Bristol Library services is closing the music library service from March 2018.
The library provides music sets for local choirs and music groups. Whilst it’s not part of the statutory service the library provides, the loss of the service will make itself felt among the groups who rely on the availability of music sets, the group members and audiences who attend performances.
Part of the problem is that Bristol Libraries have recently lost specialist staff who had the knowledge, skills and experience to deal with complicated music sets.
Barbara Eifler, Chief Executive of Making Music has taken the lead in keeping service users up to date and negotiating with Bristol Library.
Bristol Music Trust made the following statement:
Bristol Music Trust is very concerned about the prospect of the collection being split up and we feel strongly that a way should be found to keep all the material in Bristol for the benefit of our thriving amateur music scene.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss housing the material at our music centre in Southmead and hope that we can be instrumental in enabling continued access to this important resource.
Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive, Bristol Music Trust
The decision to close the service has been taken without consultation with service users. Bristol Library Service has offered Somerset Performing Arts Library in Yeovil their pick of items from the collection, and the rest may find a home in Bristol. Service users are concerned about the collection being split up, and access to the collection. With Somerset currently consulting on the future of their own library service, there is a risk the music service won’t survive in Somerset either. Head of Bristol Libraries points out, quite rightly, that should the collection stay in Bristol, there is currently no plans for it to be managed by a professional library service. Both solutions – to send to Somerset, or keep in Bristol, managed by a new service – come with risks to the future of the collection and ability to maintain access.
If you use the service, we encourage you to contact the library and your councillor to express your concerns. A template letter is attached, but please do amend and use your own words. Notes for writing to your councillor are below.
If you would like more information, please contact:
Barbara Eifler, Chief Executive, Making Music
Notes on contacting your councillor
- You can find details of all councillors (your elected representatives) on Bristol City Council’s website.
- If you can, email and write a physical letter. Take care to copy the email or the letter to someone else, too. It means no recipient can claim not have seen/received it.
- if you want to copy in officers (the employees of the council), then Alison Comey is Executive Director of Communities. Kate Murray is Head of Libraries.
- Download the Letter_template_suggestion