Library - epetition reply 13 July 2007
We received a petition asking:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to keep the British Library FREE of charge to users! Don't cut its budget!."
Details of Petition:
"You may have read in newspapers that the government is considering cutting the British Library's budget by up to 7%. That might not sound much, but it will result in the library cutting its opening hours dramatically, and charging a fee to use the reading rooms. If you believe that to be a truly British Library, the library services the BL provides should be free of charge to the user - then sign the petition! The BL is a truly world class institution, and one which belongs to all of us. We have a duty of care to support it, for the benefit of future generations. Please, Mr Blair, don't cut its budget!"
Read the Government's response
The British Library preserves, promotes and celebrates our language and literature, two of our greatest contributions to the world's cultural heritage. It also underpins research in the higher education and business sectors, playing what is an essential part in a modern knowledge economy. This Government has supported the Library in fulfilling these roles since 1997, and will continue to do so.
It is, however, independent of Government, and makes its own management decisions, including on issues such as admission charges [italics added].
Excuse me, but how the FUCK does that answer a petition on budget cuts forcing the Library to consider introducing admission charges?
Because I read that response as being the Library makes its own decisions on what to do WITH the budget it gets set, but says absolutely PISS all about denying there is any cut or even explaining any budget cuts. Let alone confronting the issue of how changes and limited hours will impact on accessibility, quality of research and the very things that make the library worth fighting for... Sure, I'm reet p'eed off the with Library for making moves towards admission/reading room charges, but they wouldn't be in that position without the cuts.
So this strikes me as a real duck of an answer here.
Sorry; this just bought out the cranky in me.
I feel the need to invoke the sweary spirit of Melissa - aka QCoFM.