Monday, January 23, 2006

Library Cuts

Sometimes, this country really drives me crazy - and today is one of those days thanks to a story in today's Daily Telegraph which explains that approximately fifty libraries in at least six different counties are likely to close in the next few months and most of the closures will be in small and sometimes isolated communities. Apparently David Lammy, the culture minister, is going to write to every local council to urge it not to close any libraries as part of its budget measures. What makes this story even more sickening is that figures released this month show that the number of people visiting English and Welsh libraries increased last year for the third year in a row !

David Lammy ought to be doing more than merely urging the councils not to close libraries ! This Government is so keen on "lifelong learning" and on getting at least 50% of 18 year olds into universities - how do they think people who can't afford books are going to learn without libraries ? Even those who can afford to buy books, still use libraries. I feel like writing to David Lammy myself and "urging" him to get his rear in gear and do more than merely urge the local councils not to close libraries. Library provision should be mandatory and should come very high up the list of essential services that local councils provide to local residents. Grr !

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