Nice to see some comments to my recent postings and please do join in if you want to. Tim Coates is not the only person with views on the future of public libraries.
Ruth Rikowski gives a report on the talk given by Tony Benn at the CILIP Members' Day last October in Managing Information May 2007. Mr Benn talked about freedom of information in general and answered questions about charging for library use and the World Trade Organisation General Agreement on Trade in Services which poses a threat to state-funded libraries. A fuller report of this talk is available at the Flow of Ideas web site
The Library Campaign was set up in 1984 to support public libraries through the activities of friends and users groups. The Campaign User Handbook is a valuable resource.
Information for Social Change is "an activist organisation that examines issues of censorship, freedom and ethics amongst library and information workers. It is committed to promoting alternatives to the dominant paradigms of library and information work and publishes its own journal, Information for Social Change."
Here is a challenge. If you wanted a hard-hitting, authoritative statement about the value of public libraries today where would you find it? Can anyone direct me to such a document?