St James St Library Campaign

the mystery of the disappearing consultation!
June 30, 2008, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Those funny folk at the council are supposedly undertaking a consultation into the future of library provision in the st james st area.  Mysteriously, though, none of the campaigners or people we’ve asked so far, have received a consultation, even though Lorna Lee (head of Library Service) told us she sent them out to every resident within about a half mile radius of the library, about 2 weeks ago.

Have YOU received a survey? Please let us know if you have, or haven’t! (email

Please note – the st james st library campaign does NOT endorse this survey, and it is totally up to you whether you return it.  If you do return it,

The council refused to amend the survey to make it a genuine consultation exercise.  We have seen the final draft and it does not allow people to express their views about the closure of st james st, the impact that had had on their library usage, nor people’s views on the importance of a nearby library, a good range of books to borrow, childrens books and reference books, and the importance of well trained staff (there is a question about ‘customer friendly staff’ but that sounds to me like another way of saying staff that don’t have any library training, which the library managers seem to think is fine).  By asking if you would be ‘more likely to use a library if you could return books to a GP surgery’ etc, please note what they are really asking is if this is a suitable replacement for a library, so be very careful if you answer this question!!  Also when they ask what time you use a library, be aware that the council is keen to try and replace a full time library with a weekend only library.

Our own survey of over 300 local residents, showed these were the most important things to local residents, who also wanted the existing building re-opened as a library by a majority of over 9 to 1.

The council’s survey seems designed to allow them to ‘spin’ people’s views rather than genuinely reflect them. Therefore we’d encourage anyone who HAS received a survey, and who wishes to fill it in, to ignore the council’s tick boxes if they do not seem to reflect what you want to say about libraries, and to write in other answers on the form where appropriate.

Please please do let us know if you have received a survey – seems like there is something a bit fishy going on here!  We are meeting the council again on 9th July so we will be sure to get to the bottom of this as well as to press the case for re-opening of St James St Library.


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