Battle to keep LI library continues

Past president of the Landscape Institute (LI) Brian Clouston OBE has called for further consultation on the future of the organisation's library and archive.

Clouston has written to LI chief executive Alastair McCapra, calling on him to put a hold on "irrevocable action" on the library and staff redundancies.

"I sympathise with their wanting to save money, but with an income budgeted at £2m for 2008/09 the LI is a wealthy organisation," said Clouston.

Senior LI members are now set to meet on 16 January to discuss proposals for five staff redundancies and the transfer of the library and archive to another organisation as part of a £170,000 financial rescue package.

McCapra said the details of the meeting were yet to be finalised but that it would include discussions between LI president Neil Williamson, LI fellows, past presidents and council members.

"No irrevocable action (should) be taken to close the library/archive nor to make the associated staff redundant until a meeting between senior members and the LI executive has taken place," said Clouston.He added that an EGM should also take place.

"Because both events are yet to happen it is logical to conclude consultations with regard to the future of the library/archive and its staff continue," added Clouston.

McCapra said there was a misconception that at the end of the consultation the library and archive could be sold on Ebay or shredded (HW, 28 November).

But Clouston said: "It is unworthy of Alastair McCapra to suggest that LI members seriously believe the library was to be sold on Ebay or shredded.

"LI members are not simpletons. I have spoken to over 100 members during November and read many dozen emails. None suggested the institute contemplated such a crude and barbarous solution to the disposal of its 'treasure'."

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