Thursday 10 March 2011

Around the County in 34 Libraries - Gathering Income, but not enough?

Library Income
Take a whole load of public money, divide it by 34 Warwickshire Libraries (equally or unequally - it doesn't really matter), call it a budget. See what happens...realise it's not enough and review the lot (knowing the budget is so much smaller). So, that's where we are nearly now.

Another way is to forget about the budget (Yes OK, not totally) and just increase the income - so what services does a library charge for? Facilities, Borrowing Entitlements, Fines and Charges outlines everything from 5p to £20.00 for overdue books to Orchestral Sets. On the left, is a table showing how Rugby Library receives £110,392 a year as income down to Camp Hill having a zero income.

It is worth pointing out that some (or maybe all) of ICT computer income is not included in this figures. Again, I will investigate this further. My main question - is this the full picture or not? Community groups will need to know exactly what is happening in their local library when (and if) they complete a consultation proposal (from 17 March 2011).

So, what does the bar graph below tell us? We have the yellow highlights showing the libraries which are proposed for closure. Wolston has little income - but is saved. Yet, Bidford and Bulkington have a reasonable income, but face closure. That was the partnership joint services argument.

The top four: Rugby, Leamington, Stratford upon Avon, Nuneaton and Warwick make 63% of the income. This could be described as the power law or long tail where large quantities are gained by the few. And that's where the whole picture versus case by case starts all over again. Should Rugby and the others help the smaller libraries - of course they should. But how? Get it Loud in Libraries has already started at Rugby Library where Live Music has been performed. Tickets were sold out. Leamington would be a great venue for live music complete with balcony over looking the band. Later posts will discuss business proposals.

From Warwickshire Libraries Facing the Challenge Charts

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