Tuesday 15 April 2014

Avoiding precedents

Helen Goodman MP has been up to see the Save Lincs Libraries group and gave a speech to the fantastic campaigners up there. She said a lot of good stuff about what libraries are for and actually she has done what her predecessor Dan Jarvis refused to do and called for the minister to exercise his powers and intervene:

"Today I have written to the new secretary of state Sajid Javid asking him to use his powers, he's got a duty to look at whether your local library service fulfils the requirements of the law"

Goodman also said some good stuff about not wanting a postcode lottery and about having a full professional service.

I suspect the DCMS and minister will dodge and wait for the outcome of the judicial review and the results of the Sieghart Report but its good that finally Labour have come off the fence and there is no a policy difference between the two. How the Labour party in government plan to ensure volunteers are not use to replace staff and the library service is maintained is another question we'll have to extract from them before next years election

Speaking of the Sieghart Report, I put in a FOI request for the terms of reference and where the three questions came from. The answer was they obviously came from the DCMS and not Sieghart himself. The third question about community libraries clearing showing the unwritten and moronic policy direction of the government.

The link to the FOI is here

And here is Helen Goodman talking to the Save Lincs campaigners:


  1. Don't get too excited.

    1) Ed Vaizey said good stuff about public libraries in opposition, but has done nothing significant on libraries when in government.
    2) Helen Goodman says Labour don't want a postcode lottery for libraries. Remember it was the Labour government that abolished that Library Standards in England in 2008 thus making way for the postcode lottery.
    3) Didn't Helen Goodman say we need to have a core professional library service not a full professional library service? No change on today's position I would have thought.

    1. Hi Libraryuser1,

      Sadly I rarely get excited these days so don't worry.

      1) I agree, the man is a useless as he is a hypocrite.
      2) Again, I agree Labour are also useless, but this is better than their previous refusal to call for intervention. They call it "opposition" for a reason.
      3) She said something along the lines of "volunteers have a useful role to play" Blah blah blah blah "but we need to have a core professional service, its a complicated thing running a library" So yes I agree it isn't much different to the "professionally managed service" crap we've had from the senior echelons of the profession itself, the tone is better than the crap they've come out with before.