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Author: Subject: Libraries dependent on volunteers
Underwater Plumber


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[*] Post 509733 posted on 19-10-2017 at 19:48 Reply With Quote
Libraries dependent on volunteers

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We no longer have a national public library service.
Until very recently, every local public library was part of a joined-up national network. In even the smallest library, people could be sure to find certain basics such as books and PCs, plus trained staff able to provide a gateway to national assets, including standard online reference works, national newspaper archives, a link to the British Library, access to the summer reading challenge for children in the summer holidays, and much, much more in terms of books, educational resources, reference material and contacts.
The whole point was to provide a standard service nationwide. But that has now gone.
It is now pot luck whether your local library is a full service, or instead, some nice people with cast-off books donated by other nice people. Or something – almost anything – in between.

There’s no way to tell if this ramshackle provision can survive. It has been common for community-managed libraries to have problems finding enough volunteers, or funding. Most residents have been grateful to have any kind of community facility.
But volunteer libraries have already ceased to provide a full, national library service. The taskforce did not ask about the quality of service in community-run libraries, so there is little information about the range and depth of books being stocked, or what kind of IT facilities are being provided. The research team could not even use a basic measure: the number of books being issued.
The government has sat back and watched the most drastic change in decades to an essential frontline public service. In an affluent country, with key needs for information and human connection, this is unforgivable.

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Undercover MOD


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[*] Post 509736 posted on 20-10-2017 at 00:06 Reply With Quote

Sadly, with the advent of mr Google and e-Books, the public library service is the one to suffer. It is no longer economical to pay staff to administer the shrinking number of books that are now available on-line. Fewer and fewer people will inhabit that "quiet" space we once enjoyed. There will always be a centralised repository of books, but, I suspect it will be along the lines of the national archives where you may access it, but not as easily, or as quickly as the local library. As with all "progress" jobs either disappear, or change, in this case, I suspect the "librarian" as we know it will be much like the old night soil. We still have sanitation workers, as we will always have librarians.
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Knowledge of Ages


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[*] Post 509769 posted on 22-10-2017 at 22:24 Reply With Quote

For those who are willing to use the free sources on the internet, there is a lot of material to read on most subjects, and much fiction as well. (Sadly, sometimes the supposedly factual material actually IS fiction.)

Those who were compelled to go the the library for schoolwork information are likely skipping it, perhaps unaware of what they are missing when certain valuable books are not available free online.
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