Council to ask non-users about views on Swindon's libraries

Shirley Burnham of Save Old Town Library group

Shirley Burnham of Save Old Town Library group

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

PLANS are under way to launch a town-wide consultation into the future of the library services in Swindon.

The aim of the survey will be to find out what people think the shape of any changes to the service should take, in the face of budget pressures.

It will follow on from a consultation earlier this year, which the council said was aimed predominantly at library users.

There were more than 1,500 responses to that, the majority of which were in support of keeping libraries open.

However, council leaders are keen to collect the views of everyone before any decision is made.

Keith Williams (Con, Shaw), the cabinet member for leisure services, said: “There was a good response to the first consultation but it is important we get the views of everyone, not just the library users.

“If you ask users then unsurprisingly they will come out in support of the libraries. There are budget pressures across the council now so it is important we get the views of everyone before any decisions are taken.

“There are lots of options open to us. With GLL taking over the running of the Link Centre there is an option to open the library for longer while there may be some tough choices to make elsewhere.”

Coun Williams said the consultation would also take into account changes in the way people use libraries.

He said: “A large percentage of book purchases are e-books now, so we have to look at that. It may be controversial but it may be the case that providing e-books for 24 hours a day is more viable than keeping a building open for 10 hours.

“That said, I am fully aware that many people still use actual books – I do when I’m on holiday.”

However, there have been some criticism of the plans. Shirley Burnham, of the Save Old Town Library Group, said the first consultation needed to be considered.

She said: “That consultation was town-wide as I understood it. It was online for anyone to answer so they did not need to go down to the library.

“I think the first should be given the original weight it was intended when they launched it.

“Providing books is not the only thing that libraries are used for. At the Old Town Library we have, in the term time, a storytime which is regularly patronised by at least 20 people, half of them children.

“However, we are pleased for the reprieve.”

Labour shadow lead for leisure services, Jim Robbins (Mannington and Western), said the first consultation should not be discounted but it was important to hear the views of all residents.

He said: “The key outcome I would like to see is a really strong library service which is accessible to everyone.

“We are very lucky in Swindon with all the libraries we have so I would like to see them protected but we all know the financial situation. We need to find a way of incorporating other services into the libraries so we are getting the best value for money.”

Comments (52)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:44am Wed 30 Jul 14

Always Grumpy says...

Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.
Close the small ones - a thing of the past now. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 6

8:10am Wed 30 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

I think any survey would attract users more than non users so it would be very skewed anyway. Aren't these the sorts of decisions Councillors should be taking? if everything is decided by people why do we need councillors?

We need to look at how the world is changing and do we really need to be spending money in this area if it has such limited use when other areas are crying out for funding.
I think any survey would attract users more than non users so it would be very skewed anyway. Aren't these the sorts of decisions Councillors should be taking? if everything is decided by people why do we need councillors? We need to look at how the world is changing and do we really need to be spending money in this area if it has such limited use when other areas are crying out for funding. house on the hill
  • Score: 3

8:32am Wed 30 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out.
It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.
So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out. It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 6

8:32am Wed 30 Jul 14

lolilovegolf says...

Always Grumpy wrote:
Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.
How dare you! The name Always Grumpy definitely fits you!

All libraries no matter how small are just as valuable as each other!!!
[quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.[/p][/quote]How dare you! The name Always Grumpy definitely fits you! All libraries no matter how small are just as valuable as each other!!! lolilovegolf
  • Score: 0

8:33am Wed 30 Jul 14

lolilovegolf says...

Libraries bring the local community together!
Libraries bring the local community together! lolilovegolf
  • Score: 2

8:40am Wed 30 Jul 14

Wildwestener says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out.
It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.
Spot on. Clearly the Council are trying to validate their already made decision to close some libraries.
Perhaps we should extend this principle and can all have a say on other matters such as Councillor expenses. After all, those of us who don't use them make think they can be done away with. Same is true of social services, or education. This is the logic of the madhouse. Cutting libraries and anything even vaguely educational is a false economy. I say stop messing about trying to be big shots with your empty car parks and wifi schemes and just run some services properly. I despair, I really do!
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out. It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.[/p][/quote]Spot on. Clearly the Council are trying to validate their already made decision to close some libraries. Perhaps we should extend this principle and can all have a say on other matters such as Councillor expenses. After all, those of us who don't use them make think they can be done away with. Same is true of social services, or education. This is the logic of the madhouse. Cutting libraries and anything even vaguely educational is a false economy. I say stop messing about trying to be big shots with your empty car parks and wifi schemes and just run some services properly. I despair, I really do! Wildwestener
  • Score: 4

8:45am Wed 30 Jul 14

Phantom Poster says...

lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
[quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library. Phantom Poster
  • Score: -1

9:09am Wed 30 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
Why not both?
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]Why not both? Davey Gravey
  • Score: 1

9:27am Wed 30 Jul 14

Wildwestener says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
yes that's what we want, a boozed up community, not an educated one
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]yes that's what we want, a boozed up community, not an educated one Wildwestener
  • Score: 1

