A Conversation for The British Library
Threatened funding cuts
RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky Started conversation Feb 11, 2007
From an e-mail from the BL that's been doing the rounds:
'The stories have come about as a result of a briefing we prepared for our funding department, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). As you may know the Government is in the middle of a Comprehensive Spending Review and we, like other publicly funded institutions have been asked to model the effect on our services of: a funding freeze without increases for inflation; and actual cuts of 2 per cent, 5 per cent and 7 per cent, in each of the three years from 2008/09 to 20010/11.
'Cuts on this scale would have a devastating effect. While the newspaper stories have focused on a 'worst case scenario', the Library is working closely with DCMS and lobbying at Westminster to explain the full consequences that even flat-cash increases over three years would have on Library services.
'DCMS is still arguing for its allocation with Treasury and the final decisions by Government may take some time, but I can assure you that the Library will be arguing fiercely throughout to safeguard the services people rely upon.
'The media stories have generated a huge volume of public support and people have contacted us from around the world with their personal stories of what the BL means to them: from scholars using our newspaper collection at Colindale, to those committed to our plans for a digital library, to people speaking out in fierce defence of the principle that access to knowledge should be based on need, not ability to pay, I have received many wonderful letters. We are in the process of launching a new area of our website (www.bl.uk) to share some of those stories and keep supporters up to date on developments.'
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