THERE’S a lovely scene in an old Simpsons episode from the 1990s where the family visits Washington DC.
An establishing shot of the White House shows the world’s happiest protestors standing outside with placards saying things like “Everything’s fine” and “No problems here.”
I wonder if these are the sort of people whom Kirklees Council hopes to attract to the latest stage of the consultation on its plans for the area’s libraries.
You may recall that earlier this year officers came up with a money-saving proposal to withdraw paid staff from seven village libraries around Huddersfield.
Cue outrage in Slawit, Golcar, Lepton, Shepley, Honley, Denby Dale and Kirkheaton.
A petition signed by more than 8,000 people demanding that these village libraries are protected will be dropped onto the top table of the council chamber in Huddersfield Town Hall next month.
Kirklees, in one of its opaque non-announcement moods, has already dropped a hint the size of a blue whale that its proposal to target the rural population of Huddersfield is about to be consigned to the green bin of history.
So all’s well and good, then? Not quite.
That budget still needs to be cut and there are some officials in the council still determined to get their pound of flesh from the library service.
But instead of targeting just the Unlucky Seven rural centres, Kirklees is now consulting about all 26 libraries in the district from Marsden to Birstall.
The first open day took place in Kirkburton yesterday and it’s Skelmanthorpe’s turn this afternoon (2.30pm to 6.30pm, if you fancy).
But why should you take time out of your busy day to pop along to one of these consultation events? Let’s see if Kirklees can explain.
“Your Library, Your Voice” announces the A5 leaflet that you may have seen on the wall of your local library or adorning the noticeboard of some other council building.
The flyer goes on to explain that the council wants to continue to offer us things like “welcoming, helpful and expert staff”, “support for reading” and “access to IT”.
“Come along to one of our Open Days,” the leaflet advises. “Help us to shape the future of your Library and Information Service.”
So let me get this right. The council has worked out what we like about libraries – books, computers, librarians – and it wants to go on providing these things.