9:37am Wed 30 Jul 14

Hmmmf says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out.
It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.
It's really nothing of the sort. Asking people who use something regularly if they want to keep using something regularly is 'the joke', they're hardly going to say 'no' are they? In the case of libraries, the council are now asking the people who pay for the service to give their views. I suspect only those who have strong feelings one way or the other will take part in the consultation, and would expect (and hope) the majority of those to support libraries.
Personally I think all consultations on public services should be open to everyone, not just 'users' who of course have a vested interest in keeping them.
Astonishing to see a Labour shadow supporting the initiative, has he forgotten it's an election year?
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out. It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.[/p][/quote]It's really nothing of the sort. Asking people who use something regularly if they want to keep using something regularly is 'the joke', they're hardly going to say 'no' are they? In the case of libraries, the council are now asking the people who pay for the service to give their views. I suspect only those who have strong feelings one way or the other will take part in the consultation, and would expect (and hope) the majority of those to support libraries. Personally I think all consultations on public services should be open to everyone, not just 'users' who of course have a vested interest in keeping them. Astonishing to see a Labour shadow supporting the initiative, has he forgotten it's an election year? Hmmmf
  • Score: -1

9:40am Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Why shouldn't people who are forced to pay for a service they do not use have their views heard over whether they believe they should continue to fund something they do not use?

If the entire population of the town is expected to fund these services then it's only fair that the entire population is able to have their say on such matters.
Why shouldn't people who are forced to pay for a service they do not use have their views heard over whether they believe they should continue to fund something they do not use? If the entire population of the town is expected to fund these services then it's only fair that the entire population is able to have their say on such matters. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

9:43am Wed 30 Jul 14

Oldtownmum says...

I can't think of the last time I went to a library. They're a thing if the past really. Searching through grubby books (I used to always wipe mine down before reading) trying to find a decent one, having to cart them home and then read them all in a timeframe before carting them back again. No thanks. I read on my kindle. I can sample a book, read reviews and it's mine permanently. There should only be one large library per town/city that can hold a large range of books, both fiction and reference. The small ones are no use at all.
I can't think of the last time I went to a library. They're a thing if the past really. Searching through grubby books (I used to always wipe mine down before reading) trying to find a decent one, having to cart them home and then read them all in a timeframe before carting them back again. No thanks. I read on my kindle. I can sample a book, read reviews and it's mine permanently. There should only be one large library per town/city that can hold a large range of books, both fiction and reference. The small ones are no use at all. Oldtownmum
  • Score: -10

9:52am Wed 30 Jul 14

Oik1 says...

It's been donkeys years since I last used a library, the internet has replaced much of what they were used for, so as a non user, have a single town central library and close all the others, unless they are all manned by volunteers and costs are met by the users.
It's been donkeys years since I last used a library, the internet has replaced much of what they were used for, so as a non user, have a single town central library and close all the others, unless they are all manned by volunteers and costs are met by the users. Oik1
  • Score: -4

9:58am Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Always Grumpy wrote:
Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.
I slightly disagree here. If those who use them are able to keep them open via a combination of their own funding, fund raising and, say, sponsorship - I would have no problem at all with them remaining open.

But to expect the vast majority of the population to continue funding something that's barely used these days - and has little reason to be - is plainly not reasonable.

Even when faced with closure, only 1,500 users responded (barely just 0.8% of the population of Swindon) and it appears that even some of them suggested there should be library closures... and that's the people who use them!
[quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.[/p][/quote]I slightly disagree here. If those who use them are able to keep them open via a combination of their own funding, fund raising and, say, sponsorship - I would have no problem at all with them remaining open. But to expect the vast majority of the population to continue funding something that's barely used these days - and has little reason to be - is plainly not reasonable. Even when faced with closure, only 1,500 users responded (barely just 0.8% of the population of Swindon) and it appears that even some of them suggested there should be library closures... and that's the people who use them! Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 0

10:10am Wed 30 Jul 14

Wildwestener says...

Wildwestener wrote:
Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
yes that's what we want, a boozed up community, not an educated one
lol, those giving thumbs down for education should hang your heads
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]yes that's what we want, a boozed up community, not an educated one[/p][/quote]lol, those giving thumbs down for education should hang your heads Wildwestener
  • Score: 2

10:18am Wed 30 Jul 14

Peter Mallinson says...

Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago.

Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined.

Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications.

In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment.

The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.
Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago. Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined. Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications. In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment. The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed. Peter Mallinson
  • Score: 8

10:19am Wed 30 Jul 14

Phantom Poster says...

Wildwestener wrote:
Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
yes that's what we want, a boozed up community, not an educated one
What's wrong with sitting in the sun with a beer and reading a book? I often do that, but don' t expect my book or beer to be paid for by the tax payer. Or you can always try a quiz night and have a soft drink.

By the way many of the books in a library are trashy novels. Reading one doesn' t make you educated.

A library - where you have to speak in hushed tones - and people are absorbed reading or surfing the internet is hardly a cente of the community.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]yes that's what we want, a boozed up community, not an educated one[/p][/quote]What's wrong with sitting in the sun with a beer and reading a book? I often do that, but don' t expect my book or beer to be paid for by the tax payer. Or you can always try a quiz night and have a soft drink. By the way many of the books in a library are trashy novels. Reading one doesn' t make you educated. A library - where you have to speak in hushed tones - and people are absorbed reading or surfing the internet is hardly a cente of the community. Phantom Poster
  • Score: -4

10:21am Wed 30 Jul 14

Phantom Poster says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
Why not both?
Because they both cost money!
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]Why not both?[/p][/quote]Because they both cost money! Phantom Poster
  • Score: 3

10:25am Wed 30 Jul 14

Phantom Poster says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago.

Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined.

Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications.

In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment.

The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.
Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.
[quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago. Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined. Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications. In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment. The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.[/p][/quote]Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated. Phantom Poster
  • Score: 1

10:36am Wed 30 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Close the Libraries, these are not essential services.
Close the Libraries, these are not essential services. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -4

10:44am Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

There seems to be a strangely held belief that libraries are the only means for people to educate themselves.

Also, if we're all simply paying for others to surf the Net and put together their CV, close them now, please.

As I understand it, the Job Centre actively forces the unemployed to create their CVs and use the Net for job seeking, so why would we pay for the same service twice over?
There seems to be a strangely held belief that libraries are the only means for people to educate themselves. Also, if we're all simply paying for others to surf the Net and put together their CV, close them now, please. As I understand it, the Job Centre actively forces the unemployed to create their CVs and use the Net for job seeking, so why would we pay for the same service twice over? Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

10:53am Wed 30 Jul 14

lolilovegolf says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
YES, AND MY LIBRARY IS IN A COMMUNITY CENTRE!!!
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]YES, AND MY LIBRARY IS IN A COMMUNITY CENTRE!!! lolilovegolf
  • Score: 4

11:05am Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

lolilovegolf wrote:
Phantom Poster wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Libraries bring the local community together!
That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.
YES, AND MY LIBRARY IS IN A COMMUNITY CENTRE!!!
So, it'd still be a community centre if the library closed?
[quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Libraries bring the local community together![/p][/quote]That's the purpose of a community centre (or pub!), not a library.[/p][/quote]YES, AND MY LIBRARY IS IN A COMMUNITY CENTRE!!![/p][/quote]So, it'd still be a community centre if the library closed? Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

11:39am Wed 30 Jul 14

Always Grumpy says...

lolilovegolf wrote:
Always Grumpy wrote:
Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.
How dare you! The name Always Grumpy definitely fits you!

All libraries no matter how small are just as valuable as each other!!!
Ah, abuse, the natural response of someone with a lost argument!
[quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.[/p][/quote]How dare you! The name Always Grumpy definitely fits you! All libraries no matter how small are just as valuable as each other!!![/p][/quote]Ah, abuse, the natural response of someone with a lost argument! Always Grumpy
  • Score: 1

11:41am Wed 30 Jul 14

Always Grumpy says...

Sandor Clegane wrote:
Always Grumpy wrote:
Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.
I slightly disagree here. If those who use them are able to keep them open via a combination of their own funding, fund raising and, say, sponsorship - I would have no problem at all with them remaining open.

But to expect the vast majority of the population to continue funding something that's barely used these days - and has little reason to be - is plainly not reasonable.

Even when faced with closure, only 1,500 users responded (barely just 0.8% of the population of Swindon) and it appears that even some of them suggested there should be library closures... and that's the people who use them!
Yes, I would go along with that, but I suspect the small number of users wouldn't be prepared to fund it themselves and would still expect everyone else to pay for it, which is my main objection.
[quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: Close the small ones - a thing of the past now.[/p][/quote]I slightly disagree here. If those who use them are able to keep them open via a combination of their own funding, fund raising and, say, sponsorship - I would have no problem at all with them remaining open. But to expect the vast majority of the population to continue funding something that's barely used these days - and has little reason to be - is plainly not reasonable. Even when faced with closure, only 1,500 users responded (barely just 0.8% of the population of Swindon) and it appears that even some of them suggested there should be library closures... and that's the people who use them![/p][/quote]Yes, I would go along with that, but I suspect the small number of users wouldn't be prepared to fund it themselves and would still expect everyone else to pay for it, which is my main objection. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 1

11:53am Wed 30 Jul 14

libraryuser1 says...

Residents need to watch out for the e-book spin coming from Cllr Williams.

“A large percentage of book purchases are e-books now…”

E-book purchases are currently around 15-30% of UK book purchases. The exact figure depends on what you measure. So the great majority of book purchases are physical.

“It may be controversial but it may be the case that providing e-books for 24 hours a day is more viable than keeping a building open for 10 hours.”

It certainly would be controversial because there is no way, in Swindon in the near future, that an e-book service will replace the physical libraries. Currently Swindon’s digital stock (e-books etc.) amounts to around 3,000 items compared to 280,000 items of physical stock. Thus Swindon’s library service is miles away from offering a comprehensive digital stock selection . There are substantial obstacles, not least cost and availability, in building up the digital stock.

The smaller communities are just as much entitled to a proper library service as those who use the bigger libraries. Dressing up library closures as technological progress won’t do.
Residents need to watch out for the e-book spin coming from Cllr Williams. “A large percentage of book purchases are e-books now…” E-book purchases are currently around 15-30% of UK book purchases. The exact figure depends on what you measure. So the great majority of book purchases are physical. “It may be controversial but it may be the case that providing e-books for 24 hours a day is more viable than keeping a building open for 10 hours.” It certainly would be controversial because there is no way, in Swindon in the near future, that an e-book service will replace the physical libraries. Currently Swindon’s digital stock (e-books etc.) amounts to around 3,000 items compared to 280,000 items of physical stock. Thus Swindon’s library service is miles away from offering a comprehensive digital stock selection . There are substantial obstacles, not least cost and availability, in building up the digital stock. The smaller communities are just as much entitled to a proper library service as those who use the bigger libraries. Dressing up library closures as technological progress won’t do. libraryuser1
  • Score: 3

12:04pm Wed 30 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

Wildwestener wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out.
It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.
Spot on. Clearly the Council are trying to validate their already made decision to close some libraries.
Perhaps we should extend this principle and can all have a say on other matters such as Councillor expenses. After all, those of us who don't use them make think they can be done away with. Same is true of social services, or education. This is the logic of the madhouse. Cutting libraries and anything even vaguely educational is a false economy. I say stop messing about trying to be big shots with your empty car parks and wifi schemes and just run some services properly. I despair, I really do!
Makes a bit of a mockery of the concept that we live in some sort of real democracy where the majority actually have a say in how things are run and money is spent. But agree in reality a democracy doesn't actually work because most just want things that directly affect them and are not really interested in the bigger picture.

