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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Public Libraries

    By way of drawing a line (for now at least) under this particular theme, I copy below the text of a letter from Mark Field MP, Shadow Minister for Culture which was published today in The Bookseller, and which was sent to me by Libri:
    I agree with every word that Richard Charkin wrote in last week’s Bookseller especially his recommendations and his final comment that the government should stop pretending things are fine in the library service.

    I have not yet met or conversed with Mr Charkin but his global knowledge of the value of books, reading and libraries will surely far exceed my own and, I suggest, most of the government’s advisers.

    The British public is greatly concerned that our public book lending service is being cruelly damaged through this government’s lack of vision and direction. The Conservative Party can and will battle to represent the library customer in this deepening crisis. We aim to encourage local councils to review their strategies and build on the historic value of our libraries rather than reducing book stocks and closing the smaller, local branches.

    Mark Field MP
    Shadow Minister for Culture

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