Friday, 20 September 2013

Yes of course, Mr Weasel.

On the 21st CILIP members (or ILPUK depending on the voting order) will vote on the no confidence in Vaizey motion. The full text of the motion is:

"In view of his failures to enforce the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act, this Annual General Meeting of CILIP has no confidence in Ed Vaizey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, and instructs Council to work with all other interested parties to protect library, information and knowledge services"

I'm sure one of the arguments put forward by supporters of the ministers policy of non-intervention while the library service is culled is that if the professions speak out against him then the influence of the profession will be lost. The problem with this argument is the profession is already frozen out. The ACL was shut down on the premise that is was a money wasting quango but it cost almost nothing and they forgot the law needed to change to do this. In the meantime they have hired a adviser who even part time will be earning significantly more than the minimal cost of the ACL so its clear Vaizey doesn't want to hear what the professionals think, he wants it in house where he can control it. Despite the ACL not having met for a number of years now, the department will soon consult on its closure. A wonderful mix of incompetence and willful ignorance by the DCMS. You can read the tale of woe here and about when the ACL last did anything here.

I'm sure when Ed turns up for the odd event and talks of the service not being in crisis and how he is "horizon scanning" you can grab the odd word over coffee, but really you're deluding yourselves if you think he is listening, he isn't, he is probably checking his phone or thinking about when he can get back to his xbox and GTA5. 

If you think the library service should consist of super libraries in the major cities and anything else ran by volunteers or part charity shop then vote against the motion and vote to support Vaizey and his current policy of non-intervention whatever the cuts.

If you got into the profession to open people’s minds to the pocket universes that books are and help all people get the right information, expand their understanding of the world, raise their aspirations and enable them to live full and enriched lives that you have to vote to support the motion. 

Please do the right thing, restore my trust in librarians, growing up I knew they were people I could ask and they would be objective, honest and give me the right answer to any question without bias. Give us library users the right answer now.