Monday, February 07, 2011

Libraries NI publish schedule of public meetings just two days before they start

Libraries NI logo

Libraries NI are nearly a third of the way through their 12 week consultation exercise for the second stage of their strategic review of public libraries in Northern Ireland.

In 2010, they looked at Belfast libraries and closed ten. This year, it's libraries outside Greater Belfast with 14 proposed for closure (and 2 being merged). The last stage will look at mobile library provision.

Libraries have been an ongoing theme on this blog for some years. I've very fond memories as a teenage doing a week of work experience in Lisburn library one summer.

As part of the consultation process, Libraries NI promised in their news release:

The public consultation will run for a 12 week period commencing on 10 January 2011. During that time a series of public meetings will be held and survey questionnaires will be made available. The dates, times and venues for the meetings will be published in the press and on the Libraries NI website in due course.

But when I checked the Libraries NI website today, there wasn't any sign of the dates and locations on the library consultations page. And while I haven't officially heard back from an earlier emailed enquiry, the schedule of dates has magically appeared at the bottom of that page this evening.

PDF properties for Libraries NI second stage consultation public meetings schedule

The PDF has a creation timestamp of 17:09 today ... so it looks like Library NI's definition of "due course" is "less than two days", meaning that they likely had no plan to publicise the schedule online in time for the first public meeting on Wednesday evening.

Let's hope there has been adequate publicity in the local area and press ... and not just a notice stuck up on the local library doors? Do leave a comment below if you live near the Greystone (Antrim) or Carnlough libraries and have not heard about the public meetings.

The ninety minute meetings are geared around the proposed closure of specific libraries, but are not being held in any of the affected library buildings - presumably to prevent people protesting and chaining themselves to the shelves!

  • Wed 9 Feb 19:15-20:45 Greystone Library (venue, Antrim Library)
  • Thu 10 Feb 19:15-20:45 Carnlough Library (venue, The Londonderry Arms Hotel)
  • Tue 15 Feb 19:15-20:45 Draperstown Library (venue, Plantation Centre on High Street)
  • Thu 17 Feb 19:00-20:30 Kells & Connor Library (venue, Community Centre)
  • Mon 28 Feb 19:15-20:45 Killyleagh Library (venue, Bridge Centre, Braeside Gardens)
  • Tue 1 Mar 19:15-20:45 Moneymore Library (venue, Manor House)
  • Thu 3 Mar 19:15-20:45 Fintona Library (venue, Fintona Golf Club, 1 Kiln Street)
  • Tue 8 Mar 19:15-20:45 Richhill Library (venue, Recreation Centre, New Line Road)
  • Thu 10 Mar 19:15-20:45 Moy Library (venue, The Ryandale, The Square, Moy)
  • Tue 15 Mar 19:15-20:45 Armagh Cluster (venue, Armagh Library, upper floor area/computer room)
  • EXTRA MEETING Wed 16 Mar 19:15-20:45 Moneymore Library (venue, Manor House)
  • Tue 22 Mar 19:15-20:45 Gilford Library (Gilford Royal British Legion)

Make sure you check the Libraries NI website in case any of the dates or times change ...

Libraries NI consultation poster - downloaded on 28 February 2011


Anonymous said...

Be very careful of ni-libraries, they are very slippery in their dealing with their audience - and far more focussed on their own 'vision' and management structure than anything that those poor saps, the users, may want. Remember this - public service organisations are our servant, not our masters. Do not let them get away with anything - we pay them!

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea.
Instead of getting volunteers to run libraries as seems to be the long term plan, why not get a volunteer to do Irene Knox's job instead. A civic minded retired Librarian could probably be found. This would give us an extra £100,000 per annum. Should pay for around 5 or 6 library staff; enogh to keep a couple of branches open maybe.
So come on Irene. Do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea - all the volunteer need do is roll up at a few meetings, smile, snuggle up to any VIPs - and maybe get a share of Irene's enormous public service pension. Form an orderly queue for it folks!