Fiction in public libraries

Initial comment here.

Whilst it is not the case that the primary role of libraries is to provide fiction- much less to support the poor publishers- the place of fiction is a good indicator of attitudes to books in general.

Mr Ezra is wrong in asserting that fiction is of declining  importance. It’s a short step from that to asserting that books as a whole are less important.

Mr Cheetham is wrong in making Mr Ezra’s words a ‘proposal’, regardless of his position at the MLA.

That said, a clear commitment to a varied fiction and non-fiction bookstock from the MLA wouldn’t go amiss.

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4 Responses to Fiction in public libraries

  1. Miriam Palfrey says:

    It is apparently quite easy to become a spokesperson for the the profession 😉

    I think that concentrating too much on the MLA and even CILIP can be misleading. They are no more responsible for the “decline in the library service” than I am the voice of UK librarians.

    “The Public” would be better served by observing the opinions of their local councillors than worrying what the MLA thinks this month.

  2. Pete says:

    Well and quite. A lot of responsbility is foisted on the MLA and CILIP, when councillors should be doing their bit.
    That said, some people have adopted the ‘evil counsellors’ position; councillors are truly noble and it is their advisors (such as Mr Ezra) who are in the wrong.

  3. Miriam Palfrey says:

    Councillors are politicians and will do whatever is profitable to them in the short-term. There are levels of management which operate under similar political bias.

    Personally I think that both of these factors are a case in favor of professional librarians who are supposed to serve the public good regardless of political (or Political) affiliation.

    Getting rid of professional staff on the “shop floor” means that future consideration will only be given to sections of “the public” who shout loudest.

  4. Pete says:

    I was thinking much the same, Miriam.

    There needs to be a balance between those committed to the service as a career, always bearing in mind their biases, and those who ‘represent’ the ‘public’. And when you get to Yinnon Ezra’s level you’re more politico than manager anyway.

    As you say, especially in these apathetic days, the grease will go to the squeaky wheel, if all you rely on is politicians.

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