Friday, November 24, 2006
Library cuts "threaten literacy"
LibDem County Cllr Peter Chegwyn, spokesman for Recreation & Heritage, said "This means fewer books and fewer qualified people to advise the public. Many librarians have given years of service to Hampshire and now, at a stroke, we will lose that expertise and knowledge. Hampshire already spends the least per head of population of any local authority in England on new library books and saw the biggest decline in book borrowing (9%) of any county last year".
I find this all very disturbing. Huge amounts of money are being spent around the county converting libraries into "Discovery Centres" and it's becoming clearer and clearer that this development is at the expense of providing the core library service. In the same week that the county council gave itself planning permission to spend £40m refurbishing its headquarters it seems content to throw to the wolves an important public service that promotes reading and literacy. I am not impressed.