I am not sure we should just blindly fund "anything even vaguely educational" as firstly we need to be more focused on how we educate and secondly as far too many forget there is no endless pot of money for anything and there has to be a balance of priorities (assuming we can actually agree what is a priority and what isnt!)
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: So they asked users who want to keep them. Now they are asking people who do not use them. Looks like they've made their minds up already as this is a joke. It's like asking people who do not drive their opinions on roads. Or restaurant reviews from people who don't eat out. It will just equal another service cut. I'm sure of it.[/p][/quote]Spot on. Clearly the Council are trying to validate their already made decision to close some libraries. Perhaps we should extend this principle and can all have a say on other matters such as Councillor expenses. After all, those of us who don't use them make think they can be done away with. Same is true of social services, or education. This is the logic of the madhouse. Cutting libraries and anything even vaguely educational is a false economy. I say stop messing about trying to be big shots with your empty car parks and wifi schemes and just run some services properly. I despair, I really do![/p][/quote]Makes a bit of a mockery of the concept that we live in some sort of real democracy where the majority actually have a say in how things are run and money is spent. But agree in reality a democracy doesn't actually work because most just want things that directly affect them and are not really interested in the bigger picture. I am not sure we should just blindly fund "anything even vaguely educational" as firstly we need to be more focused on how we educate and secondly as far too many forget there is no endless pot of money for anything and there has to be a balance of priorities (assuming we can actually agree what is a priority and what isnt!) house on the hill
  • Score: 4

12:28pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

libraryuser1 wrote:
Residents need to watch out for the e-book spin coming from Cllr Williams.

“A large percentage of book purchases are e-books now…”

E-book purchases are currently around 15-30% of UK book purchases. The exact figure depends on what you measure. So the great majority of book purchases are physical.

“It may be controversial but it may be the case that providing e-books for 24 hours a day is more viable than keeping a building open for 10 hours.”

It certainly would be controversial because there is no way, in Swindon in the near future, that an e-book service will replace the physical libraries. Currently Swindon’s digital stock (e-books etc.) amounts to around 3,000 items compared to 280,000 items of physical stock. Thus Swindon’s library service is miles away from offering a comprehensive digital stock selection . There are substantial obstacles, not least cost and availability, in building up the digital stock.

The smaller communities are just as much entitled to a proper library service as those who use the bigger libraries. Dressing up library closures as technological progress won’t do.
Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go?

The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books.
[quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: Residents need to watch out for the e-book spin coming from Cllr Williams. “A large percentage of book purchases are e-books now…” E-book purchases are currently around 15-30% of UK book purchases. The exact figure depends on what you measure. So the great majority of book purchases are physical. “It may be controversial but it may be the case that providing e-books for 24 hours a day is more viable than keeping a building open for 10 hours.” It certainly would be controversial because there is no way, in Swindon in the near future, that an e-book service will replace the physical libraries. Currently Swindon’s digital stock (e-books etc.) amounts to around 3,000 items compared to 280,000 items of physical stock. Thus Swindon’s library service is miles away from offering a comprehensive digital stock selection . There are substantial obstacles, not least cost and availability, in building up the digital stock. The smaller communities are just as much entitled to a proper library service as those who use the bigger libraries. Dressing up library closures as technological progress won’t do.[/p][/quote]Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go? The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

2:08pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Jayne35 says...

Though I have not used a library in a long time I would not object to them being funded. When I had small children we were always in the library and they are great for children's clubs/groups in the holidays.

I read lots but on my Kindle, however I am going to try to visit the library more as the books are free.
Though I have not used a library in a long time I would not object to them being funded. When I had small children we were always in the library and they are great for children's clubs/groups in the holidays. I read lots but on my Kindle, however I am going to try to visit the library more as the books are free. Jayne35
  • Score: 2

2:16pm Wed 30 Jul 14

PaulD says...

I would suggest that the majority of the 'non-users' are those who go out to work and pay the tax for these outdated things to exist in the first place.
I would suggest that the majority of the 'non-users' are those who go out to work and pay the tax for these outdated things to exist in the first place. PaulD
  • Score: 1

2:26pm Wed 30 Jul 14

libraryuser1 says...

Sandor Clegane commented:
"Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go?
The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books."

Looking at ebay - out of the 7 million books for sale I could only find 300 book related items available for 50p. But I take the general point that there is plenty of online competition for libraries.

I don't agree with you that libraries are a very tiny niche interest. Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year. In Swindon, with a population of just over 200,000, in 2012/13 there were over 1 million visits to the library and over 1 million books were lent.

People use public libraries at different points in their lives. Children, mums with children, older people, those without a job or visitors looking for information use libraries significantly. Adults who are money rich and time poor tend to use public libraries the least.

