At a time when public services, libraries included, are being drastically cut back are such questionnaires a good idea?
Designed as a way of making sure Equal Rights legislation is being complied with it seems some councils are asking new borrowers some fairly intrusive questions....... or are they?
The information is being gathered as part of efforts to comply with equal opportunity rules that are aimed at ensuring people who use public services do not suffer discrimination if they are homosexual, disabled or from an ethnic or religious minority.
But critics attacked the questionnaires as a waste of taxpayers’ money and called for an end to the “madness” at a time when many public libraries face funding cuts or closure. - Matthew Holehouse and Tim Ross, The Telegraph (27/08/2011).
But is it going too far to ask readers questions such as ......
- Do you have a hidden impairment such as HIV, cancer or diabetes?
- Do you consider yourself to be a Gypsy/Traveller?
- Are you transgender?
- How would you describe your sexual orientation?
- Islington, North London.
- Does your gender differ from your birth sex?
- Haringey, North London.
- Do you have a health condition such as cancer, HIV or Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
- What is your sexuality/Race/Religion?
- Do you have a mental health condition such as depression or schizophrenia?
- Do you have a longstanding illness such as cancer or HIV?
- Brent, North London.
So, a necessary 'evil' in order to make sure all readers have equal access to services OR as Anastasia de Waal, head of education policy at the think tank Civitas, put it .......
“The point of a library is that it is open to everybody and that you go there to read and to get lost in a world of books and forget everything else,” she said. “If you are being asked what your status is, that is almost the reverse.
To read the full article by Matthew Holehouse and Tim Ross click HERE.