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Old November 9th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #81
Newcastle Historian
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Playtime's over as Newcastle City Council cuts start to bite
by Adrian Pearson, Evening Chronicle, November 9th 2012


AFTER-SCHOOL CLUBS, holiday play schemes and children’s groups across Newcastle are set to be axed as the next round of cuts start to bite. Staff behind play services for children aged five to 12 have been told their jobs are at risk as Newcastle Council looks to enforce £90m of Government cuts over the next three years. As civic centre treasurers put together the final stages of the most drastic budget yet, playgroups have held meetings in which council officials made it clear that youth funding is set to go. At least 10 facilities will be affected as £1.1m is axed in one of many funding changes.

City chiefs have blamed the Government for the moves, with the council’s leader calling on ministers to think again about three years of cuts to services. Currently the authority does not know what, if any, community groups will be able to pick up the slack, meaning an uncertain future for many services. While some independent nurseries will survive, for other after-hours groups and school holiday centres the funding cuts mean the services will be finished from April.

Those set to be hit include play centres in Byker, Scotswood, Benwell, as well as the Nunsmoor play centre in Arthurs Hill, among others. One playgroup member, who asked not to be named, told the Chronicle the wide-ranging cuts would in some cases damage children’s education. She said: “This is completely mad, many of these young children benefit from face-to-face work with experienced staff from an early age and yet the city is going to axe this service.”


Read More (Two Pages) - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north...#ixzz2BjenAZxE
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Old November 9th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #82
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90 jobs under threat at Newcastle NHS call centre
By Sara Nichol, Evening Chronicle, November 9th 2012


NHS DIRECT is to close its Newcastle call centre with the loss of 90 jobs. Unison said 24 out of 30 sites will close at the service across the country, which employs 1,500 frontline nursing and other professional staff, including the site at Balliol Business Park.

Sandra Maxwell, Unison’s convenor at NHS Direct, said: "Hundreds of dedicated nursing and NHS professionals are to be made redundant at a huge cost, when their skills could be used within the new NHS111 service if only the Department of Health took some decisive action."

An NHS Direct spokeswoman said the company had been bidding for contracts across England to provide the NHS 111 service, which is used when a patient needs medical help but it is not a 999 emergency.


Read More - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north...#ixzz2BjhWODYD
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Old November 10th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #83
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Majority of Newcastle libraries to be axed as cuts bite
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, November 10th 2012


High Heaton Library which may have to be closed

LIBRARIES are to be closed down across Newcastle as the next round of spending cuts begins. The vast majority of Newcastle’s 18 libraries will either be closed down or handed over to community groups as city chiefs set out £90m of cuts over the next three years. Only the newly-rebuilt city centre library is said to be safe from the axe.

Branch libraries at Blakelaw, Cruddas Park, Denton Burn, Dinnington, Fawdon, Fenham, High Heaton, Jesmond, Moorside, Newbiggin Hall and Walker could all be under threat.

Council bosses will confirm final numbers next week, but are expected to say that those libraries not already part of a customer service centre or shared with another council facility will be axed. Even those locations will come under closer scrutiny to see if community groups can take over. The council has said it has no choice but to try to save £7m from the library budget, some 40% of the money handed to such cultural services over three years.

The move comes just 12 months after Newcastle’s Labour leadership saved library services from the cuts in their last budget. Now officers say they have no choice but to start closing down branches. Library services director Tony Durcan said the council had to ask were libraries and leisure affordable in an age of austerity? He told The Journal that over the next three years most of the council’s current library provision would go, either through closure or as a result of the service being taken over by other groups.


Read more (Three Pages) - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz2BoG4aPR2
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
Majority of Newcastle libraries to be axed as cuts bite
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, November 10th 2012


High Heaton Library which may have to be closed

LIBRARIES are to be closed down across Newcastle as the next round of spending cuts begins. The vast majority of Newcastle’s 18 libraries will either be closed down or handed over to community groups as city chiefs set out £90m of cuts over the next three years. Only the newly-rebuilt city centre library is said to be safe from the axe.

Branch libraries at Blakelaw, Cruddas Park, Denton Burn, Dinnington, Fawdon, Fenham, High Heaton, Jesmond, Moorside, Newbiggin Hall and Walker could all be under threat.

.................................................

