Revamp services to save libraries, says Swindon MP

Revamp services to save libraries, says Swindon MP

<p>North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has said the necessary efficiency savings in the public library service should be achieved by cutting bureaucracy and upper management rather than by closing libraries. In a Westminster Hall debate on the public library service at lunchtime today (7th September), the recently elected Conservative MP - whose constituency has seen a long-running battle over library closures - said that &quot;with each closure a community is deprived of a key service.&quot;</p><p>Rather than increase spending on the service, improvement could be achieved by a &quot;revamp&quot; which would see library managers having a freer role to run the service, Tomlinson argued. &quot;What matters is the person running the library and their relationship with the community,&quot; he said. &quot;Flexibility and efficiencies can be enabled by cutting out bureaucracy and upper management. If libraries are run from the bottom up, front-line staff are given the freedom to provide a service which caters for the public who want to use the service. Managers are often too controlled from above.&quot;</p><p>Tomlinson also said that back offices for library services should be &quot;reduced where possible&quot;, saying it was &quot;staggering&quot; that according to public library statistics only 7.5% of library expenditure 2008/9 was on book stock.</p>