More News – Constituency and beyond

* Too many libraries are getting rid of their stocks – particularly classic works – because they think there is no market for them anymore. Press Release (next posting)

* New Local Council Bloggers in Warwickswhire – Following on from “Local Democracy Week” last week, three members in Warwickshire County Council are keeping weblogs (one from each of the major parties) and taking questions from the public which will be answered on the web site. Read by visiting

* More to follow

7 thoughts on “More News – Constituency and beyond”

  1. I’ve worked with libraries and the sad fact is it’s true – both classic works and reference books are thin on the ground. Libraries have limited funds and cater to ‘bread and milk’ services, one being the internet, and so they should. The finer things in life get left behind. There are plenty of penny dreadfulls there. Plenty of mills and boon. If people didn’t want it they wouldn’t stock it.

    For a truly wonderful library go to central Birmingham (rich council) or become a student again! Remember that to get more you have to pay more (taxes). I’d like to know what Bliar has actually spent all these stealth taxes on?! Tell us please Boris.

  2. I work in a Major Chain Bookshop. Several local libraries (or Friends of the Library groups which are a sort of charity) buy books with us as they have accounts.

    The problem is there seems little rhyme or reason to what they choose to buy. They don’t buy the greats. They rarely buy the best-seller lists either. Of series, they’ll buy three out of five, so people who follow the series are frustrated.

    I’ve never been able to figure out what criteria they do use, actually, aside from what appeals to and catches the eyes of the 60-year-old ladies who are doing the stock picks.

    Then again, who decides what is “good reading”? Is there some guideline out there that you feel is being ignored, and if so what is it? If you go with Great Books that actually don’t appeal to members of the public, who uses the libraries? Yet if you go with Hot Books of the Moment, who’s going to learn anything from the libraries?

    I don’t know–it’s a difficult balance.

  3. I hate it when libraries get rid of all their old stock. You can find some really good stuff there but you can’t buy them all and it takes too long to hunt through them all. Part of the great thing about libraries is that there are old books that you can’t buy in shops but in my local library they’re either in the fiction store, behind doors or being sold.

  4. Yeah, I absolutely agree about libraries. What’s worse (in a way, especially for me, being a student) is when university libraries do some kind of audit, discover that certain books are only being used a couple of times a year, and decide to get rid of them. The reason they’re only being used infrequently is because they are specialist books, only used by students researching a specific topic – get rid of the books, many of which are no longer available to buy, and you lose an important source of research. Brilliant as the Internet is, it can’t replace good old-fashioned libraries. The same is certainly true of county (public) libraries.

    As for the blogging councillors – good for them! The blogs make interesting reading, although by far the best has to be the one at [Ed: I see what you mean Dafyd – not exactly a hive of activity on the liberal front]

  5. I never use libraries any more due to the fact that I can’t find what I want to read anymore. Then again I am reading Aristotle – so that may say more about me then it does about the local labraries!

  6. What’s wrong with Aristotle? Perhaps it’s a catch 22 of library people trying to anticipate public opinion, then those who want books that arn’t there stop going?

    I suppose like any relationship the best way to get what you want is to ask for it, in writing. The sort of people who frequent local libraries that I know of go to read the free papers! (I buy the Telegraph)

  7. Hey Boris,
    Glad to see you back on track after the Liverpool fiasco. Good point about the books, it is often the classic works that people find it hard to get hold of elsewhere, and removing them from libraries is only worsening the problem. Everyone should have the ability to read the works of such marvelous people as Oscar Wilde and the like!

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