Library services director Tony Durcan said the council had to ask were libraries and leisure affordable in an age of austerity? He told The Journal that over the next three years most of the council’s current library provision would go, either through closure or as a result of the service being taken over by other groups.


Read more (Three Pages) - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz2BoG4aPR2
Funny enough I was about to post on this - there's been a rumour about library closures for weeks. I sometimes work in the library [though more usually in the Lit and Phil], recently I visited the west end library [Condercum Rd] - it has a large photo archive...... well...

These libraries have extensive sets of computer terminals. I assumed for, well library sort of things, research, reading, perhaps school or college work where there are problems with PC access at home, job research and applications......nooooooo

In the west end library every terminal and in the central [a better sample as I visit perhaps twice a week] pretty much every terminal is occupied by 'the young people' [fair enough] playing music through headphones connected to the machine, online gaming, updating [continually] their facepage books....essentially they have become free webcafes. Sorry, no, that's not what libraries are for. Go to a webcafe.

Newcastle council... save some money.... block access to all but 'legitimate' library use websites. Research, jobs, programmes suitable for 'work' [office type applications]. It will either free up a pile of computers to legitimate job applicants etc, or there will be a batch of pcs for sale on ebay.

I was genuinely amazed the first time I noticed this phenomena, more so when it was clearly the norm and library staff didn't bat an eyelid.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #85
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Majority of Newcastle libraries to be axed as cuts bite
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, November 10th 2012

LIBRARIES are to be closed down across Newcastle as the next round of spending cuts begins. The vast majority of Newcastle’s 18 libraries will either be closed down or handed over to community groups as city chiefs set out £90m of cuts over the next three years. Only the newly-rebuilt city centre library is said to be safe from the axe.

Read more (Three Pages) - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz2BoG4aPR2

Like many people, I have been brought up using Libraries.

I have to admit, I always thought they would be there, as much a routine and regular part of everyday life as, well, "breathing" !!

It is a very sad thought, what might happen here in Newcastle (and probably elsewhere). The 'lack of availability' of books to read will have a long term effect on our future children's growth and educational development.

The more you know about the world, read about the world, learn about the world - the more aware you become in your own life.

It is already happening now, but not having a library in your own local area can only make peoples lives worse . . . in my opinion.

It's all about priorities though, and at the moment hard choices have to be made.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #86
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Like many people, I have been brought up using Libraries.

I have to admit, I always thought they would be there, as much a routine and regular part of everyday life as, well, "breathing" !!

It is a very sad thought, what might happen here, and the 'lack of availability' of books to read will have a long term effect on our future childrens growth and educational development.

The more you know about the world, read about the world, learn about the world - the more aware you become in your own life.

It is already happening now, but not having a library in your area, can only make peoples lives worse . . . in my opinion.

It's all about priorities though, and at the moment hard choices have to be made.
Oh I agree 100% - see my comments about Seven Stories and the importance of literacy passim. Literacy, I suspect more than any other single factor helps promote social mobility.

I was absolutely amazed at the type of computer use - and it struck me as an absolutely disgraceful waste of money, money which could and should be used to help kids from families without a 'pot to p#ss in' accessing IT for legitimate use and... read books.

What also worries me is that if libraries are moved to community groups that can easily end up being groups with a narrow interest. Essentially we have buildings that look like libraries but are bereft of books on [say] evolution. For completeness I'd be as concerned about a 'public library' being controlled by catholic or jewish organisations [my family's 'teams'] as I would by any other. If community groups do run them, there needs to be some form of assurance of a full range of texts available.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:24 PM   #87
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As for the integrity of libraries as curated repositories of catalogued print, then it's interesting to observe the membership desk at the British Library (of which I am a member) and notice that applicants who cannot demonstrate a need to access a specific resource which might not otherwise be available to them, are declined membership.

But don't we have to accept that, however we define 'literacy', it is undergoing its biggest revolution since the introduction of the printing press, perhaps even bigger. Tweeting, Texting and T'internet ARE literacy; and even these will soon be userped by alternatives which perhaps are even more remote from curated catalogued print.
Fifteen years ago, libraries were desperate to reverse a decline that was, at the time, blamed on the popularity of broadcast media, and simply wished to adapt to the culture of the day, hence the emergence of collections of popular music and magazines - but things have moved on so quickly now that a researcher really does have more refined indexing and broader access at home than from a local library (assuming access to the internet). I for one will let our libraries pass without a tear - the archives of historical record will remain for the curious reader - its not as if it's the Library of Alexandria that is at stake!

