Monday, 26 November 2012

Greenwich Leisure Ltd and Wandsworth Libraries

Diane Edmonds, heading up Greenwich Leisure Ltd, continues on the decided path.

Next, Wandsworth London Libraries. She says:

"We are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder by Wandsworth Council."

Where is all this leading towards, one might well ask?

Well, it all goes in line with what I predicted 10 years ago - the commercialisation and privatisation of our public libraries. But one gives up hope of trying to stop it all; whatever is the point?

At this stage, perhaps it is more useful to try to envisage where we think we are likely to be in 10 years time. Better than keep bemoaning what we have lost and what we might be losing in the shorter term.

Well, my prediction is that in 10 years time we will still have a public library service - but only just. That for many areas there will just be one main library (rather than several smaller libraries)  and that this is also likely to include other Community Information services. This library will mainly be self-service. And it won't be costing much.

Once all of that is in place, and if they think they can get away with it, the statutory obligation to provide a public library service can then be removed. And then what? Well, leave it to your imagination, but largely, I'd say - don't be looking towards a public library for anything much.

Oh well - might as well go to to Amazon, or a charity shop, or a second-hand bookshop or Waterstones or some other bookshop for many of ones books; or re-read the books that one already has on the shelf. Can't keep flogging a dead horse.

Need to think differently; need to do different (as the UEA motto says).


  1. As someone who's continuously flogging a dead horse, i agree the future is bleak we still need to put up a fight against library privatisation, recently Wokingham backed away, and Croydon Labour are committed to reversing any contracts signed!As for commercialisation i'll agree it's a bit of a lost cause, too many vested interests (SCL, CLOA, ACE,DCMS, consultants, the profession itself!)

  2. Whether or not to put up a fight and where best to place ones energy is something that people need to decide both individually and collectively. Having a good and worthwhile vision about the direction that we should be heading in is essential though, I think, and that is the place where so very much goes wrong.