A group within the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)—the UK’s professional association for librarians, and not normally a hotbed of sedition—has grown so incensed with the implementation of library policy that they’re calling for a vote of no confidence in Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries with responsibility for libraries, at the CILIP annual general meeting on September 21st, 2013.
The wording of the motion proposed for the AGM is as follows:
“In view of his failures to enforce the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act, this Annual General Meeting of CILIP has no confidence in Ed Vaizey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, and instructs Council to work with all other interested parties to protect library, information and knowledge services.”
The motion is hosted on a blog “set up to rally support for a motion of no confidence in Ed Vaizey,” according to its introduction. “Under the Public Libraries and Museums Act of 1964 the minister has the power to intervene if he or she feels that a local authority is failing to meet its responsibility under the act to provide a comprehensive and efficient service. In spite of cuts to the public library service on a scale never before seen, and appeals from campaigners around the country to act, Mr Vaizey has never used those powers.”
Vaizey’s performance has hardly attracted glowing reviews in other quarters, and is described in a current editorial at Public Libraries News as a “policy of inaction, seeing how things play out on the ground and leaving it to cash-strapped locals to do what he has consistently not done himself.”
There are also grave concerns, previously cited on TeleRead, over the current administration’s readiness to abide by its own statutory obligations under the 1964 Act and the other regulations governing library services in the UK.
Meanwhile, the current UK government has just demonstrated what kind of publicly available texts it prefers to spend tax revenues on: