Friday, 15 October 2010

What's John got against Arnold?

On Booker night, Arnold Library, outside Nottingham, (yes, it is nice to have a suburb called Arnold; buses going there look as if they are called that) hosted an event with local book folk advocating one of the shortlist. In a vote at the end of the session the overwhelming majority wanted to read The Finkler Question, but few voted for it as being the likely winner. Another good night out down the library.
The next day Nottinghamshire County Council (Conservative) announced major cuts in the library service - 83.4 full time equivalent jobs to go, the book budget cut by 75%, reduced opening hours, smaller libraries to become "community partnership libraries" (work that one out) and mobiles to visit only monthly. Books will have to last 21.5 years rather than the current 5.4 years. The Cabinet member for (getting rid of) culture at the Council, John Cottee, said "we are committed to libraries being at the heart of the community". Except he's just given the community a heart attack.
Thinking back to the Booker event - I wonder which of those staff will be on the dole next year, whether the remaining staff will have time to run such events, or whether there will be enough budget to even have the Booker list borrowable on the night.
This comes in the wake of a major programme of library refurbishments initiated by the previous administration, including Arnold Library itself. The illustration is an artist's impression of Arnold Library in a year's time.

No comments: