Monday, 10 January 2011

Public libraries - disastrous closures

More disastrous news highlighted in the Guardian on Saturday.  As the writers pointed out, closing libraries is a soft option for cash strapped councils but the effects of the closures won't be felt in full for many years.

It seems likely that many outlying service points will be closed.  When I began my library career back in the 1960s I worked for Lancashire County Library.  The department I was assigned to for the longest period distributed books to all the libraries.  More importantly for my training it ran the mobile library service. 

Now since most of our routes were within about 25 miles of the main headquarters library it could be said that even at that time we weren't needed.  And yes some of our borrowers visited that library but the highest percentage wouldn't have been able to take time out of their busy lives, many as farmers, to go and find books.  Having us, often at their farm gate was the only way they would have accessed the stock.

My memories of those library visits are clear and vivid because of the gratitude of the borowers.  In fact the closer in to the town the route the more demanding and picky the borrowers became.

So very sad to think that people like my borrowers back then, are accounted not worthy of investment in the modern library service.

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