Login Register

Bodmin Bible burn librarian under investigation

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 09, 2011

  • Bodmin library manager Jesse Foot is under investigation by Cornwall Council.

Comments (0)

THE MANAGER of Bodmin library is facing the sack after controversially putting the Bible on a book-burning list.

Jesse Foot is being investigated by his employers Cornwall Council for bringing the local authority into disrepute and faces a charge of gross misconduct.

His book-burning promotion has now been removed from the library on the order of senior officials at County Hall.

Mr Foot came under fire last week for asking library users in Bodmin to list books they would like to burn.

The librarian said his intention was to get more people to borrow books, and not using the service was tantamount to burning the building down.

He said he included the Bible in his book-burning display to spark a response from the public.

His actions have been criticised by some, including Bodmin rector the Reverend Canon Graham Minors, who accused Mr Foot of being insensitive to Christians.

A number of people are supporting Mr Foot, who is a member of the evangelical Grace Community Church in Morval, near Looe.

He is due to be made redundant along with a number of other library managers in the county next month.

Cornwall councillor for Bodmin East Ann Kerridge said he would be missed.

Mrs Kerridge, whose husband Phil was a senior library manager in Cornwall before his retirement, said the decision to implement disciplinary action against Mr Foot was "a joke".

"Jesse has been a fantastic library manager for Bodmin and will be a huge loss to the town when he leaves in the next few weeks. The library won't be the same," she said.

"Even Bodmin's newest rapper Graham Minors knows the book-burning story is a storm in a teacup.

"Nobody like Graham, myself or Jesse with a deep religious faith should be, in any way, affected by this."

Mr Kerridge said: "Taking disciplinary action is not only over the top but a complete joke in view of the service Jesse has given. If it had any sense it would be looking to find a way of utilising his talent for publicity to avoid the disrepute and bad press it routinely generates. I have already e-mailed library bosses pleading that they see sense."

The Cornish Guardian spoke to several library users in Bodmin who are also supporting Mr Foot.

Nicky Parr said: "Jesse is a fantastic manager and a great guy. He's done a huge amount for this library and I can't understand what all the fuss is about.

Kerry McNary said: " He does a lot for the children's book club and he's really enthusiastic with them about books. Everyone will be sorry to see him go."

But Mr Foot has been criticised too.

Sarah Warne, from Bodmin, said if his intention was to get more people to use the library, he was going the wrong way about it.

"Personally, his promotional exercises mean that I feel less and less likely to visit my local library."

Cornwall Council confirmed Mr Foot is facing disciplinary proceedings following his book-burning promotion.

A spokeswoman said: "This matter is being investigated and appropriate action will be taken."

Read more from Cornish Guardian

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • ShBurnham  |  December 28 2011, 4:06PM

    To put this lovely bloke "under investigation" is absolutely horrid. It makes you look like an eastern bloc stasi outfit. In my view, turning the other cheek would be more appropriate (for the outraged Christians with time on their hands to be unkind) -- and a little appreciation for someone who is dedicated to their job would not go amiss either. What on earth do his employers think they are doing ? The world has gone mad.

  • Noodlepip  |  December 28 2011, 12:48PM

    Librarians make decisions about stocking/removing books not based on their own preferences, but based on the needs and wants of their users. Mr Foor [asked] library users in Bodmin to list books they would like to burn.' The decision to put the Bible on that list was not his own. Some may question the morality of book burning, but who can honestly say that they wouldn't chuck The DaVinci Code in the stove if they were chilly?

    |   2
  • Oscarsmummy  |  November 14 2011, 12:38PM

    You maybe a good librarian 'Jesse' but personally I feel that you think it is your God given right to upset people. Recent comments of burning the Bible along with other books and previously upsetting all pet owners, what's next? By provoking a reaction with the public you have shot yourself in the foot. But the best of it is, you think you can get away with it because you are the nephew of Michael Foot. I did comment a while ago that 'What goes around, comes around' and look what has happened, your losing your job. IN MY VIEW, Karma has done a brilliant job!!

    |   -2
  • homerjay  |  November 09 2011, 10:44PM

    Charles Cross pens Monsieur? Calling ''Touche'' is the hard bit... And agreed. The only problem I have with Karen's comment would be that she doesn't comment enough. Can't that be remedied Karen?

    |   -1
  • Charlespk  |  November 09 2011, 9:29PM

    "What if there's a state of emergency and we're all confined to our homes without electricity, for instance?" Karen here has brains Max, which is far different from some of those I've been "crossing pens" with of late.

    |   -1
  • Charlespk  |  November 09 2011, 9:22PM

    Evening Max; I've been busy on other things unfortunately. . Some important commercial matters and the occupation of College Green Bristol among them. . But thanks; I'll read.

    |   -1
  • homerjay  |  November 09 2011, 9:01PM

    Good evening Charles! Have you missed this? http://tinyurl.com/canhh6b

  • Karen362  |  November 09 2011, 9:00PM

    I'm opposed to burning any kind of book. Over the years, there have been many books that have gone out of print and then later been quietly removed from library shelves in this way leaving no trace. JG Ballard's Hello America is one, off the top of my head, although there are plenty of others I can think of. If they are really old and tattered and falling apart, they could be given to hard-up pensioners to burn for fuel, I suppose? But, on the whole, I don't think library stocks should be run down. The LA has bought them out of tax payers' money, after all. Let's face it, future generations may well have more use of printed material again if we experience power cuts or the internet goes down. What if there's a state of emergency and we're all confined to our homes without electricity, for instance? It's not the same as destroying people's medical or criminal files because they're stored on computers is it? In fact, it would be a jolly good thing if they burned most of those and then a computer virus wiped the slate clean. But books? That's a different matter entirely. I'm not in favour of organised religion, by the way. Although I am spiritually engaged in a telepathic union with someone I believe to be a divine presence. And due to my complete lack of job prospects and anarchic leanings these days, see no reason to be in a state of denial about this any more. I wonder if Unesco have anything to say about this, incidentally?

  • Charlespk  |  November 09 2011, 8:55PM

    I see the appeal of Mr and Mrs Bull is now underway in Bristol. . I'm getting really fed up with Godless people with no respect for other people's beliefs.

  • Big_Ger  |  November 09 2011, 7:58PM

    I agree with the preceding comments. The man has done the library a favour, and Cornwall County Council has, yet again, shot itself in the foot.