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Libraries… July 2, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This is kind of disturbing… from the UK

Campaigners have given a cautious welcome to new Arts Council England (ACE) support for short-term public library projects, but questioned whether the money will have any long-term impact on the beleaguered services.

Seven library organisations are to receive a total of £1.6m as part of ACE’s four-year National Portfolio Organisation programme, announced on Tuesday. They range from projects in Cambridgeshire, Devon and Nottinghamshire to funding for the Society of Chief Librarians. It is the first time libraries have been included in the programme, which invests £409m of public and national lottery money a year in 831 arts and culture organisations in England.

There’s a range of criticisms of all this (and some welcome it somewhat)  – not least that this is a one-off, that there’s no funding stream into the future, that it doesn’t come close to addressing the tussle between national government funding and local funding in the UK, but the problem for me is that this seems to change the status of libraries. If libraries are simply the equivalent of other cultural areas that seems to shift their function and meaning. But, and I’m not sure I’m quite articulating my criticism correctly, but it seems to me that libraries aren’t simply equivalent to the arts and encompass as a function of their work all those other areas and much more. And this pushes them slightly into a box marked ‘the arts’ and ‘culture’. I’m dubious that’s a good thing.

 

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Comments»

1. mineau - July 3, 2017

libraries in this country are a gravy train for cute credentialled females

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2. Joe - July 3, 2017

Ah here. Very dodgy comment. A gravy train? You must be joking. And the cute credentialled females line is just plain bad sexism.

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3. sonofstan - July 3, 2017

+1 to Joe,
Regarding libraries in this country – Blightly (‘blight’ being the operative word, eh? – 7 years of austerity is taking a mightly toll, at least outside London. Birmingham has a spectacular new central library that they can afford to open for about 10 minutes a day.

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4. EWI - July 4, 2017

Meanwhile, (and surprising no-one) IMPACt are busy selling out the libraries in any way they can, I hear.

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