We're interested in taking over your libraries, says American operators

We're interested in taking over your libraries, says American operators

American commercial library operators have revealed they are interested in taking over library services, as protests in Somerset continued about proposed closures.

The American firms believe they could be more efficient and still service the public.

Some councils, including Somerset spend more on administration and backroom functions than they do on front-line services.

Somerset spends a mere £200,000 - 2.7 per cent - of its £7.5million library budget on books.
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News of American interest in local authority-owned libraries came as a hooded "book snatcher" highlighted one community's fears over proposed cuts to library services A roar of protest erupted at Milborne Port library, near Yeovil, as families tried to fight the figure who stole books from the young.

In a final blow, he left children with signs saying "Illiteracy", "poor life chances" and the elderly with signs saying "social isolation".

Cheryl Goddard, spokeswoman for Milborne Port Library Hullabaloo Campaign said: "Whether or not the story has a happy ending will depend on 48 Somerset county councillors and the decisions they make on February 16."

The council plans to pass 11 of its 34 libraries to communities to run or close them.

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2.7% is an appallingly low

2.7% is an appallingly low figure. This speaks more to mismanagement in some libraries than to the state of libraries as a whole.

My public library in Massachusetts is required by law to spend 12-15% of its annual budget on books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and commercial databases.

Somerset spends a mere

Somerset spends a mere £200,000 - 2.7 per cent - of its £7.5million library budget on books.

Because libraries only spend money on books, the rest of it must be waste.
I can think of online services that cost many times the price of a publishers whole yearly output.

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