Save the UK's libraries? It's beyond me, admits US guru
An American library firm that entered the UK market to great fanfare earlier this year has had to beat a retreat, admitting that the attempt has been tougher than expected.
A slug of judicial reviews and lack of tenders by local authorities, which are nervous of outsourcing their library services to independent providers, were among the reasons cited.
LSSI, based in Maryland, which runs more than 70 libraries in the US, had set itself targets of managing 15 per cent of public libraries within the next five years. The radical new model for libraries included books offered alongside coffee evenings, murder mystery nights, poetry performances and open mic sessions. But the company has conceded that entering the UK market at a time of such upheaval has been difficult. "It has not been easy and we're still waiting to see if the UK is ready yet for the idea of library privatisation," said its chief executive Brad King. The company is currently revising its targets for next year and intends to continue forging relationships with local authorities, but would not set a definitive target for next year.
It comes as the Culture, Media and Sport select committee has announced the launch of an inquiry into library closures. The inquiry will investigate whether planned closures across the UK are compatible with the 1964 Libraries and Museums Act. The committee chairman, John Whittingdale, is asking for submissions on what constitutes "a comprehensive and efficient library service", on the impact library closures have on local communities, and on the effectiveness of the secretary of state's powers of intervention.
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior FF&E Project Co-ordinator is re...
£10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A delightful, 11 year old boy who lives in t...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Furniture Installer /...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...