Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Libraries are dying – but it’s not about the books

“Public libraries have had another bad year. They are like churches and local railways. People like having them around, and are angry if they close. But as for using them, well, there is so little time these days. The latest Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures on library closures are dire. In the past five years 343 have gone. Librarian numbers are down by a quarter, with 8,000 jobs lost. Public usage has fallen by 16% and spending by 14%. Book borrowing is plummeting, in some places by half.” (via The Guardian)

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Libraries minister Ed Vaizey: Volunteers not replacing staff

“Volunteers are not being used as a replacement for paid staff in libraries, the minister overseeing them in England has said.Ed Vaizey said councils should invest in branches to save money, after a BBC investigation revealed almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have gone.He said the way people used libraries had changed but was not “doom and gloom”.Author Philip Pullman said libraries should not rely on volunteers.” (via BBC News)

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Libraries: The decline of a profession?

“Librarians are custodians to a world of information and ideas, performing an important democratic role, their supporters argue. But with 8.000 jobs in UK libraries disappearing in six years, is that status under threat?It was an inauspicious time to join the profession. Lauren Smith completed an MA in librarianship at the University of Sheffield in 2010, the same year Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the biggest UK spending cuts for decades.Since then, libraries have seen an influx of volunteer staff – from Doncaster to Dorset, from Gateshead to Gloucestershire – and a quarter of paid jobs have disappeared.” (via BBC News)

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Libraries lose a quarter of staff as hundreds close

“Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.Over the same period, some 15,500 volunteers have been recruited and 343 libraries have closed, leading to fears over the future of the profession.Children’s author Alan Gibbons said the public library service faced the “greatest crisis in its history”.The government said it funded the roll-out of wi-fi to help libraries adapt.” (via BBC News)

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Digital history: Archbishops’ Registers go online for first time

“They are one of the most important collections of historical materials to survive in England and from today registers produced by Archbishops of York over the centuries will be available online.The York Registers, handwritten on over 10,000 individual parchment folios, are one of the earliest and largest locally-produced series of archives from the medieval and early modern periods.” (via Yorkshire Post)

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