IWM library to remain open with reduced services - Museums Association

IWM library to remain open with reduced services

No facilities will be cut but job losses set to go ahead
Profile image for Geraldine Kendall Adams
Geraldine Kendall Adams
Plans to close the Imperial War Museum London’s library service will no longer go ahead, according to a statement by Imperial War Museums (IWM) released this week.

IWM confirmed that the London museum’s Explore History centre and Research Room – which had been earmarked for closure alongside the library following £4m government funding cuts - would also remain open to the public.

But it said that there would be a change in service levels and working practice at the library, while the Research Room will see a reduction in opening hours and the introduction of a nominal charge. 

The statement said: “While IWM are still achieving the salary and cost savings necessary to secure its future in light of future budget constraints, the impact of the change is not as far reaching as originally conceived.

“This is because of the invaluable input of teams and individuals across IWM who have come up with workable ideas about doing things differently and more effectively.”

IWM director-general Diane Lees said: “The continuation of the library service, Research Room and Explore History, in light of financial constraints, will necessitate practical changes to the way the public will access these services, but the most crucial thing is that these services will continue.”

However, IWM confirmed that job losses would still go ahead under its plans, although it said the number of posts affected would be lower than the 60-80 jobs initially at risk.

“We have tried and are trying to redeploy as many people who are at risk as possible,” said the statement.

A spokeswoman from IWM said the exact number of redundancies could not be confirmed as individual negotiations remain ongoing.

IWM also gave more details of how it will allocate the £8m funding that it secured last year with the help of South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley to prevent the closure of IWM Duxford’s education department.

The organisation said that the four-year grant, which was raised through banking fines from the Libor rate-fixing scandal, would support education and learning services in Duxford and a “cross-branch learning programme” across the IWM.

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