Devon County Council - Library Services

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This is one of the original sections of SeeRed. In the following pages are documented a dispute between the author and Devon County Council that has been ongoing since June 2002. It had two causes:

The manner in which People's Network computers were installed in Devon libraries - effectively giving users no privacy, and the subsequent refusal by Devon Library Services to answer letters on this subject, and

the failure of Devon County Council to answer questions related to the potentially repressive degree of 'snooping' that had been incorporated into local 'command and control' systems for People's Network computers.

A considerable amount of Press coverage was generated. Pages in this section appear in chronological order. Discussion of People's Network computer systems in UK libraries has been moved to a new section. The future of public libraries and the role of computers in 'dumbing down' is also discussed elsewhere.

It is acknowledged that the entire SeeRed website probably owes its existence to the despotic behaviour of Lynn Osborne, previously head of Devon Library Service within Devon County Council.

Index for this section

Summary and introduction to the library dispute

Legal advice relating to disputes with local councils : advice sought from solicitors

Letter in the Independent  21 June 2002

Letter in the Western Morning News  27 June 2002

Computer layouts: good and bad practice in public libraries

Folk week article in Sidmouth Herald

The letter that started it all, and that DCC refused to answer - 22 August 2002

Terms and Conditions for use of library computers in Devon 

Data Protection on library computers, initial queries to DCC

DCC's pathetic response to my letter of 22 August - the reply from Lynn Osborne

DCC's 'internal' admission about concerns for privacy

DCC's inadequate reply concerning Data Protection

Complaint about Lynn Osborne Head of DCC Library Services

Letter from DCC Solicitor 15 Sept - the Gash letter

Article from Sidmouth Herald 20 September

Letter complaining about County solicitor

Sweeney letter 26 September - from the Assistant County Solicitor 

Letter in the Sidmouth Herald 27 Sept

Letter of 30 Sept to Chief Executive of DCC

My response to the Sweeney letter 

Article from Sidmouth Herald 4 October 

Letter from Chief Executive admitting a 'public interest'

Cartoon from The Economist  28 Sept 02

Poem for National Poetry Day 10 October 2002

Letter from DCC banning me from all 67 Devon libraries 

Letter to Chief Executive of DCC, 15 Oct (crossed in post with the above)

Article in the local Express and Echo  22 Oct 02 

Email of 28 October concerning storage on D: drive sent to DCC  

Email of 28 October concerning storage on D: drive sent to DCMS

Article from the Sidmouth Herald  25 October

History rewritten - the DCC response on drive D:

Survey of library computer systems and computer privacy

Letter of 2 April 2003 from Lynn Osborne offering to restore rights as a library user

Reply to the 2 April letter

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