Independent report of public libraries in England
Edward Vaizey, the Minister for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and Brandon Lewis, Local Government Minister have jointly commissioned an independent panel to be chaired by William Seighart
Philanthropist and Publisher, to produce an independent report on England's Public Library Service. The panel consists of a selection of highly qualified people from the world of publishing, chief librarians, and also includes the author Joanna Trollope.
The Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries (AD-LIB) have submitted their report to the Independent Panel on the future of the Public Library Service in England. The report makes it very clear that public libraries cannot be solely run by volunteers and that there is a necessity for professional people to manage libraries as their experience and professional knowledge is most valuable. The report also points out that the services afford to the community managed libraries fall short of what County managed libraries receive.
The Association also supports the statement made by the Local Government Minister, Brandon Lewis, who stated 'Community Libraries form part of the cultural heartbeat of the local community and in his opinion should remain part of the valued frontline service'. Regrettably, Dorset County Council consider Community Managed Libraries to be outside of the Library Act 1964. Which in view of the above statement maybe questionable.
The panel are due to report back at the end of the year.
New library for Dorchester opens
The new library for Dorchester opened on 19th July at its new location in Charles Street adjacent to the new West Dorset District Offices. The new library offers all the latest facilities and has an impressive non-fiction study area on the top floor. Situated on the second floor is an area allocated for children with several rooms allocated for activities.
Over recent years the number of book issues for Dorchester Library has fallen considerably so no doubt it is hoped that the new investment of £6 million over 25 years will rectify the situation. It is now up to the residents of Dorchester area to support their new library and perhaps form a Friends of Dorchester Library group.
Community Libraries Update - May 2013
So far, 7 of the 8 County Managed Libraries which the County Council has handed over to be Community Managed by volunteer's are operational, only Corfe Castle library has still to be handed over and arrangements are in hand for this to happen later in the year.
It is very important that the public in these communities support their library in this new venture if they are to succeed.
Details of each Community Managed Library can be found on the AD LIB website.
Library issues - comparison of 2012 to 2013
County Hall Library Services circulated a set of data comparing the activity for each library in the county. The table shows a comparison of issues made in the past year ending 31/03/2013 compared with the previous year. Without exception library activity across the county has decreased!
A more detailed set of data can be downloaded here.
|TOWN A BAND|
|TOWN B BAND|
|COMMUNITY A BAND|
|COMMUNITY B BAND|
7th January 2013 - Opening of Puddletown Community Library
Monday 7th January saw the Puddletown Community Library previously run by Dorset County Council become Community Managed by Volunteers, other libraries at Colehill, Wool, Charmouth, Chickerell, Corfe Castle, and Stalbridge will follow during the forthcoming weeks.
The official opening of the library was performed by Kate Adie, former BBC news correspondent who stressed the importance of libraries being an essential part of the community. Also present at the opening was County Councillor Hilary Cox representing the County Council and Mike Chaney Chairman of the Friends of Puddletown Library.
Both BBC and Meridian Television and other media were in attendance. BBC were recording for the BBC Politics show which goes out on Sunday.
15th January 2013 - Wool becomes the second volunteer run library to open
Today saw Wool Library transfer from the County Council to become Wool Community Managed Library run by volunteers.
At the official well attended handover of the keys, Debbie Ward, Chief Executive of the County Council promised that the Council would continue to support the Community Managed Libraries.
After the ceremony the Chief Executive assisted David Smith, Chairman of the Friends of Wool Library and the Management Committee to change the signs over.