Library Closures in the UK

You might know that in Fife there has been a campaign to keep libraries open, sixteen of them were singled out for the axe. The campaign has failed as although the closures have been postponed it’s only for a short time. One library might have a future but it is all very much pie in the sky at the moment with councillors suggesting that the library could move to a nearby high school. That’s a suggestion that seems to pop up frequently but I can’t see how that can work as schools are not the sort of places that should be open to random people walking off the street into them. The library access could end up being a honey pot for weirdos intent on getting a hold of youngsters for nefarious purposes.

Anyway, it’s a problem over the whole country and not only in the UK. You can read about the occupation of the Carnegie Library in Lambeth here.

Apparently the coucil in Lambeth plan to change the library building into a gym, with a few shelves of books in it, but there will be no librarians on the premises. The books are obviously just a sop to local readers and will be of very little use. Some readers have occupied the building. According to the BBC 350 libraries have closed recently in the UK and 8,000 library jobs have been lost. Andrew Carnegie will be birling in his grave, so if you’re in the vicinity of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown – that’s what the funny noise is! Honestly, that’s where he is buried, he was in the US when he died, so no Skibo Castle resting place for him. It’s such a pity that he didn’t stipulate that the buildings he donated for libraries must not be used for any other purposes – or maybe he did and they are just ignoring his wishes.

The libraries in Fife are trying all sorts to generate some income, selling bits and pieces, including coffee. But what sort of person thinks that the profit from libraries can be counted in monetary values? Surely the gains are far more important than filthy lucre.

There’s a Friends of Carnegie Library Facebook page which you can see here if you’re interested in seeing how the campaign and library occupation is going.

It enrages me that people who read are always seen as being of no importance compared with others. Why is it seen as being necessary to have a gym in the area? We all know what happens in gyms – some people join in enthusiastically for a few weeks and then never darken the door again. It’s simpler to get fit on your own, just eat less and move more – walk.

I noticed that in the Glenrothes area of Fife the council workers are busy building cycle paths, no doubt at great expense, I’d really like to know how much it’s all costing. I just wish that the library users in Fife had as much get up and go – or should I say sit down and stay – as the readers in Lambeth have.