CAMDEN Council staff are bound by their contracts not to speak to the press – everything has to go through the control of the press and communications office. Of course, we all know that in practice this isn’t the case and journalists value private briefings about what goes on behind closed doors from those happily assured that their identities will not be revealed.

As the row over the future of Camden’s libraries rumbles on – the idea of closing Swiss Cottage Library is on the table today – you might wonder if the librarians working in the borough would like to have their say. The rules schmules say they can’t do that on the record without a chaperone, but this poster/flier (see below) has been floating through cyberspace and landed in the newspaper’s dropbox this week. It is apparently a genuine document prepared for the recent national day of action in defence of libraries across the country, revealing the fears held behind the shelves by some worried staff. There is a long fight to be had here.

4 Comments on Ssssshhh!

  1. Constantine Buhayer // February 4, 2011 at 11:11 am //

    What’s the difference between enforced euthanasia and what the Council is about to do to us: close public libraries, sell council land and assets, cut up the welfare safety net? With enforced euthanasia the government and our Council can achieve even more savings!
    These cuts are, in effect, inflicting social euthanasia on hundreds of thousands of people across the country. It seems to me that soon we might soon see a statue of Harold Shipman gracing the frontage of Parliament

  2. Local Tory // February 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm //

    Very sympathetic though I am, (my first job was holiday cover in a library), and although I know that nothing good was ever done otherwise than by the working class, you’d have hoped that librarians would have a better sense of history than to write “public libraries were won for us by ordinary working people fighting for their own intellectual betterment”

    They could have googled ” Carnegie Libraries,” at least. We used to have one in Kilburn after all. John Passmore Edwards and Henry Tate might also be a bit annoyed to be passed over. Public Libraries were to a large extent founded by wealthy philanthropists, not Nye Bevan.

    If you want people’s support, why annoy them?

    (On a different note, what sort of monster gives birth to the sentence beginning “We remind everyone…”? or “We call on all intellectual…” )

  3. Albert Shanker // February 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm //

    Who’s putting Swiss Cottage on the table – that’s insane? (And scaremongering) librarians/user groupds know that the cuts will be £1.6m-£2m out of £8m over next three years!

    • Richard Osley // February 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm //

      Mr Shanker… The first question on Camden Council consultation survey is:

      ‘To make the first £1 million of worth savings, please look at the following possibilities and select your preference for how he large savings could be made…

      1. Swiss Cottage Central Library to be closed”

      ..and then there’s a list of other options with tick boxes. But it’s the council that have included the suggestion on their documents.

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