Newcastle feels the chill wind that may soon blow Northern Ireland’s way?

Where I live, Newcastle Upon Tyne, there are plans afoot to cull 10 of the 18 libraries. Given that it is the young and elderly who disproportionately depend on them, this is no time to cut such a vital community service. Libraries help create a sense of community; the public use them if it’s for getting books out to read or for job hunting on the computers provided. Ironically Newcastle is a Labour council. It’s leader, Nick Forbes, has proven … Read more

A flexible library service for the 21st century?

Following Alan’s piece on libraries, I picked this ‘advertorial’ from Google plus this evening… about how a US county library system is cutting costs and improving flexibility in their free at the point of delivery services by enabling the whole library service act as a functioning unit as opposed to the one discrete library… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a … Read more

Are public libraries under-appreciated and under-used?

From the 1880s, Andrew Carnegie began to give money to build libraries – the most widely recognised feature of his philanthropy. From that date, he devoted himself to providing the capital for the building of public libraries and the development of library services. Between 1883 and 1929, 2,509 libraries were built, including 1,689 in the USA, 660 in the UK and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean and South Africa. So it should come … Read more

DCAL cuts “widespread and unpalatable”?

The BBC reports on the evidence provided to a Northern Ireland Assembly Committee today by two Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure senior civil servants.  From the BBC report Overall, the department’s current budget of £109m is projected to fall to less than £92m by 2014/15. Speaking at a Stormont committee meeting on Thursday, [DCAL director of finance Deborah Brown] said the figures represented a cumulative cut of £46m over the budget period. She said the department would [cut] its operating budget by 14% … Read more