Library services

After reading about this latest threat from the depraved, short-sighted, unimaginative and wreckless Dunedin Council to cut library services, I was inspired to read (via Jim Gordon’s blog) about the people in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, who have spent the week withdrawing their maximum allowance of books in protest against council plans to close it as part of budget cuts. They withdrew all 16,000 books from their library. So we’re off to the library again to max out our borrowing, doing our bit to undermine the claim that ‘the proposed changes reflected the number of people using the library …’, a claim I find astonishing given the high number of library users I observed when I was in there last week; in fact, every time I’ve been in there. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many using a public library. It was a bit like a packed stadium, only the crowds were there for longer. So if you live in Dunners, and you’re not a regular at our library, please get reading our books!

BTW: here’s one of the priceless images from last century, depicting the London Library after the 1940 blitz:

Update: I will continue to post links related to this issue here as I find, or am alerted to, them:





  1. Jason,

    Funny to call it the last century, which it was of course, but I spent most of my life.. at least as a boy and young man there! I miss it, that is the 50’s and early 60’s of Dublin Ireland. And yeah too, the England I was theologically educated in later. Note Psalm 137 here!

    Sad about them books! My motto: Live to read; read to live! :)


  2. Yay for the people of Stony Stratford (just near where my sister-in-law lives). The City Council here seems to consist of people who never go near the library. I concur that every time I go there, it’s always busy as…in fact, the one time recently when I commented on how few people there were on the first floor, the staff told me: You should have been here ten minutes ago.
    There’s something nasty afoot in the relationship of the City Council and the Library. Their 2010 plans to shift it to the Old Post Office were short-sighted, and now – and not for the first time – they want to cut the budget.
    Sports are for the springtime of your life; books are forever.


  3. My local libraries are also often surprisingly busy, and being a lover of quiet libraries I sometimes find it annoying. But I’d rather a busy library than no library. And, really, it’s wonderful to see so many people enjoying the written word.
    Councils cutting back on library funds clearly do not realise how important reading is in our society, and that more books are published each year (including bringing old books back from obscurity) than ever before, and that more people use libaries than they used to, because the materials are current and people do actually read books!
    I hope the protest goes in your favour! Don’t forget to make sure you return the books nicely overdue so that library funds from overdue fines go up nicely!


  4. Thanks for this post Jason. And to Hermina for stating so beautifully why libraries are so important. Hermina’s right about paying for overdue books too! At our school library, any books lost/damaged by children are paid for (follow-up to the best of our ability).


  5. I’m a bit puzzled as I’ve seen the picture of the bombed library captioned as Holland House library but as it was a private residence the fact that people dressed for outdoors are in someone’s library doesn’t seem likely. The London seems more likely but was it bombed?


Comments welcome here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.