We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Rumour in cuneiform

Spring is in the air... the daffodils are starting to show yellow in the fields; the mistle thrushes are at it like knives in the cherry trees in next door's garden; and rumours are skittering around the consequences of the proposed library closures which nobody's actually seen and nobody will admit to but which we all know about one way or another.

Unlike the old days, even if the council actually did agree to close any libraries (and sentiment aside it needs to close at least four) it isn't as easy as them going for the line of least resistance; or putting one in the eye of the opposition party; or holding a grudge against a library assistant who wouldn't let you off the charge for a lost book because you're a councillor. The council's committed to trying to meet as many public library standards as possible (because of their commitment to the public service ethos in general and the public library agenda in particular and nothing to do with meeting audit commission targets or getting ticks in boxes to make sure the Rate Support Grant comes in sweetly), so the opening hours; book loans and visitors lost in the cuts have to be made up elsewhere. So it makes sense to finally let go of libraries which are in terminal decline and reallocate their resources someplace where they could be used. Like having all the branch libraries open in the afternoon to get the after-school trade. Needless to say, this being Helminthdale this won't happen in a million years but you can dream.

The latest rumour is that there'll just be five "superlibraries" in the Borough delivering services the like as you could barely conceive. The day that Helminthdale has the money, political will and project management skills to conceive and deliver five superlibraries they'll find the Pope singing bawdy songs atop a Belisha beacon in a backstreet in Irlam.

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