Ian Anstice (Public Libraries News & Voices For The Library) published minutes of a meeting he and other campaigners attended with S.C.L. yesterday. It’s good news that S.C.L. have decided to hold these meetings with campaigners and that they are intending to run more, and it sounds like there are some positive plans ahead. However, a few thoughts that popped into my head after reading these minutes…
“the SCL is not an incorporated organisation and so cannot make its own statements. It is, literally, a collective of individuals who provide their time voluntarily.”
But the SCL have provided comment in the past on aspects of public libraries. Is the issue more about not being able to say certain things in its statements?
“It is not the role of the SCL to advise the Secretary of State but are available if they are asked.”
Alternatively, a pro-active approach could help direct the Secretary of State’s thoughts to developing public library services, rather than assisting in their demise.
Campaigners asked why the SCL did not agitate for a return to national library standards. The response was that the SCL “pick the fights we can win”.
Would they give in even if it was the most important fight for public libraries?