In an email we received from Doncaster Council a couple of weeks ago, Save Doncaster Libraries were assured that DMBC were working closely with the MLA (the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council) and CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) to ensure that the changes to take place in Doncaster Library and Information Service would be managed properly and that any decisions would be made in the interests of the public.
We have discovered that this is not the case. Last Monday, as part of the Mayor’s draft budget, the announcement came that DMBC plan to close 13 libraries, replace the majority of paid staff with volunteers, drastically reduce stock budgets and reduce opening hours in the remaining branches. This news was broadcast on local radio, which came as a shock to library staff who had not been told about any of these proposals by managers. This news also comes as a surprise to CILIP, who have confirmed that they too were unaware of the council’s latest proposals until notified this week by Save Doncaster Libraries. CILIP have assured us they will be following this up.
It is increasingly apparent that the council are not listening to or communicating with the public, campaign groups, national government or professional bodies. Just what are they doing?