Public libraries in the UK date from the mid-nineteenth century and have been around for more than 150 years, but has their era now come to an end?
50 years’ ago the library was as central to the function of a town as the post office and local bank. Then, within the past decade, along came Google, Amazon, Kindle and a range of charity shops selling cheap books. Libraries were suddenly under threat. That threat (of closure) became a harsh reality when councils such as NYCC found themselves having to make swingeing budget cuts. Libraries werein the firing line: soft targets in the sights of the planners and politicians
The fact is that the writing is on the proverbial wall for the library in Boroughbridge. Let’s be clear: it will either become a so-called “community library”, managed and run by local volunteers, or it will close forever in 2017
If you think libraries are institutions of a bygone era, you won’t care if our library closes. You can get along quite nicely with your Kindle for fiction and Google for reference
On the other hand, if you believe, as many do, that the library should continue to exist, albeit in a different form (see below), you may want to help prevent its closure. How could you do this? The answer is by volunteering to get involved.
As an aside, “volunteering” is something we’re all going to be challenged to do in the future. Gone are the days when we paid our council tax and expected NYCC and HBC personnel to provide a range of desirable services!
The post-2017 Boroughbridge library needs trustees (committee people) and shop floor library volunteers: are up for it? If so, contact John Helliwell (firstname.lastname@example.org; 320731)
By the way, the buzz words around the library are “joint usage” and “shared space”: the library, perhaps scaled down, sharing space with another local organisation to create (stand by for another buzz word) a “community hub”. It makes sense, doesn’t it?