I am a passionate believer in education and the access to information; and an article published in the New Orleans Advocate (When we build, improve libraries, we invest in the young, the poor, our overall quality of life) indicates that communities across Louisiana have realised the potential of libraries to develop people and provide a resource to everyone.
I also am a realist, in that we all have to work within budgets, but the short sightedness of the current government’s policies regarding provision of monies for libraries and its resources can clearly be seen in the table below.
Effectively the budget has been decreased by 3.9% per head in Northern Ireland for a resource which enables education, mobility and provides the population with a means of developing and red-developing its ability to meet the needs of the workplace.
Some would believe that this is short-sightedness – I do!
Public spending per head for Northern Ireland, 2009/10 to 2013/14 £ per head in real terms (2013/14 prices)
But, we also have a school library service, and details regarding its expenditure has been impossible to ascertain in terms of expenditure comparison, however a report from CILIP did have some very telling information, and in particular the Table B5: Adequacy of Current Stock and Resources, which indicates that 7 of the 9 authorities who had responded felt it was poor or adequate for its needs. The question must be asked is that sufficient for our children?