Sunday, 14 June 2015

Bring together library members to share and learn

#uLGC15 Falkirk’s Gray Allan warned UNISON's Local Government Conference of the dangers of outsourcing library services as Local Government delegates pledged to campaign against the closure of library and leisure services but also called for support and training to engage in commissioning and procurement to ensure that UNISON can play an integral role in protecting jobs and services.

A librarian himself, Gray told delegates that he is not a local government worker but a “company man” after Falkirk’s library and leisure services were outsourced four years ago to Falkirk Leisure Trust Ltd.

“We are now under the microscope,” said Gray. “Visits are dropping, issues are dropping but polling shows that popularity is very high.”

He warned that statistics hand a weapon to Trusts.

“I am told my service is ‘failing’, that it’s ‘not generating income’, that ‘sports centres are keeping me in work’. And it’s the same for all library services in Trusts in the UK.”

Gray called for UNISON to bring together library members whether in local authorities or outsourced, to share experiences and to learn from each other.

“But above all we must work to bring library services back in-house and away from the madness of the market.”

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