Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two articles dealing with the impact of UK library closures

The IWR has an article entitled Evolution Yes, Closures No. The article though is rather shallow when it says:-

Technology has enabled the whole search and acquisition process to become more hassle-free and less time-consuming for customers and what’s more, the migration of content to e-book format means that libraries can now produce substantial revenues without having to stock physical books.

I think the author would find libraries have e-content and have had e-content for quite a while.

The second article is from the False Economy blog entitled “Too precious to destroy” – Philip Pullman stands up for public libraries [found via Neil Ford on twitter]. In this more emotive. Pullman says in the article:-

Aside from denigrating the professionalism of librarians, Philip wonders where the volunteers will come from.

“The fact is that if there’s anyone who has the time and the energy to work for nothing in a good cause, they are already working for one....This is the Big Society, you see. It must be big, to contain so many volunteers.”

And will richer and poorer communities be equal in the race for funds? Of course not. The cuts to public libraries reflect the growing power of the “greedy ghost of market fundamentalism”:

“The greedy ghost understands profit all right. But that’s all he understands... He doesn’t understand libraries at all, for instance. That branch – how much money did it make last year? Why aren’t you charging higher fines? Why don’t you charge for library cards?”

Both worth a read if you have time.

No comments: