Libraries Final Consultation

Dear Library Lover
Barnet Council have released their final consultation to allow you to give your views on the final proposals for our library.
A reminder that for East Finchley this means:

  • Reduction from 40 staffed hours per week to 16
  • Unstaffed opening will be introduced which makes the library inaccessible to unaccompanied young people and vulnerable users.
  • Floorspace will be reduced from 5081 sq ft to 2153 sq ft

The document is available here:

Campaigners have gone through the consultation and have come up with the guidance listed below, (if you do use this please rephrase in your own words):

We suggest that you strongly disagree with most of the questions, and reply that the proposals will have a very negative impact. Here are points you might want to make.

  • Q4 You might comment that the reduction in sizes and, therefore, resources is arbitrary and massive. There is no evidence that the real cost of reconstruction has been worked out or that there is a firm market for the spaces.
  • Q6 Tick ‘Other’ to open comment box. We suggest it would be better to spend the money on retaining professional staff than on technology. Instead of saving money, it will take three years at least to earn back the money spent on the reconstruction and technology.
  • Q7 and Q8 assume you accept unstaffed buildings, we suggest ‘No’ to Q7 and ‘Age 13’ to Q8.
  • We suggest you use Q11 to say a building needs to be staffed to be a library and it should be safe for people of all ages.
  • Q12 We strongly disagree. It is not a librarian’s job to recruit volunteers and it is not clear what kind of training they are meant to provide. Librarians should not have to train volunteers to take their jobs.
  • Q13 We think it is very unlikely that adults will be encouraged to use an unstaffed library because there is someone at the gate to say hello.
  • Q14 Please say No! The other answers open Q15, asking what volunteer work you would do, but we think the council might try to use it as proof that people are willing to replace paid librarians and run libraries themselves.
  • Q19 We think this is a good idea.
  • Q23 Assumes you approve of Partnership libraries. Choose any negative answer.
  • Q26 Say you don’t approve of Partnership libraries, which cannot provide a real library service to the community. Libraries need professional librarians.
  • Q27 Ticking No brings up Q29, where you can say that the council hasn’t provided any evidence to support its assumptions, nor reasons for extending opening hours and spending millions on electronic gates instead of on staff and stock.
  • Q32 Say it’s hard to trust the council when they have ignored rejection of these ideas on the last consultation, and when they claim the Edgware pilot is a success when all it shows is that the technology that opens the gates works.

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