Monday, 22 August 2011

Council set to axe all library managers

Cornwall Council is proposing to axe the entire team of 30 library managers. This entire highly skilled and experienced team is being cut and allowed to apply for just eleven new roles such as stock manager, youth services manager or locality manager. The remaining 19 managers are set to be made redundant.

Instead of having a library manager, each branch will, in the future, have a senior library assistant in charge.

I've talked to a large number of people in the library service since I first heard about these plans at the end of last week and not one of them thinks this is a good move. Many are worried that we are letting go an exceptionally talented team. No matter how good their replacements, they will be less experienced and have less training. It seems pretty obvious to me that the level of service for residents will fall.

The other key point (although I accept this is more of a procedural issue) concerns how this decision is being taken. The Communities scrutiny committee has discussed savings within the libraries budget many times over the past year, but this proposal has never been mentioned. I have asked members of the specialist library panel, but they have been kept in the dark too. It seems very wrong that a change that is highly likely to have a significant effect on services is being kept from councillors.

I have written to the cabinet support member in charge of libraries asking him for details and have also asked for this issue to be put on the agenda for the Communities Scrutiny Meeting on Thursday.

UPDATE: This is how BBC Cornwall have carried the story online.


David said...

This is indeed appalling news! The middle echelon of library administration possess the skills and experience to take this important service into an uncertain future.

Miles Davis said...
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