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.
Julia Gasper.


  1. Roy Darke tells me it costs £200,000 per year to run Headington Library.
    The more I think about the money needed, the more I feel that only the Lottery or some major sponsorship could offer realistic hope of continuing the library.
    [It is no use no lamenting the millions the County Council spent on road "improvements" including £50,000 on filling in the underpass across the London Road only this year.]
    I think we should draw up a list of local moguls in Oxfordshire and put a collective request to some of them to come forward with private sponsorship. There are rich people around and sponsorship is a good form of advertising.
    Multi-millionaires are welcome to apply. One other line of attack - anybody ready to join a campaign in Keth Mitchell's area to oust him and replace him at the next County elections? This is worth bussing people in for. If he hears that people have signed a pledge to do this, even he might be a teeny bit bothered.

  2. The one useful thing I see in this mess is that the library premises are actually owned by the people of the City of Oxford. It is the City Council's job to run the building and site. (They don't own it of course, we do).
    Would City Councillors like to comment on the idea of the City allowing the community to continue running the library if the County persists in abnegating its responsibility to do so?
    Of course I am not suggesting that the City Council finds the money (I can imagine what they would say to that). However, they might like to consider waiving the £20,000 p.a. rental, which means we are paying ourselves.
    At the public meeting on 11th January I will suggest that every
    path should be explored including Lottery funding and sponsorship.

    218 signatures on the petition as of yesterday!