Public library reports

I’ve added a new page to my blog today Public Libraries – Reports (see menu bar above) to collate the various reports, reviews and research relating to public libraries in the UK since 2010. I’ve chosen 2010 as the cut-off as given the rate of change since then anything previous is basically superfluous.

Obviously 2010 was the start of the austerity programme and the subsequent wide-scale cutbacks in the public sector, with local authorities being hit particularly hard.

During this period public libraries have undergone and continue to undergo rapid change, some good but much bad, with large scale reductions in funding, staffing and resources, as well as closures and handing over services to volunteers. Equally, there has been many reports and reviews about libraries from such diverse organisations as the DCMS, Unison, and the Women’s Institute.

I hope the page is useful and please feel free to send me links to any relevant reports etc for inclusion.

One comment

  1. “I’ve chosen 2010 as the cut-off as given the rate of change since then anything previous is basically superfluous.”

    This view seems to me to be an incomplete and quite unproductive way of looking at history. I hope I may rest assured, using that logic, that my own sins or otherwise, prior to 2010, will have been erased when Judgement Day arrives.

    I can see that producing an abridged list of Reports may be convenient for the author, but – and this, I feel is important – I fear that providing links only to those produced under “austerity” serves to legitimise this Government’s indecent assaults on the library service.

    Incidentally, Gerald Kaufmann and his Culture Select Committee (in 2005!) studied 10 years of figures and concluded that Libraries were already “a service in distress” and identified a woeful lack of leadership in the sector. Since then a mass of verbiage from dozens of entities, duly bound and gathering dust in the archives of DCMS, has contributed pretty much of nothing. People should be made aware of this and the useless regimes that have had a hand in it.

    Much of the content has been vacuous *spin* and waffle, with few exceptions – the Charteris Report (The Wirral) being one: its findings now conveniently ignored, in the same way as those of Kaufmann’s select committee Inquiry have been ignored post-2005.

    Yes, 2010 was the start of the so-called “austerity programme” and has resulted in horrendous cutbacks in the public sector – BUT the fact that Public Libraries are suffering disproportionately is not new and has NOT occurred in a vacuum. Rendering a whole lump of history “superfluous” seems a step too far and the unforeseen consequences of legitimising what is going on now, perhaps a *marathon of steps* too far?


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