lambethcarnegieRemember that story on protests at the Andrew Carnegie legacy library in South London’s Lambeth, due for closure by Lambeth Council to cut costs? Well, it’s just got a whole lot dumber – and nastier. According to a report in The Guardian, shuttering the libraries actually costs a whole lot more than keeping them open.

The Guardian claims to have used freedom of information requests to find out the costs of private security arrangements at each of the two closed libraries in the area, including the Carnegie area. Private security for the shuttered buildings cost at least twice as much as the usual library running costs. Both premises are earmarked to be rebuilt and at least partially converted into private gyms.

There couldn’t be a clearer demonstration that UK library policy is an ideologically-driven crusade (or vendetta) sanctioned by central government, which has left common sense and economic rationale far behind. Brits should definitely be occupying their libraries – and a whole lot else – while there are any left to occupy. With moronic beggar-your-neighbor policies like this, no wonder the UK has few, and fewer, Carnegie Halls – and no Carnegies.

Business pioneer Andrew Carnegie had the vision to see what difference libraries make to a productive and prosperous society – see the quote below for just one example of his inspirational equation between learning and achievement. What a shame that the supposedly business-friendly UK government is too short-sighted, selfish, and who knows, even stupid, to see the same.

Andrew Carnegie quote


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail