e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Library turmoil

Today I had a browse on the website of The Bookseller – a very interesting publication.

An article entitled Surrey residents win library challenge caught my eye. It seemed that Surrey CC planned to withdraw paid staff from several libraries, apparently replacing them with volunteers. Surrey residents objected, took the matter to the High Court and won.

Good for them. Any challenge to high-handed political actions is a strengthening of democracy and shows that our nation has not sunk into apathy.

However, I thought the idea of voluntary libraries sounded intriguing. A bad thing in that it means less paid jobs, but a good thing in that it keeps libraries open.

But next to the original article was a link to another: Public Lending Rights not given in volunteer-run libraries.

I am not at a stage in my writing career where this has any effect on me, but what will it do to the income of published writers?

The article suggests that some new legislation will correct this problem, but, realistically, how close to the top of the government’s agenda is sorting PLR?


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