Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Gateshead Libraries Consultation

Gateshead Council are continuing with their library cuts consultations which have now entered the second phase. Any changes to the service will be implemented by June 2013, at the earliest.

A meeting was held today at one of the branch libraries earmarked for community-run status in order to gauge the level of interest in volunteering.

A handout detailing which services the council would continue to provide and what would be required of volunteers was distributed.

There were many local people at the meeting who were interested in volunteering in order to keep the library open. Some of the concerns raised were:

  • the issuing and collection of late fines (volunteers do not seem keen to handle money unsupervised and there are legal issues surrounding how the collected money would be used, i.e. volunteers can't collect money for the council) 
  • the lack of supervision from a qualified library employee
  • the need to form a committee of core volunteers in order organise the other volunteers effectively
Whatever happens to the library come June 2013, it will definitely not be run in the same way as it is now.

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