A Bad Idea in Britain; Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion attacks 'Catastrophic' Plan for Volunteers to Run Libraries
Guardian UK reports that Andrew Motion, the former poet laureate, has dismissed suggestions from consultants KPMG that libraries are "not very much used" and should be run by volunteers as foolhardy, outlandish and potentially catastrophic.
A new report from KPMG into public sector reform says that "giving councils total freedom on libraries could mean that they create huge social value from engaging a community in running its own library, backed up with some modern technology, whilst also saving large amounts of money on over-skilled paid staff, poor use of space and unnecessary stock".
Speaking on the Today programme earlier this week, one of the report's authors, Alan Downey, said that although "libraries are hugely important in the national psyche ... there is a problem with libraries, that they are not very much used and very expensive to run".
"We're not suggesting in this report that libraries should be closed down, we are saying that libraries and other community facilities might be better off if they're run by [a] community that values them rather than by the state," he said.