But to return to the social rather than cultural benefits of our libraries and of literacy, well, if we put the actual content of their bookshelves under the microscope, we'll have to admit that there's a lot of dross out there. On the other hand, there's an under-supply of community activity and community buildings in many parts of the UK. If the buildings that have housed our libraries can continue to provide accessible and meaningful functions for a print-less c21 society then I'll be content.

As for balance in a community-run library, I'm not sure that's ever been achievable nor ever can be. If people didn't have 'points of view' then there would be little to write (Ref: the view from nowhere). I'd expect to find a Jewish library, a catholic library and any other bias or special interest; isn't it that diversity of different views, each in their own self-sustaining context, that creates the intellectual challenges which we have to addresses as part of our development, rather than a bland uniformity which can be all to easy to 'learn' without actually learning anything?

For my part, I'm struggling to make the transition from printed books, but for many younger than me, there is no transition.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #88
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As for the integrity of libraries as curated repositories of catalogued print, then it's interesting to observe the membership desk at the British Library (of which I am a member) and notice that applicants who cannot demonstrate a need to access a specific resource which might not otherwise be available to them, are declined membership.

But don't we have to accept that, however we define 'literacy', it is undergoing its biggest revolution since the introduction of the printing press, perhaps even bigger. Tweeting, Texting and T'internet ARE literacy; and even these will soon be userped by alternatives which perhaps are even more remote from curated catalogued print.
Fifteen years ago, libraries were desperate to reverse a decline that was, at the time, blamed on the popularity of broadcast media, and simply wished to adapt to the culture of the day, hence the emergence of collections of popular music and magazines - but things have moved on so quickly now that a researcher really does have more refined indexing and broader access at home than from a local library (assuming access to the internet). I for one will let our libraries pass without a tear - the archives of historical record will remain for the curious reader - its not as if it's the Library of Alexandria that is at stake!

But to return to the social rather than cultural benefits of our libraries and of literacy, well, if we put the actual content of their bookshelves under the microscope, we'll have to admit that there's a lot of dross out there. On the other hand, there's an under-supply of community activity and community buildings in many parts of the UK. If the buildings that have housed our libraries can continue to provide accessible and meaningful functions for a print-less c21 society then I'll be content.

As for balance in a community-run library, I'm not sure that's ever been achievable nor ever can be. If people didn't have 'points of view' then there would be little to write (Ref: the view from nowhere). I'd expect to find a Jewish library, a catholic library and any other bias or special interest; isn't it that diversity of different views, each in their own self-sustaining context, that creates the intellectual challenges which we have to addresses as part of our development, rather than a bland uniformity which can be all to easy to 'learn' without actually learning anything?

For my part, I'm struggling to make the transition from printed books, but for many younger than me, there is no transition.
Good points, well made. I've still not read a full book on my tablet - I suspect the way is to spend 20 quid on something I really want to read so I have no choice.. might break a pattern.

I probably didn t express the concerns on the potential for community groups becoming a synonym for 'religious' groups that well. I've no problem with what you might call religious libraries, in fact I'd applaud it. My concern would be as follows [and this is a hypothetical, so no offence intended to any group].

Let's assume a well funded body - perhaps the Christian Institute [associated with Jesmond Church, Vardy etc] offers to take over the running of a library. As a group they have taken a robust stance on [ie against] evolution. If they wanted to run a library then that's fine, but it ought not to be a repository for their views alone - unless of course it is wholly disassociated with NCC. In other words groups running libraries which are nominally 'state' ought to have to guarantee 'balance', so that in this example the books on evolution are not kept 'on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard' [to quote Douglas Adams].

Conversely, if [to use my example] The Christian Institute wanted to take over a library and fill it with books recommending a literal interpretation of Leviticus, from keeping slaves onwards then that's fine but the 'state' ought not to fund it and it ought to be disassociated from 'the state'.

There's a risk that groups with an agenda [by which I mean firm religious, or I suppose political beliefs] could take over libraries and effectively seem to be evangelising with the support of [or possible subsidy from] NCC.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #89
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Libraries

Here is a link to an interview given by the head of libraries in Newcastle on the Today programme.

Essentially saying the service could be staffed with volunteers...

http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/2...adio-four.html

My experience is that a lot of people use them to surf the netty for 'free'.

