Monday, 9 November 2015
WARNING :- Serious proposals to Library services in Ceredigion to to be discussed by Council Cabinet tomorrow.
It has been drawn to my attention ( someone kindly passed me on an internal memo) that tomorrow, 9th November , Ceredigion County Council Cabinet in Aberaeron to discuss proposals to discuss options for changes within the library services in Ceredigion. I am alarmed that no one seems to know what is going on, let us hope those with responsibility will allow wider consultation with the wider public.
I guess the reasons for the consideration, is due to the severe cutbacks made by the Conservative Government to local Government funding and expenditure to public services occurring across Britain at the moment. Whatever happens the authorities have a duty to keep us informed with their proposals.
There are 3 proposals to be discussed. :-
1. Closure of Llandysul library and reduction of the mobile library by two vehicles ( one large and small vehicle)
2.Closure of Llandysul and one further static library
Reduce the number of static libraries by two through the closure of Llandysul and either Cardigan, Lampeter or Aberaeron. The Mobile library service would be re-designed to provide a service for the towns where static libraries have been closed but the frequency of visits across the county would be reduced.
3.Closure all static libraries, bar Aberystwyth.
Reduce the number of static libraries to one, Aberystwyth only and re-design the mobile library service to provide a service across the County but the frequency of visits to all Towns would be reduced.
All the above options will also include an element of staff reduction through automation and support processes.
In my opinion all above, very alarming and worrying, in a county that is bilingual, keen to promote its identity and language access to free literature and services in their own language I would have thought would be paramount.
Libraries are places of intellectual freedom, places of learning, I believe access to them is a basic human right, knowledge after all gives us power.
People in the community on any income level can daily access information via books or computer, for those of us who cant afford to go elsewhere.
Local library's also act as an essential hub in the community, where service users gather, to read newspapers, catch up with friends, to feel a sense of belonging, providing safe and friendly environments for young and old for social networking. With dedicated hardworking staff always on hand, who seem to have been kept in the dark about the plans, with minimum amount of consideration or consultation.
Also provide the first gateways to a childs pathway to learning. A place to keep warm, a place that really change lives. Also provide the first gateways to a childs pathway to learning. A place to keep warm, a pl;ace that really saves lives.
Furthermore currently the library in Cardigan ( I know this, because I use it everyday, I write as a loyal library user) is the only service that provides free source of internet access to poorer members of the community. It is used to apply for and access benefits, job hunts and fill in job applications, and source any level of government information. I am aware that a significant part of the community who cannot afford to buy a computer or pay for broadband to access the internet in their own homes. My own partner found her current home accessing the services of Cardigan library. The only opportunity that some of us to access the internet at the moment, is in the library.
Without our library services a significant percentage of Ceredigion's community would be disenfranchised, from these essential services and resources, and I say nothing about the poets, the bloggers and creatives amongst our numbers.
I sincerely hope that when the cabinet meets tomorrow to discuss their proposals, they have the tenacity to take on board some thoughts contained within this post. My mind really reels that they are actually thinking of these proposals, that they may actually come into being.
Our libraries should remain and continue to play an important and pivotal role in our community. Books are essential to survival for society and the individual. Surely there must be other things the council could be looking at.
They have decided to put it out to public consultation, put the onus on us, we must demand and shout loudly that we want the service that we have and need , a free public library for one and all.
Posted by teifidancer at 18:44