Oh dear!

ACE logoAfter the live webchat today with Brian Ashley, all I can say is – thank goodness there’s a chance to do it properly at our meeting with him on 29 June…

A lot of questions went unanswered – and that’s just the very few that made it into the chat session!

We don’t need a second Ed Vaizey. Yet too many of Brian’s answers are just like Ed’s. They boil down to: ‘Everything’s fine. And if it’s not, it’s nothing to do with us.’

The other ACE answer, used alternately, is ‘Yes, we’ve done loads of research, which indicates that there’s some truth in what you’ve all been trying to tell us for years. We’re going to start thinking about it sometime soon.’

I’m still not even entirely assured that ACE sees library users, and those who have been forced to try to run libraries, as its explicit concern.

And I have seen rather little, today, to change my opinion that ACE has wasted time and money on things that didn’t need doing – while ignoring things that desperately DO need attention.

The Library Campaign wants to work with ACE on the real issues. We will approach the meeting on 29th June with goodwill, and make a genuine effort to understand ACE’s attitude.

But this must be a working meeting.  So much needs to be done – and soon. Our members get precedence… but anyone who cares about public libraries’ future is welcome to join us.

Don’t miss your chance to meet with Brian Ashley and pose all those unanswered questions!

Laura Swaffield
The Library Campaign

And if you really care about libraries it’s the ideal time to take action and join us!

Details here.

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One Reply to “Disappointed by ACE live chat? Then join us!”

  1. Elizabeth Ash 11 years ago

    Comment, reproduced here, with kind permission from Tim Coates.

    Over the years we have witnessed so many initiatives wherein several bodies – mostly the same old ones – decree that they will come together to undertake yet another programme of improvement for public libraries

    This time it is the ACE, the SCL, the LGA, the DCMS and probably several others. Normally The Reading Agency has a little go and recently even the Publishers Association declared a determination to have a slice of the cake

    Every single time this happens there is a huge waste of money, time, public relations endeavour and Humous from the delicatessen . A report is written that avoids all the issues, is declared adorable by those who benefit by saying such things and is immediately thrown in the bin- months- if not years pass by

    What is needed – as Desmond Clarke keeps on saying – is for someone to be put in charge – to be made accountable – to actually DO something – and particularly to explain to local councils what they could and should do

    The Arts Council should never have been put near the public library service – it’s not what they do, they don’t understand the issues and would have no influence even if they did

    But how many times have we said all this? … It’s hardly worth the exercise of fingers on key board.


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