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UPDATE: Due to successful public campaign, plans for a closure of Sutton and Aston have been put on hold. Glebe Farm has also been reprived from its proposed tier.
UPDATED. October 2016.
The Council now has a plan to reduced hours at some community libraries and is making some staff redundant. The proposals are to also close Sutton Coldield and Aston library. Birmingham Unison is aginst this and has started a campaign against it.
The proposls are
Tier 1 Libraries - 35 hours per week
Kings Heath, Ward End, Small Heath, Acocks Green, Northfield, South Yardley, Sparkhill, Erdington, Balsall Heath, Hall Green, Harborne, Mere Green (48 hrs), Kings Norton, Handworth, Quinton, Shard End, Weoley Castle, Yardley Wood, Birchfield
Tier 2 will open 21 hours a week
Walmley, Kingstanding, Perry Common, Boldmere, Frankley, Druids Heath, Spring Hill, Tower Hill, Stirchley, Sheldon
Tier 3 - 15 hrs per week (community led)
West Heath, Glebe Farm, Bartley Green, Bloomsbury, Kents Moat, Selly Oak.
Worryingly the Council are looking to organisations to run the tier 3 libraries . The use of volunteers is being proposed. This is something that has already proved a disaster for libraries in Herefordshire.
The proposals are looking at just 3 staff to run the library and also agency staff to be working as and when required.
Birmingham Unison stewards are opposed to the loss of staff and the impact of the changes on its'members in libraries.
We will be mounting a FUND YOUR LIBRARIES campaign and are going to circulate a petition to oppose the cuts.
LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM (updated October 2016)
Working conditions at the Library of Birmingham remain challenging. Nearly 2 million visitors have come to it since it opened in 2013. Many are tourists. Management and staffing rotas and work/life balance for staff remain challenging issues for members.
The Library continues to be a tourist attraction due to its free acess to views over the city from the roof garden and Shakespeare Memorial Room. However, bookfunds have remained nil for some time and the staffing situation remains static.
100 staff were lost in 2015 , which left 60 to carry on. Opening hours were intially shortened. However, due to political and possibly public pressure, money was found to engage assistants to work on the LOB Express Service which opened in January 2016. This is self-service help for users who visit between 9am-11am and after the main library services close at 7pm or 5pm depending on the day of the week, until 9pm The main library services are still on shortened hours of 11am to 5pm or 7pm Monday to Saturday.
The Brasshouse Learning Centre moved in to floor 1 and opened in September 2016. This move was supposed to bring £320,000 a year income to the Library. A TV production company 7th Wonder have taken over part of the 7th floor of the library.There are no figures available to say how much they are paying for this.
The library building is said to continue to cost £10million a year to keep. Controversially there are still two grade 7 officers in charge of the Library of around 60 staff.
If you are interested in Libraries and library provision , please see the Library Campaign site.