Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member Stan Waddington (Conservative – Nailsworth and Minchinhampton) advocated yesterday at the Minchinhampton Library consultation meeting that community run libraries directly charge customers either for membership or for the loan of books. It is worth remembering that the ‘community library’ model is proposed by the Council for some of our county’s least affluent and most disadvantaged areas.
This is on the basis that these libraries will not be covered by the 1964 Public Libraries & Museums Act as they will not be part of Gloucestershire County Council library network. The Council has confirmed that it thinks this is legal. The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) have described this as a ‘significant development’ and already said that they will look into this.
Thin end of the wedge?
Direct charging through the back door?
Quadruple whammy for community library users – pay in your council tax; pay in your parish council precept; pay in the library; AND you are expected to volunteer to run the library for FREE!
Fair and equitable? – Definitely not!