Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Libraries can be run by volunteers

So apparently, UK "Prime Minister David Cameron's... [thinks] that centralized state spending on services should be cut back, and that the vacuum will be filled by volunteers and enthusiasts at the local level. Work previously paid for by government will be done for free by the citizens, and the resulting savings can be spent on reducing the deficit, or tax breaks for the wealthy, or something."

At the local level, this means "that if a community wishes to keep its library, volunteer staff should man it."

"Philip Pullman, the novelist and former schoolteacher... asks reasonably enough, are these volunteers expected to come from? Do the authorities think 'the job of a librarian is so simple, so empty of content, that anyone can step up and do it for a thank-you and a cup of tea?...That all a librarian does is to tidy the shelves? And who are these volunteers?'"

I bet plenty of money would be saved by using volunteers to do all government work: accountants, police, maintenance, prime ministers, etc.

[ From "A Debate Over Books and Sequestered Nooks" by Sam Leith from The Wall Street Journal on February 11, 2011 ]

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