Bodmin Bible burn librarian under investigation
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.
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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."