My suggestion is keep the libraries and beware of Council spin.
Sandor Clegane commented: "Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go? The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books." Looking at ebay - out of the 7 million books for sale I could only find 300 book related items available for 50p. But I take the general point that there is plenty of online competition for libraries. I don't agree with you that libraries are a very tiny niche interest. Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year. In Swindon, with a population of just over 200,000, in 2012/13 there were over 1 million visits to the library and over 1 million books were lent. People use public libraries at different points in their lives. Children, mums with children, older people, those without a job or visitors looking for information use libraries significantly. Adults who are money rich and time poor tend to use public libraries the least. My suggestion is keep the libraries and beware of Council spin. libraryuser1
  • Score: 2

2:35pm Wed 30 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

libraryuser1 wrote:
Sandor Clegane commented:
"Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go?
The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books."

Looking at ebay - out of the 7 million books for sale I could only find 300 book related items available for 50p. But I take the general point that there is plenty of online competition for libraries.

I don't agree with you that libraries are a very tiny niche interest. Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year. In Swindon, with a population of just over 200,000, in 2012/13 there were over 1 million visits to the library and over 1 million books were lent.

People use public libraries at different points in their lives. Children, mums with children, older people, those without a job or visitors looking for information use libraries significantly. Adults who are money rich and time poor tend to use public libraries the least.

My suggestion is keep the libraries and beware of Council spin.
Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working.
Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential.
[quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: Sandor Clegane commented: "Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go? The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books." Looking at ebay - out of the 7 million books for sale I could only find 300 book related items available for 50p. But I take the general point that there is plenty of online competition for libraries. I don't agree with you that libraries are a very tiny niche interest. Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year. In Swindon, with a population of just over 200,000, in 2012/13 there were over 1 million visits to the library and over 1 million books were lent. People use public libraries at different points in their lives. Children, mums with children, older people, those without a job or visitors looking for information use libraries significantly. Adults who are money rich and time poor tend to use public libraries the least. My suggestion is keep the libraries and beware of Council spin.[/p][/quote]Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 4

2:37pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Peter Mallinson says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
Peter Mallinson wrote:
Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago.

Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined.

Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications.

In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment.

The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.
Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.
Well Phantom Poster,

If you applied your logic to all small libraries and closed them, the unemployed throughout the town would have to use the central library to facilitate their CV's and job applications.

The queues would be much bigger than the job centre currently has.

There are a lot of people in Swindon who cannot afford the cost of IT in the home, are you suggesting that we should deny them the facility and keep them unemployed.

It may save money but I don't think so.
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago. Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined. Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications. In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment. The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.[/p][/quote]Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.[/p][/quote]Well Phantom Poster, If you applied your logic to all small libraries and closed them, the unemployed throughout the town would have to use the central library to facilitate their CV's and job applications. The queues would be much bigger than the job centre currently has. There are a lot of people in Swindon who cannot afford the cost of IT in the home, are you suggesting that we should deny them the facility and keep them unemployed. It may save money but I don't think so. Peter Mallinson
  • Score: 1

2:48pm Wed 30 Jul 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
Phantom Poster wrote:
Peter Mallinson wrote:
Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago.

Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined.

Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications.

In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment.

The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.
Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.
Well Phantom Poster,

If you applied your logic to all small libraries and closed them, the unemployed throughout the town would have to use the central library to facilitate their CV's and job applications.

The queues would be much bigger than the job centre currently has.

There are a lot of people in Swindon who cannot afford the cost of IT in the home, are you suggesting that we should deny them the facility and keep them unemployed.

It may save money but I don't think so.
Shouldn't the unemployed be using the job centre to facilitate their CV's and job applications? Otherwise, what's the point in a job centre?
[quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago. Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined. Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications. In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment. The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.[/p][/quote]Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.[/p][/quote]Well Phantom Poster, If you applied your logic to all small libraries and closed them, the unemployed throughout the town would have to use the central library to facilitate their CV's and job applications. The queues would be much bigger than the job centre currently has. There are a lot of people in Swindon who cannot afford the cost of IT in the home, are you suggesting that we should deny them the facility and keep them unemployed. It may save money but I don't think so.[/p][/quote]Shouldn't the unemployed be using the job centre to facilitate their CV's and job applications? Otherwise, what's the point in a job centre? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 6

3:00pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...


Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year


c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country?

I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.
[quote] Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year [/quote] c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country? I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

3:03pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Jayne35 wrote:
Though I have not used a library in a long time I would not object to them being funded. When I had small children we were always in the library and they are great for children's clubs/groups in the holidays.

I read lots but on my Kindle, however I am going to try to visit the library more as the books are free.
But they're not 'free' at all, are they? That's kind of the point...
[quote][p][bold]Jayne35[/bold] wrote: Though I have not used a library in a long time I would not object to them being funded. When I had small children we were always in the library and they are great for children's clubs/groups in the holidays. I read lots but on my Kindle, however I am going to try to visit the library more as the books are free.[/p][/quote]But they're not 'free' at all, are they? That's kind of the point... Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 3

3:44pm Wed 30 Jul 14

libraryuser1 says...

