Back campaign to save area’s library

MOORENDS library could be closed as part of controversial plans by Doncaster Council to save money.

The council is proposing to shut 14 of its 26 libraries throughout the borough as part of its budget proposals for the next financial year.

A campaign group is fighting the plans and wants residents to back its fight.

Librarian and co-ordinator of the Save Doncaster Libraries group Lauren Smith said campaigners would argue their case, seek the backing of councillors and encourage people to sign a petition against the closures.

She added: “We are hopeful and confident that we can put forward a good case, it all depends on whether the council is willing to listen.

“Libraries are often seen as soft targets and will be the first to be cut but if the closures go ahead they will have a devastating impact on the community. There will be a huge educational impact and also a knock on effect on anti-social behaviour as a lot of children rely on the libraries to do their homework or spend time if they can’t do that at home.

“Libraries are about so much more than just books they inspire people and help them.”

Council bosses say the closures would lead to redundancies and anticipate the authority could save more than £1.2 million on staffing and more than £140,000 in maintaining buildings in the next financial year.

One of the main considerations is thought to be the decline in people using libraries. A review of libraries indicated that people using the sites in Doncaster had dropped from 43 per cent in 2008 to 36.6 per cent in 2009.

According to a council report if libraries close alternatives will be explored, including increasing mobile services and having self-service facilities in other council as well as public and private buildings.

Doncaster Council’s cabinet was due to discuss the closures yesterday but the talks were postponed to a date yet to be fixed.

Save Doncaster Libraries will be holding a read-in protest at Doncaster Central Library on Saturday January 29 from 1pm until 3pm. For more information or to sign an online petition visit savedoncasterlibraries.wordpress.com