According to recent reports, over 200 libraries were closed or no longer under council control in 2012, which is a substantial and worrying figure. A quick search on the internet and there are reports aplenty of forthcoming closures and campaigns to save apparently doomed libraries.
It would seem that despite their best efforts and/or against their better judgements councils have decided they can no longer afford public libraries, certainly not on the scale of yesteryear.
Reinvention is a much used word when discussing libraries these days; a need to shake off the images of quiet, subdued spaces with strict librarians, shushing any attempt at noise but this is surely not a fair reflection on the modern library and is talk of reinvention done to attract people to use the library or convince local and central government that libraries are forward thinking and still relevant?
School libraries are also feeling the squeeze with a large majority reporting static or decreasing budgets even despite the growing concerns about the literacy skills of school children.
As specialists in library stock security the question we have to ask ourselves is where do our solutions fit in these days of closures and slashing budgets? The basic requirement to protect stock has to be an important consideration for any library, no matter what size. The scope and variety of books available from a library is what sets it apart, along with the knowledge, experience and assistance of the librarian. Protecting what is there and giving confidence to invest in the future is part and parcel of our remit as a professional organisation.
Whilst reinvention is a key word, libraries have always gone through a process of continual modernisation; changes in the way the service is delivered, some subtle and some drastic. During the course of 2012 we carefully reviewed all our products and services to ensure that what we supply supports the expectations of librarians and library users both now and in the future, however that future may be shaped.
All of us at PSP would like to wish you a Happy New Year and a positive 2013.