Wednesday, 17 October 2012

ACE in a hole

Update 18/10/12

Got a reply "acknowledging my views" on their lack of proper promotion of this study. I am now trying to find out who the "library relationship manager" with responsibility for Oxfordshire is. I have found an interesting bit of information on the "envisioning the library of the future program" study. It was put out to tender and the contract was estimated to be between 65k to 85k

As you would expect its choc full of meaningless waffle. The can spend over sixty thousand on outsourcing but they cannot spend a couple of hours and a hundred quid making sure the library authorities get their users to participate. They have a democratic duty to try and get the views of as many people as possible, this is a complete and utter shambles. The library service is being decimated, the minister has his head up his backside and the Arts Council are wasting thousands of pounds on a survey and for some reason decide to not tell library users outside of twitter a thing about it. I googled "library relationship manager" and very little comes up, if anyone knows who these elusive people are can they let me know, I want to know why my local authority were not asked to tell there users about this national survey. I thought I would add a video update, I really liked Phil Bradley's post with video the other day so here you go:

I have heard back from ACE (Arts Council England) on if they had contacted my local library authority Oxfordshire County Council to ask it to ask library users to fill in the:"Envisioning the library of the future" survey. In my previous blog post:
on this I asked who they had contacted and got the rather odd response of:

"We have also contacted a range of organisations requesting they share the survey with the public via their networks and newsletters, including organisations representing parents, older people, disabled people, educators, young people in higher or further education, book and art groups, social, cultural, ethnic and faith groups and people and groups campaigning for local government services, for example post offices. In addition, we have contacted library member groups and library service contacts asking them to promote the survey to the public."

My local county council clearly hadn't heard a peep from them so I asked directly if they had contacted them and got:

"We have a limited budget to support our work with libraries and decided the online approach was the best way to supplement our workshops and open up this research to a wider audience. This online element will close on Sunday 21 October.

Although we did not directly contact each individual library authority in the country, we have disseminated information about the online consultation widely to library authorities via our regional network of Library Relationship managers and requested that the option to contribute to the online research is highlighted to the public."

I have never heard of the Library Relationship managers so have no idea what this actually means. I have questioned the limited budget to support there work line though so have responded with another email:

"Presuming the MLA passed on a list of all the 151 library authorities in a spreadsheet with contact names and/or emails to contact them all directly then doing either a email merge or a mail merge to post letters would be the work or a couple of hours for one person, the email merge being free and a mail merge the cost of:

151 first class stamps 90 pounds
151 envelopes (1p per envelopes)
151 sheets of paper (1p per sheet)

So the cost to contact every library authority by letter would be under £100  in stationary and postage costs. The cost to email them would be free. To write a simple notification letter and do the mail/email merge would not take one person more than half a day. I'm amazed that this didn't take place. 

Do you not hold a current electronic list with contact details for the 151 library authorities?

With best regards,"

I'm not very happy about this, it for me shows once again that consulting by government, regardless of the level is just a box ticking exercise and they make no real effort to understand the views of the electorate. If I get a further response I will put in a update.

No comments:

Post a Comment