reticence of the Council towards anything that smacks of confrontation with the government…or ACE…or the SCL etc! I am also hoping that the new raft of Council members are willing to be more critical in defence of libraries.
The PMLG has started well including a survey to members that gave quite a high priority to advocacy work. They have also produced an excellent new journal called Access and I would urge all members to read it. It also contains an article about PLN, the single most useful website about public libraries in the current climate. If anyone deserves to be nominated in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to libraries it is Ian Anstice.
Anyway, I wish the very best of luck to the PMLG committee and look forward to seeing the work of the group develop.