Seems like we're losing the board of the National Library of Ireland:
Such a loss could bring the NLI back to what has been said were the bad ol' days:In a statement issued on October 31st which has so far received little press attention, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin announced the Government’s decision to abolish the board of the National Library of Ireland and return the library to within the civil service structure in which it languished before the coming into effect of the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997.
Presumably Howlin's abolotion of the board was part of the general crackdown on quangos, but if the body could be claimed to have done some good (and the NLI is a fine institution), can it be considered a quango.To return the library to that earlier, failed administrative framework is the greatest folly. It will exacerbate the immense difficulties which the library is already facing with very severe, indeed disproportionate, cutbacks in budgets and staffing. The National Library of Ireland is the worst resourced national library in Europe and is, in some respects, less well resourced than some of our county libraries.
And how will the loss of the board impact the upcoming merger of the NLI with the National Archives, which has to be one of the stupiest decisions of this government, considering how librarianship and archive work are two totally different fields, and with the Archives being understaffed as it is compared to other national archives in other European countries.
Sometimes I wonder if Ireland is a country that takes its own heritage or history seriously.The very idea of lumping these vital institutions in with quangos should offend anyone who takes culture or history seriously. A Government that maintains it is serious about heritage, archives and commemoration a century on from the events that led to the foundation of this State, has instead left itself open to the criticism that, in the words of Senator Fiach Mac Conghail last week, it is creating “a tsunami of desecration or potential undermining of the whole cultural infrastructure of our nation”.