A Baron -Cohen says:
"Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential."

a) Both state schools and public libraries are paid for by the taxpayer so I don't understand the point you are making.

b) Why should churches provide or fund public library services?

c) DVDs and CDs are charged for and pay for themselves. Usually the DVD/CD service provides a small subsidy for the main public library service.

d) Re books - you seem to saying it is OK to educate people out of taxes but they mustn't be entertained by reading a taxpayer funded book? Perish the thought! How do you identify the two sorts? At the moment it is illegal to charge for borrowing a public library book - it is accepted that it is for the good of society that books and knowledge are freely available. Swindon’s library service spends around £300,000 a year on all books or £1.50 per head of the population. Personally I’m content with that.
A Baron -Cohen says: "Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential." a) Both state schools and public libraries are paid for by the taxpayer so I don't understand the point you are making. b) Why should churches provide or fund public library services? c) DVDs and CDs are charged for and pay for themselves. Usually the DVD/CD service provides a small subsidy for the main public library service. d) Re books - you seem to saying it is OK to educate people out of taxes but they mustn't be entertained by reading a taxpayer funded book? Perish the thought! How do you identify the two sorts? At the moment it is illegal to charge for borrowing a public library book - it is accepted that it is for the good of society that [mainstream] books and knowledge are freely available. Swindon’s library service spends around £300,000 a year on all books or £1.50 per head of the population. Personally I’m content with that. libraryuser1
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

I use libraries infrequently, other things provided from taxes I rarely use. I've seen my doctor 5 times in a decade. That doesn't mean things should be removed. Why are we taking Britain backwards? Preserve and improve what we have, jot destroy it!
I use libraries infrequently, other things provided from taxes I rarely use. I've seen my doctor 5 times in a decade. That doesn't mean things should be removed. Why are we taking Britain backwards? Preserve and improve what we have, jot destroy it! Davey Gravey
  • Score: 2

4:04pm Wed 30 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

libraryuser1 wrote:
A Baron -Cohen says:
"Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential."

a) Both state schools and public libraries are paid for by the taxpayer so I don't understand the point you are making.

b) Why should churches provide or fund public library services?

c) DVDs and CDs are charged for and pay for themselves. Usually the DVD/CD service provides a small subsidy for the main public library service.

d) Re books - you seem to saying it is OK to educate people out of taxes but they mustn't be entertained by reading a taxpayer funded book? Perish the thought! How do you identify the two sorts? At the moment it is illegal to charge for borrowing a public library book - it is accepted that it is for the good of society that books and knowledge are freely available. Swindon’s library service spends around £300,000 a year on all books or £1.50 per head of the population. Personally I’m content with that.
Churches traditionally perform societal functions, as its role is becoming less prevalent in Society, I would go as far as saying almost obsolete, it would perfectly reasonable for Churches to provide useful services to the community like soup, library, school services funded and used by the community it serves.
Why paying for 2 separate services (Schools and Libraries) when we could make significant savings by closing down the public libraries and let the schools provide the service instead, since parents and children will be the main users, this makes perfect sense.
I would be happy to vote in a local referendum about the future of local libraries.
[quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: A Baron -Cohen says: "Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential." a) Both state schools and public libraries are paid for by the taxpayer so I don't understand the point you are making. b) Why should churches provide or fund public library services? c) DVDs and CDs are charged for and pay for themselves. Usually the DVD/CD service provides a small subsidy for the main public library service. d) Re books - you seem to saying it is OK to educate people out of taxes but they mustn't be entertained by reading a taxpayer funded book? Perish the thought! How do you identify the two sorts? At the moment it is illegal to charge for borrowing a public library book - it is accepted that it is for the good of society that [mainstream] books and knowledge are freely available. Swindon’s library service spends around £300,000 a year on all books or £1.50 per head of the population. Personally I’m content with that.[/p][/quote]Churches traditionally perform societal functions, as its role is becoming less prevalent in Society, I would go as far as saying almost obsolete, it would perfectly reasonable for Churches to provide useful services to the community like soup, library, school services funded and used by the community it serves. Why paying for 2 separate services (Schools and Libraries) when we could make significant savings by closing down the public libraries and let the schools provide the service instead, since parents and children will be the main users, this makes perfect sense. I would be happy to vote in a local referendum about the future of local libraries. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 1

4:10pm Wed 30 Jul 14

libraryuser1 says...

Sandor Clegane wrote:

Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year


c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country?

I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.
The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”.

I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults.

The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.
[quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote] Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year [/quote] c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country? I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.[/p][/quote]The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”. I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults. The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014. libraryuser1
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Wed 30 Jul 14

The Jockster says...

Oldtownmum wrote:
I can't think of the last time I went to a library. They're a thing if the past really. Searching through grubby books (I used to always wipe mine down before reading) trying to find a decent one, having to cart them home and then read them all in a timeframe before carting them back again. No thanks. I read on my kindle. I can sample a book, read reviews and it's mine permanently. There should only be one large library per town/city that can hold a large range of books, both fiction and reference. The small ones are no use at all.
What a totally myopic and uninformed view- bully for you with your kindle.
You are obviously unaware that the local libraries offer far more than just lending quote "grubby copies" of books, like the ordering of brand new books for a start which haven't been well thumbed.
Free internet use, free genealogy research, children's library and special local events for the community.
Many people particularly the elderly are not computer literate or want to be but if they do they can learn at their library.
Too many kids grow up In a world without books and it shows in later life when they fall behind at school or when they are required to string a sentence together for a job application.
Long may libraries continue to provide such a valuable service to those who are not dependent on looking at a touch screen every five seconds!
[quote][p][bold]Oldtownmum[/bold] wrote: I can't think of the last time I went to a library. They're a thing if the past really. Searching through grubby books (I used to always wipe mine down before reading) trying to find a decent one, having to cart them home and then read them all in a timeframe before carting them back again. No thanks. I read on my kindle. I can sample a book, read reviews and it's mine permanently. There should only be one large library per town/city that can hold a large range of books, both fiction and reference. The small ones are no use at all.[/p][/quote]What a totally myopic and uninformed view- bully for you with your kindle. You are obviously unaware that the local libraries offer far more than just lending quote "grubby copies" of books, like the ordering of brand new books for a start which haven't been well thumbed. Free internet use, free genealogy research, children's library and special local events for the community. Many people particularly the elderly are not computer literate or want to be but if they do they can learn at their library. Too many kids grow up In a world without books and it shows in later life when they fall behind at school or when they are required to string a sentence together for a job application. Long may libraries continue to provide such a valuable service to those who are not dependent on looking at a touch screen every five seconds! The Jockster
  • Score: -1

4:22pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Hangbrownhigh says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago.

Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined.

Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications.

In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment.

The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.
Why not put Post Offices in them. I bet that would have em' closed quickly if Snelgrove has anything to do with it!
[quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago. Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined. Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications. In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment. The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.[/p][/quote]Why not put Post Offices in them. I bet that would have em' closed quickly if Snelgrove has anything to do with it! Hangbrownhigh
  • Score: -1

4:22pm Wed 30 Jul 14

libraryuser1 says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
libraryuser1 wrote:
Sandor Clegane commented:
"Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go?
The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books."

Looking at ebay - out of the 7 million books for sale I could only find 300 book related items available for 50p. But I take the general point that there is plenty of online competition for libraries.

I don't agree with you that libraries are a very tiny niche interest. Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year. In Swindon, with a population of just over 200,000, in 2012/13 there were over 1 million visits to the library and over 1 million books were lent.

People use public libraries at different points in their lives. Children, mums with children, older people, those without a job or visitors looking for information use libraries significantly. Adults who are money rich and time poor tend to use public libraries the least.

My suggestion is keep the libraries and beware of Council spin.
Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working.
Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential.
A Baron -Cohen says:
"Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential."

a) Both state schools and public libraries are paid for by the taxpayer so I don't understand the point you are making.

b) Why should churches provide or fund public library services?

c) DVDs and CDs are charged for and pay for themselves. Usually the DVD/CD service provides a small subsidy for the main public library service.

d) Re books you seem to saying it is OK to educate people out of taxes but they mustn't be entertained by reading a taxpayer funded book? Perish the thought! How do you identify the two sorts? At the moment it is illegal to charge for borrowing a public library book - it is accepted that it is for the good of society that books and knowledge are freely available.

Swindon's library service spends around £300,000 on all books or around £1.50 per head of population = the cost of half a pint of beer. Personally I'm content with that.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: Sandor Clegane commented: "Good point... but how many books are bought on eBay, for 50p a go? The Internet has made libraries a very tiny niche interest, in terms of both e-reading AND the availability of a much wider range of very cheap hardcopy books." Looking at ebay - out of the 7 million books for sale I could only find 300 book related items available for 50p. But I take the general point that there is plenty of online competition for libraries. I don't agree with you that libraries are a very tiny niche interest. Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year. In Swindon, with a population of just over 200,000, in 2012/13 there were over 1 million visits to the library and over 1 million books were lent. People use public libraries at different points in their lives. Children, mums with children, older people, those without a job or visitors looking for information use libraries significantly. Adults who are money rich and time poor tend to use public libraries the least. My suggestion is keep the libraries and beware of Council spin.[/p][/quote]Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential.[/p][/quote]A Baron -Cohen says: "Schools, and churches could provide Library services, but frankly this is not the role of the community to provide books, cds, DVDs to the masses of unemployed, non working. Taxes should be used for essential services, entertaining people is not what I call essential." a) Both state schools and public libraries are paid for by the taxpayer so I don't understand the point you are making. b) Why should churches provide or fund public library services? c) DVDs and CDs are charged for and pay for themselves. Usually the DVD/CD service provides a small subsidy for the main public library service. d) Re books you seem to saying it is OK to educate people out of taxes but they mustn't be entertained by reading a taxpayer funded book? Perish the thought! How do you identify the two sorts? At the moment it is illegal to charge for borrowing a public library book - it is accepted that it is for the good of society that [mainstream] books and knowledge are freely available. Swindon's library service spends around £300,000 on all books or around £1.50 per head of population = the cost of half a pint of beer. Personally I'm content with that. libraryuser1
  • Score: -1

4:40pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

libraryuser1 wrote:
Sandor Clegane wrote:

Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year


c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country?

I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.
The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”.

I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults.

The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.
That's even more ludicrous. 1 in 3 adults across the entire nation used a library in the last year?

Do you *actually* believe that?

If, as you say, children use libraries more than adults, we'd be looking at something in the region of around 1 in 2 of the entire population having used a library in the last year.

Yeah, OK.
[quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote] Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year [/quote] c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country? I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.[/p][/quote]The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”. I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults. The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.[/p][/quote]That's even more ludicrous. 1 in 3 adults across the entire nation used a library in the last year? Do you *actually* believe that? If, as you say, children use libraries more than adults, we'd be looking at something in the region of around 1 in 2 of the entire population having used a library in the last year. Yeah, OK. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 1

5:48pm Wed 30 Jul 14

lolilovegolf says...

Prehaps an alternative to shutting smaller libraries/all libraries would be to reduce hours open by a bit!
Prehaps an alternative to shutting smaller libraries/all libraries would be to reduce hours open by a bit! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -4

7:58pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Hmmmf says...

libraryuser1 wrote:
Swindon’s library service spends around £300,000 a year on all books or £1.50 per head of the population. Personally I’m content with that.

