Scale of library Closures
Libraries are places where anyone, no matter their age, gender, education, or culture can find a safe place to learn and grow. After all not everyone can simply buy books, newspapers and magazines at will. Not everyone has internet access in their home or even school. And every child does not have a home in which to read and study. Free and ready access to trained library staff, creative services and programs, flexible hours and well-chosen book collections are essential to meet the needs of all children and the greater community, regardless of income, race or religion. But in the UK, they are becoming a rapidly disappearing national resource and may yet be considered illegal under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.
“One of the assets of any city, any culture or any society great is its repository of knowledge. Yet senior council workers still can count on company cars, massive bonuses and all the perks.”
In these harsh economic times budget cutting and tight financial constraints, you have to consider or look at the closure of the more frivolous council expenditures, yet closure of the public services like the libraries should never be tabled as the best plan or considered as any plan short of ignorant already some councils have had decisions reversed due to local campaigns and judicial reviews. However Councils that cut library services are at risk of failing in their legal duty to provide a "comprehensive and efficient" service, MPs have warned.
A report by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said some local authorities had made insufficient plans as they struggled with smaller budgets. It added that councils were unaware of the requirements on them under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.
Understandably shortfalls in budget are the first in line to be considered and being educated individuals we understand this yet the closure of a facility that bridges communities are free, do not discriminate limited by race or religion, income, age, disability or education. At the local library, all people are welcome to learn, to ask, to discover about themselves and others, about the world, about their God. Such facilities raises us up to the hights of cultural achievements and closure is not a decision that anyone with a dose of common sence should consider.
The loss of a library creates epic waves where everyone loses, not just in the short term but the long term as well. Libraries are and always have been important, vital and essential to the livelihood of a community, especially a financially challenged one, and under the current fiscal situation as it helps those on the lower runs of society to explore other work options like self employment, all of which a library is a precious resource..
Despite passionate campaigns in support of libraries around the country, a government report in August suggested the number of adults visiting libraries had fallen steadily over the past five years.
The report, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), found 12.8% of adults used their local library once a month. However, figures remained static for children aged 11 to 15, with about 70% being regular users. The committee also praised councils who had shown "innovative thinking" about library services and different ways of providing them, including co-operation between library authorities and partnerships with other public and private bodies. However, library services are about much more than buildings, and the most important issue is finding creative ways to preserve - and, if possible, enhance - library service."