All speakers at an upcoming SINTO Executive Briefing, “Library campaigns, are we all inside the tent” have announced today that they will not be taking part in the event. Alan Gibbons, Tim Coates, Annie Mauger and Lauren Smith have all agreed that because of the way the event has been organised and promoted, their involvement would not positively contribute to campaigning in support of public libraries.
At a time when the campaigns need friends, profile and support an event that will potentially highlight divisions amongst library supporters is not in the interest of public libraries, of the public who care about their libraries, nor the library staff.
The speakers also objected to librarians being charged £30 + VAT to attend the event; it is unclear how the proceeds from the event are being used and what the justification is for the charge.
All speakers have made a commitment to work together in a positive manner, for the good of the public and public library service. They all felt this event to be a divisive distraction from the campaigning work they are all keen to carry out in support of public libraries. Public outcomes from their discussions will be made in due course.