Cuts threaten services at British Library

I read today about this problem. Institution may be forced
to introduce charges:


It is at the heart of Britain's cultural, literary and political life. Each day writers, academics and researchers join those who have crossed the world to access the fruits of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, from the humblest tome to the Magna Carta.
But according to the British Library, government-imposed spending cuts may soon put the proud traditions of a national institution at risk. Ahead of the Treasury's 2007 spending review, library officials have drawn up a briefing paper outlining measures they would have to take if the widely speculated cuts of between 5% and 7% come to fruition.
Under the "worst case" scenario sent to the chancellor, Gordon Brown, and MPs, the cuts would necessitate charges on those using the world-renowned reading rooms or limits on opening hours. Two galleries might also have to close. Spending on research journals and books would be slashed, "undermining 250 years of collecting".
Efforts to establish a digital library for the UK would also be devastated. "We will be unable to fulfil our statutory obligations for legal deposit of electronic material," the paper says. "UK digital information will be lost for future generations."
Limits would also be imposed on the national newspaper collection "and the growing popular use of newspapers as primary sources for sports and family history research will develop no further".
The prospect has angered senior figures from the worlds of politics, academia and publishing. Among those supporting the library are the author Margaret Drabble, the broadcaster Lord Bragg, Michael Palin, who is a patron, the historian and presenter David Starkey, the poet laureate, Andrew Motion, and the playwright Ronald Harwood.
Officials argue that the repercussions would be felt for years to come. They have told the Treasury that for every £1 of public funding, the library generates £4.40 for the UK economy.
Drabble, who is currently using the library for research, said: "It would be a very great mistake to make cuts. It is a national institution and is used by scholars from all over the world."
Palin said: "I feel extraordinarily fortunate to live within exploring distance of the British Library. This is one of the great storehouses of world culture, and what I have seen of their archive material, both photographic and written, is quite dazzling."
He said the library should be "looked after and valued as it deserves".
Lord Bragg said the library had "massive importance," adding: "It needs to be nourished, not hobbled."
The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Avebury, who has sent the briefing to the Treasury, said serious cuts would be "cultural vandalism".
He added: "It is difficult to fathom the mind of a government that sets out to wreck a world-class public institution"
Ian Gibson, a Labour MP and former chair of the Commons select committee on science and technology, who has been a passionate advocate for the digital library, said any threat to it would be "madness personified".
The historian and broadcaster Tristram Hunt said he believed there were management deficiencies at the library that should be addressed.
But he added: "These seem like very damaging cuts for what is a brilliant international library used by people from across the country and around the world. It is another worrying example of the cultural and heritage infrastructure being cut away and of things like the Olympics taking more and more money."
In its plea to the government, the library lists its successes in terms of financial management. It says £40m of efficiency savings have been achieved since 2001, with 5% of the workforce shed. Operations worth £8.7m have been outsourced. As things stand, the library needs £11m to meet an "anticipated revenue decline", £5m to account for inflation on "acquisitions expenditure", a further £4m to contain inflation in energy costs, and £1m for expected severance costs.
David Brighty, chairman of the Friends of the British Library, said the concerns were realistic.
"This looks like a difficult spending round, especially with the burden of the Olympic games coming down the track."
A spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said many institutions were lobbying for maintained or increased funds, decisions that will be taken by the Treasury.
"We are working with the sector on business planning," she said. "We want to get the best value for money. There has been 10 years of huge increases in funding for the arts."
Every word published
· The British Library receives a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland. The collection now includes 150m items, in most languages
· The earliest dated printed book, the Diamond Sutra, of 868, can be seen in the exhibition galleries
· Also held are the Magna Carta, the Lindisfarne gospels, Leonardo da Vinci's Notebook, the Times from 1788, Beatles manuscripts and a recording of Nelson Mandela's trial speech
· Nearly 400,000 people a year visit the reading rooms
· Writer Stef Penney, who won the Costa first novel prize with The Tenderness of Wolves, set in Canada in 1867, had never been to Canada and did all her research at the library
By Hugh Muir

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
Peter
Anonymous said…
Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.
Anonymous said…
Awesome website, I had not noticed fernando-baez.blogspot.com before during my searches!
Carry on the great work!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
Peter
Anonymous said…
Hello,

This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com.

May I use part of the information from this blog post right above if I give a link back to your site?

Thanks,
James
Anonymous said…
Hello there,

This is a message for the webmaster/admin here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com.

May I use part of the information from this blog post right above if I provide a link back to your website?

Thanks,
Alex
Anonymous said…
Greetings,

I have a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com.

Can I use part of the information from this post above if I provide a backlink back to your website?

Thanks,
Jack
Anonymous said…
Hey,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Cheers,
John
Anonymous said…
Hey,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be not working? Does anybody here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Thanks,
Jack
Anonymous said…
Hi,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be not working? Does anybody here at fernando-baez.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Cheers,
Alex
Anonymous said…
Simply how much can a provider legally require to let an insurance plan holder out of his vehicle insurance?
Simply how much does your agency cost when anyone needs to terminate and how much pressure do you use to keep them?
What are some suggestions or something like that we can say if our any individual has many months left on his current automobile coverage? Surely, all of us are not going to wait until his renewal comes due every time.

Popular posts from this blog

Todo sobre Fernando Baez

El saqueo cultural de América Latina llega a Uruguay

El saqueo cultural de América Latina es ya un best seller en Argentina