Thursday, 10 March 2011

Campaigners back library innovations, so long as libraries stay in council control

Chris Buratta in the Oxford Mail reports:

CAMPAIGNERS fighting library funding cuts in Oxfordshire have welcomed a move by councillors to look at an innovative London project which kept branches open.

Senior members of Oxfordshire County Council are due to visit Hillingdon, in the west of London, later this month to find out how the authority overhauled its library service, as revealed in Monday’s Oxford Mail. 
The 19 campaign groups fighting to save libraries across Oxfordshire have formed an alliance and most have vowed not to apply for county council cash to help run branches with volunteers.

They want them to remain open as part of the council’s library network and say they would welcome any innovations that help to achieve that goal.

Neil Clark,of the Save Botley Library campaign, said: “As long as it stays in council control, we’re open to these ideas.”  Mr Clark said from a personal perspective he did not like the idea of coffee bars in libraries but said that compromises should be explored if they could halt the threat of closures.

He said: “It’s not necessarily what we’re campaigning for.  “We’re fighting library closures and the breaking-up of the network.  “But we’re open to looking at innovation within the library system.”

You can read the whole report here.

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