If you use the internet overseas there are usually only internet cafes which charge a few Euros for a very slow connection.

Maybe there should be charges for internetty use here?

Other uses will have to be found for library buildings with local groups more involved in their running without being one dimensional.

Perhaps local businesses can get involved with practical and financial support?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:06 AM   #90
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Here is a link to an interview given by the head of libraries in Newcastle on the Today programme.

Essentially saying the service could be staffed with volunteers...

http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/2...adio-four.html

My experience is that a lot of people use them to surf the netty for 'free'.

If you use the internet overseas there are usually only internet cafes which charge a few Euros for a very slow connection.

Maybe there should be charges for internetty use here?

Other uses will have to be found for library buildings with local groups more involved in their running without being one dimensional.

Perhaps local businesses can get involved with practical and financial support?
I d have basic surfing for free - a whitelist of sites; research, jobs, 'office' etc. If you want to play online games or update your facepage then you pay.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #91
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Libraries are an expensive, self-indulgent anachronism.

Why, when all other media has gone digital, should books — uniquely — remain analogue?

Don't tell me Catherine bloody Cookson hasn't made it to Kindle yet.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #92
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Libraries are an expensive, self-indulgent anachronism.

Why, when all other media has gone digital, should books — uniquely — remain analogue?

Don't tell me Catherine bloody Cookson hasn't made it to Kindle yet.
Have to agree with the above comment. Alot of the comments in support of retaining libraries seem to be more nostalgic rather than practical.

It is a changing world and money could be spent in better ways....
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Old November 12th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #93
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Proposals for Changes to Gateshead Library Services - consultation announced

This from the Gateshead Council Website 12/11/12:-

Councillors in Gateshead have agreed to consult the public on changes to Gateshead’s library service that would involve volunteers in the running of some of the borough’s libraries.

The proposals identify a network of 12 core libraries across the borough that are sustainable into the future and meet the Council’s statutory requirements.

The remaining five libraries - at Sunderland Road, Low Fell, Winlaton, Lobley Hill and Ryton - are to be offered to local people to be run as community-run libraries. The proposals take account of library performance and users, proximity, costs and social need.

Full article on http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Council%...-Services.aspx


The shape of the future for all of of us in the light of "the cuts in funding" ?

KEN
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:13 PM   #94
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How serious is Newcastle council's plan to close the libraries? I am assuming that it's just posturing form Nick Forbes.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #95
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How serious is Newcastle council's plan to close the libraries? I am assuming that it's just posturing form Nick Forbes.
Hard to say. I would suspect serious on the face of things, but how many will end up as merged 'service centres' [that are not already] might be an interesting question. It may be a way of consolidating several functions into one building but not actually closing libraries.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:42 PM   #96
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Library Closures

There is to be a new integrated Library, Pharmacy and Doctors surgery to be built in Newburn.

This is possible a way forward in the future for integration of various local services.

When I lived in Fenham, Labour closed the local swimming pool despite protests so they have a track record here.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #97
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Probably cheaper to buy every resident in Newcastle a kindle and open a digital library than to run the libraries service for one year.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #98
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There is to be a new integrated Library, Pharmacy and Doctors surgery to be built in Newburn.

This is possible a way forward in the future for integration of various local services.

When I lived in Fenham, Labour closed the local swimming pool despite protests so they have a track record here.
Of course they still have to build it...which costs. I d a thought of something simpler. A desk or two moved into a library
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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #99
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Probably cheaper to buy every resident in Newcastle a kindle and open a digital library than to run the libraries service for one year.
You re probably not a million miles out. They want to save £7mil [p/a I assume]

Population = 280 000
Cost of Kindle = £69 retail, lets assume a fair discount for a quarter of a million+ sales... so perhaps £50 per person so an up front cost of £14 mil,

Break even is probably in year 3..... after that it's gravy. Even if they spent a million maintaining the virtual kindle library. You could go to your council drop-in centre to download books....
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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #100
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Newburn Library, Pharmacy and Surgery

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Of course they still have to build it...which costs. I d a thought of something simpler. A desk or two moved into a library
The current library is not used as much as it could due to accessability (it's up a steep flight of steps)

Don't know all the in and outs of funding but the overall cost may be offset by selling the current buildings.

Currently it's going through the planning process.
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