Ian McMillan library event “inappropriate”

Sheffield City Council has issued a response to yesterday’s cancellation of an event planned by Library Workers for a Brighter Future. The event was to feature poet Ian McMillan and was to take place at Upperthorpe Library in an effort to highlight the value of public libraries..

Richard Webb, Executive Director of Communities for the council said:

“We were approached by Library Workers for a Brighter Future, which is a group campaigning against library cuts locally and nationally. Our understanding was that they wanted to hold a workshop event in a library which would both celebrate libraries and be part of their campaign against cuts. We gave the advice that at this time, when Councillors haven’t made any decisions about funding for libraries in the coming year, it would not be appropriate to hold an event like this in a library.

“Ian McMillan is a great writer and a great Yorkshireman. He’s also a powerful ambassador for celebrating what libraries have to offer and is always assured of a warm welcome here. If something has got lost in translation here, then we want to put it right. We are trying to contact him and would be delighted to work with him to showcase what Sheffield’s libraries do – and to get more Sheffielders to enjoy what they have to offer.”

BBC Radio Sheffield reported this morning that they were refused permission by the Council to record a segment in a Sheffield Library yesterday.

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4 responses to “Ian McMillan library event “inappropriate”

  1. The entire council should be ashamed – I find the actions of some council officers inappropriate but they still continue – where are the opposition when we need them – I get the impression that Labour would love to be able to sit on the same side of the fence as the Fib Dems – it would make Frank and the two greens very lonely over the side of the room with some credibility?

  2. “Our understanding was that they wanted to hold a workshop event in a library which would both celebrate libraries and be part of their campaign against cuts. We gave the advice that at this time, when Councillors haven’t made any decisions about funding for libraries in the coming year, it would not be appropriate to hold an event like this in a library.”

    Well, where else would it be appropriate to hold it?

  3. Ian MacMillan, lyrical poet
    planned to perform but wouldn’t you know it
    the council officers said ‘no way’
    ‘you can’t perform for kids today’
    ‘we fear you will show some political bias’
    ‘and will encourage the leftie flyers’
    ‘casting doubt on our aim’
    ‘to close down libraries with no shame’
    ‘So I’m afraid the answer is No’
    ‘No smiling faces, no great event’
    ‘No permission, no consent’
    ‘Our answer is just, its fair to say’
    ‘you’ll not save the libraries today’

  4. Poetry is inappropriate in a public library – I’m sure Mubarak has a similar view about demonstrations in public squares as well. This from the same council that thinks it appropriate to take a stand at the 2010 LibDem conference so as to boost the Sheffield economy at the same time as their leader is withdrawing finance from Sheffield Forgemasters.

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