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Presented at Speak Up For Libraries conference 10 November 2012. Looks at the contemporary situation for volunteers taking over public libraries, pros and cons, practicalities and questions arising.

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  1. 1. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.comI’m losing my job tothemIt’s making closinglibraries easierSo much better thanthose annoying paidpeopleWe love our library and we just wantto keep the library open.We can pretend we’renot closing it now!
  2. 2. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.com
  3. 3. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.com28% cut over three years – and it’s going to get worse.Staff are sometimes 50% of budget and books just 5%“Library work is easy and anyone can do it”“If we don’t volunteer, the library will close”This is the way to get more community involvementCouncils can say “It’s not us who closed it”We have proof it works – Look at BuckinghamshireWake up and smellthe RecessionThe Big SocietyworksYes - I love my library
  4. 4. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.comPostcode lotteryCommunismMaintenance DoubleTaxationLong-termFragmentationStealing jobs HyprocrisyMakes closure easierSmokescreenWhen the going gets tough Legal responsibilityReputational damagePosh places get tokeep their librariesOver my still-quivering librariancorpseYou retired and youdid WHAT?No - I love my library
  5. 5. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.comCRB checks and legal (but be aware some authorities don’t demand CRBchecks of paid library staff)Who owns the building?Job description and volunteer policyData Protection Act and computer systemTrainingSeed-corn fundingSerious commitment on behalf of council and volunteers
  6. 6. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.com“CILIP is opposed to job substitution where paid professional and support roles are directlyreplaced with either volunteers or untrained administrative posts to save money. This appliesto all library and information services in every sector.”“The Society of Chief Librarians strongly supports volunteering in libraries. The Societyfirmly believes that volunteers add value to the public library service, as long as allvolunteering activity is contained within a professionally managed and delivered framework. “But not SCL Wales“Staff costs are a significant and have been an increasing proportion of library costs and, ifthe service is losing up to 35% of its budget,[108] some staff cuts are inevitable … localauthorities need to give careful consideration to how to do least damage to the serviceprovided to the public now and for the future. They must ensure that they retain enoughexperienced and/or professionally qualified staff to develop the services on offer” CMSSelect Committee
  7. 7. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.comWhy are councils the natural home for libraries?Is confrontation the best way to campaign?What can we do to affect things, either way?What evidence do you have for your point of view?Anything else anyone wants to say?
  8. 8. @publiclibnewswww.publiclibrariesnews.comI am Ian Anstice MA MCILIPUser of libraries since 1974, MA in Librarianship, paid librarian since 1994,Unison steward, Information Professional of the Year 2011, Voices for theLibrary, Public Libraries News, Winsford Customer Service of the Year“Oscar” 2012.And … involved in the transferring of one library to volunteers.We are all, volunteer or not, Lovers of LibrariesAll views expressed or inferred do not necessarily reflect those of myemployer.