Of course you are. 1) you're a library user, and 2) it's not exactly your £300k per year that's being spent on 'free books' is it?
And that figure, £300k a year on books, isn't the whole story though, is it? There's the cost of buildings, heating, lighting, maintenance, staff, insurance, 'free internet' and all the other expenses fixed libraries incur. It's a shame the Adver didn't ask what the actual cost of running all the borough's library services is, it might make the third of a million quid a year for books look quite pallid by comparison.
[quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: Swindon’s library service spends around £300,000 a year on all books or £1.50 per head of the population. Personally I’m content with that.[/quote] Of course you are. 1) you're a library user, and 2) it's not exactly your £300k per year that's being spent on 'free books' is it? And that figure, £300k a year on books, isn't the whole story though, is it? There's the cost of buildings, heating, lighting, maintenance, staff, insurance, 'free internet' and all the other expenses fixed libraries incur. It's a shame the Adver didn't ask what the actual cost of running all the borough's library services is, it might make the third of a million quid a year for books look quite pallid by comparison. Hmmmf
  • Score: 1

8:09pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Hmmmf says...

libraryuser1 wrote:
Sandor Clegane wrote:

Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year


c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country?

I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.
The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”.

I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults.

The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.
You omitted to mention that the statistical survey you referenced also shows that nationally, library usage has 'significantly decreased' from 2005/6. By at least 25% in fact.
[quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote] Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year [/quote] c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country? I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.[/p][/quote]The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”. I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults. The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.[/p][/quote]You omitted to mention that the statistical survey you referenced also shows that nationally, library usage has 'significantly decreased' from 2005/6. By at least 25% in fact. Hmmmf
  • Score: 3

8:31pm Wed 30 Jul 14

SAVE_UK_MANUFACTURING says...

This cutting back of services and leasing out leisure centres/complexes and charging for green waste is just complete madness.
Just put up council tax and be honest about it. Currently we are paying the same for less!
The council's mind is made up I am afraid...they are doomed.
This cutting back of services and leasing out leisure centres/complexes and charging for green waste is just complete madness. Just put up council tax and be honest about it. Currently we are paying the same for less! The council's mind is made up I am afraid...they are doomed. SAVE_UK_MANUFACTURING
  • Score: -1

10:12pm Wed 30 Jul 14

libraryuser1 says...

Hmmmf wrote:
libraryuser1 wrote:
Sandor Clegane wrote:

Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year


c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country?

I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.
The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”.

I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults.

The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.
You omitted to mention that the statistical survey you referenced also shows that nationally, library usage has 'significantly decreased' from 2005/6. By at least 25% in fact.
A commenter suggested that libraries were a very niche interest. I disagreed and quoted the latest usage statistic. A commenter didn't believe the statistic that a third (at least) of citizens use public library services. I quoted the latest national statistic. Why are past statistics relevant to the question asked?
[quote][p][bold]Hmmmf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]libraryuser1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote] Nationally over a third of the population visit a public library each year [/quote] c.23 MILLION people visit a library each year? One in three of everyone in the entire country? I have no idea where you've pulled that statistic from, but it's clearly been spun and presented in such a way as to be rendered utterly laughable.[/p][/quote]The formal government statistic is “In 2013/14, 35.4 per cent of adults reported using a library service in the last 12 months….”. I suspect this understates the overall use of public libraries because children use libraries more than adults. The statistic may be found in the “DCMS Taking Part survey - Quarter 4 2013/14” published 3 July 2014.[/p][/quote]You omitted to mention that the statistical survey you referenced also shows that nationally, library usage has 'significantly decreased' from 2005/6. By at least 25% in fact.[/p][/quote]A commenter suggested that libraries were a very niche interest. I disagreed and quoted the latest usage statistic. A commenter didn't believe the statistic that a third (at least) of citizens use public library services. I quoted the latest national statistic. Why are past statistics relevant to the question asked? libraryuser1
  • Score: 0

9:49am Thu 31 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

I would be surprised if many people believe that 1 in 3 adults used a library in the past year.

It would be interesting to know how that figure was arrived at. Even if they mean that there were 23 million *uses* of libraries it'd be fairly hard to believe, but the idea that there were 23 million *unique* users completely beggars belief.
I would be surprised if many people believe that 1 in 3 adults used a library in the past year. It would be interesting to know how that figure was arrived at. Even if they mean that there were 23 million *uses* of libraries it'd be fairly hard to believe, but the idea that there were 23 million *unique* users completely beggars belief. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

2:54pm Fri 1 Aug 14

nigelej says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
Peter Mallinson wrote:
Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago.

Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined.

Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications.

In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment.

The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.
Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.
Door handle
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: Libraries are not just a room full of books. That is what they use to be like years ago. Now that IT is available in the libraries they have become a place of much greater use. Along with E-books, the need to hold vast stocks of traditional books has declined. Many people are now directed to the library to fill in their CV's, make job searches and applications. In an area like Walcot, the library is vital, not for the books but for the service it provides in helping people seeking employment. The old concept of the library is dead but the library service is still needed.[/p][/quote]Welll if they are in Walcot and unemployed then they have plenty of time on their hands to walk to the central library. That way they will be both fit and educated.[/p][/quote]Door handle nigelej
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Fri 1 Aug 14

LITTLEVILLAGE says...

I really dont see the point of Old Town having a seprate Library when the Central Library is just down the hill. Sounds like a waste of money.
I really dont see the point of Old Town having a seprate Library when the Central Library is just down the hill. Sounds like a waste of money. LITTLEVILLAGE
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree