Sunday, 9 July 2017

Library Plans

When I went to the Council meeting on Monday, I was sitting next to Anita, from HOWLS, in the audience. On the way home after the meeting we started chatting about the new school building and the plans for the library. I'd been of the opinion that the important thing to do was to keep the library open until it transferred into it's new premises at the school. I knew the room would be smaller, but in my innocence I thought that we would be more or less trading like for like in terms of library facilities.

It turns out that it's not like that at all. The "new library" in the school will be an empty room, with a storage area. The library books will be on mobile bookcases which will be trundled away into the storage area when the library is not open, leaving an empty room which can be used for other purposes.
So what's going to happen to the computer terminals which are in the present library building? Where are library users going to be able to access a computer if not in the new library in the school? Come to that, where is the librarian going to sit? Is there going to be a library counter and chair that gets trundled out each time the library opens to the public?
It also strikes me that this sort of library would be very easy to take away - all they'd need to do would be to load the mobile bookshelves onto a truck, and there would be a new empty room for the school to use, with storage area.

So what's being offered by the County Council is not a proper library, and not a proper community centre - the other empty room in the school which is supposed to be for that purpose, with no facilities for art or pottery classes, which used to take place in the old community centre, for instance.

It seems that it's more important than ever to campaign to keep a proper library, in a proper library building - and with proper qualified staff to run it.

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