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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Comprehensive and Efficient

I have argued before that including electronic information in the definition of a comprehensive and efficient library service is essential is public libraries are to survive.  Currently, there appears to be a widespread body of opinion that all electronic means are not included in the legal duty.  The Secretary of State appears to be among those who accept this.  If that is the legal position, it had better change soon or no libraries will be left.

However, rereading paragraph 116 of Mr Justice Ouseley's judgement in the Brent case (on the sidebar) makes me think again.  He seems to think that Internet access is implied. I assume, from my memory of the court case, that this is by the reference to gramophone records in the wording of the Act.  He is inferring a duty from those intermediate devices.  A reference to gramophone records gives you some indication of how out of date the 1964 Act is.

In any case, don't we desperately need Parliament to look at this again?

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