Music libraries update: February 2015

Barbara Eifler gives an update on the state of ongoing threats to music libraries

Somerset (Yeovil Performing Arts Library)

The consultation has closed and there is a county council cabinet meeting on Monday 2 March at 10am in Taunton where plans for the future will be decided on. Please attend if you can, Making Music will also be there. Papers and an agenda will be published here on Friday 20 February.

Nottingham and Leicester

Following last year’s campaign in Leicester, the Head of Libraries updated councillors and the public at a meeting of the Leicester City Council Neighbourhood Services and Community Involvement Scrutiny Commission on 26 January, at which Making Music was also invited to speak.

Leicester is now exploring a financially sustainable solution involving merging their music library with Nottingham’s and Making Music has been commissioned to undertake independent research to examine the viability of this.

The online survey has closed, but there are two focus group events on Saturday 28 February, one in Leicester in the morning and one in Nottingham in the afternoon. If they are booked up, you can add your name to the waiting list on the booking site (one person per group only) and you will be contacted if someone drops out.


Good news! Alerted to the budget consultation which was, in its wake, threatening to sweep away their music library altogether, Making Music contacted local groups and thanks to the many who protested music library staff have now been asked to develop a financially sustainable solution. Making Music has offered its services to help with this.


The consultation on their (general) library services has now closed. Making Music is still trying to make contact with the council.


I have written again, after not receiving any answer to my questions put to the council offer in charge in the autumn, to their Assistant Director, Arts Heritage and Libraries, responsible for managing the outsourced service provider Carillion. No answer yet as to when the service will be resumed, but I am assured there was no intention, when the contract was awarded, for the music library service to be discontinued.


Problems there are related to the move into the new building last year, and we are promised service will be resumed soon. We have encouraged them to communicate better with their users, especially as they are well aware groups plan their concerts 12-18 months in advance.


No joy at all so far in engaging the local authority in a fruitful discussion.

Any further contacts or updates or indeed fresh consultations and threats, please do contact to me at