Saturday, 5 February 2011

Save our libraries day

As a retired librarian, and I retired when my job description was going to change into something that no longer required the skills of a qualified librarian, I feel immense depression at the level of cuts proposed by many library authorities. Even my local authority is proposing two cuts of smaller part-time branches, replacing them with a mobile srvice. The particular branch libraries were built on large council estates during the early 1960's and were originally designed to offer a service to children, opening in the afternoons around school closing times. Over time, some had their opening hours extended so that they could offer a bit more, such as story times for pre-school children and some adult services, later computers for public use were included. The people using those branches will be denied easy access to books, free public computers and so on and the children on the estates will have one less place to go to find help with homework and leisure reading. Libraries are rarely the most expensive part of local government, but because they are a service and can't generate income, are an easy target for cuts, despite the requirement under law that the service provided should be comprehensive and efficient..
I've made my comment on the voices for the library site a while ago and also took part in the campaign to save a local branch library a few years ago, when its closure and sell-off was proposed - it is still open and well used.

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