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Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Suffolk Libraries Comprehensive and Efficient?
A blogger complains that Suffolk is setting up an Industrial and Provident Society to run its libraries in conjunction with volunteers. There are many aspects one can criticise in this, but one he doesn't mention is the effect on the "Comprehensive and Efficient" duty of every local authority to provide a library service. Suffolk County Council may well be able to provide the service through this mechanism, although I suspect the volunteer run libraries will gradually or perhaps speedily go downhill, but what happens if either Society or the various groups go bust? Suffolk will still have a legal obligation to provide a library service, so it may well find itself forced to pick up the pieces, and bail out its creation. In other words, Suffolk look as if they are continuing to carry the risk, but they no longer control the service _ the worst of both worlds.