Here is a snapshot of work in progress
The County Council issued a press release at the end of November on its proposals to discontinue funding for 20 of its 43 public libraries, including Bury Knowle Library. This is due to happen at some point during the 2011/12 financial year
County Council budget is set (proposals include library savings)
Closing date for expressions of interest from the community in taking over the running of the library
Consultation period on the proposals
Closing date for communities wishing to bid for transition funds from the County pot of £600K (can be for running libraries and/or youth activities with discontinued funding)
End date for Phase 1 of the Future Libraries Programme
Timescales appear to have been driven by the County’s involvement in a successful bid with Kent County Council to be flagship authorities in the Future Libraries Programme, and the project’s remit is the following.
The County Council is currently developing guidance for community groups who may be interested in running library services but this has still not been released. Information that we need as a priority includes:
- Continuing use of the Library Management System (even if offline). This means we could continue collecting fines
- Continuing access to the borrower data (which they may say breaches data protection)
- Use of RFID for security but more importantly rotation of stock and interlending between BKL and other libraries – would they be prepared to put it in? If they won’t pay for it, then can we? As this would certainly bring enormous benefits
- Would they consider implementing RFID so the library can operate a self-issue system to drive down staff costs (currently £128K p.a.)
- Costs would include system upgrades and possibly buy-in to professional services from County e.g. joint procurement
- Could we buy in ICT support from County?
- Would we be able to hang onto the equipment and stock and furniture already installed?
- Would they give training to volunteers? (Someone would have to pay for all our volunteers to be
Action taken so far
Local councillors and HA have agreed that this will be a cross-Party/”non-Political” campaign
We have done some desk research and found information on other authorities who have taken similar action, most notably
Richard Stevens and Emma Chamberlain have written to Joanna Simons Chief Executive, Oxon County Council with a 6 page letter of objection / concerns that OCC is not fulfilling its duties under the 1964 Act and in light of the findings of the Public Inquiry in the Wirral
Save Headington Library campaign group has been set up and will meet for the first time this evening, members include: Sarah Eddie, Alex Babkevich, Lynda Hayward and others
There are a number of sites, including
and a Facebook site
A meeting has been arranged for 2.30 on Wednesday 2 February with Cabinet Member for Libraries Cllr Mrs Judith Heathcoat and senior officers, hopefully including Caroline Taylor, the
Cllr Roy Darke as Chair of the NE Area Committee
Cllr Ruth Wilkinson as Vice-Chair, NE Area Committee
Fiona Mackenzie (accountant, has prepared a cost benefit analysis)
Tanya Field representing Headington Action
Tony Joyce representing the Co-ordinating Committee of Headington RAs
Sarah Eddie representing Save Headington Library campaign group
We are hoping to persuade the Cabinet Member to reconsider her decision to discontinue funding for Bury Knowle Library, but need to keep all options open, including outsourcing the running of the library. There have been a number of suggestions from residents for income generating and/or community activities at Bury Knowle House. We would welcome more!