Monday, 20 December 2010
Ways of Funding the Library
We must be prepared to consider altenative ways of funding the library that do not depend on a miracle.
One possiblity is advertising.
At the moment libraries do not permit private advertisements on their premises. Yet they already permit leaflets for theatre, music and opera, all of which run on a commercial basis, so what is the ideological objection?
What about letting local people who run ballet classes, drama classes, music classes, language classes, riding schools etc put up adverts for a charge of perhaps £50 per year, which would provide some income? Of course all advertising would have to be vetted to make sure it was acceptable to the majority of library users. But I don't see why things like restaurants should not advertise. The advertisers would have the satisfaction of knowing that their money was going to help keep the library open.
At the J.R. they have a notice-board where you can advertise rooms to rent etc for 50p per week. The board is glazed over and if you pay you know the card will remain there for seven days. I don't know how much money the hospital gains from that, but it's worth asking.
Secondly, there are already public libraries in the UK which get Lottery Funding. My friend STephanie Jenkins tells me that to qualify for this, libraries have to show that they are making an effort to really extend their usefulness right into the whole community. Details here:
Of course in the present blood-bath of cuts, a lot of applications will be going in. I suggest that we form a committee to prepare a proper application and make a list of people who are willing to volunteer to commit to doing something towards making the bid plausible.
Has anyone in this campaign got any experience making applications for Lottery funding? Come forward, please!
It is very heartening to see that 211 people have already signed the online petition to save Headington Library and I am confident that the one thing we won't lack is public support.