The cost of a library…?

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This is a little rant post about the amount of libraries and art galleries that are closing around the country. I just read in the news this morning about another town in which 15 out of the 16 libraries in the area are earmarked for closing, in a bit to “save” £2.9 million pounds a year. Now all these local libraries are pivotal to the community. Children right through to the elderly use the facilities for all manner of things – not just borrowing books. Libraries are used for group meetings, hobby courses, speakers, using computers, and many other activities that are important to a local community.

The very definition of community, in any dictionary, has the words “group”& “together”  in it.

So lets just say this particular council is successful in saving its 2.9 million pounds. Where will that money go? I’ll tell you where it will be needed…..mental health services. The older people who have nowhere to go will now spend all their time stuck inside their houses, wishing there was someone to talk to. Same for the disabled people who relied on the services of the library and the sense of community it brought. The children will have nowhere to go and nothing to do because they are stuck inside all evening after a day in school (where they competed against 32 other kids in the class for one teachers attention) The parents will be frustrated because they have bored unhappy children playing computer games all day, whereas before they read books and met up with their friends at the library. I’m sure there are plenty of other examples of people whose lives will be adversely affected by these national proposals, but its very early in the morning as I write this, and already I can feel my writing is infused with emotion, instead of calmness. But I make no apology – this whole matter of “saving money” is an injustice, because frankly it won’t put more police on the streets, it won’t help the local schools, it won’t raise the hourly rate of those on zero contract hours, it won’t do anything but make people miserable and angry at how our communities are being eroded into nothing……

End of rant. Going to make some tea and art.

 

 

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9 responses »

  1. Totally agree. I read that article and it just washed over me because nothing surprises me anymore. I am so spent in my ranting and emotional responses to all these cost-cutting measures. I use the local library for audiobooks as I can’t hold a paper book, the librarians are amazing at selecting titles for me because they know my tastes and what I’ve already had better than my husband. A retired neighbour came round recently and asked if I could help him send an email to a solicitor, I did, but we were also able to tell him the library provides free computer instruction and he promptly went and signed up. They are an invaluable source of help and information on local services. My husband likes to spend Saturday afternoons there reading all the papers. He has people other than me to chat to who will talk about bike repairs with him without their eyes glazing over 😄 Closing libraries is a ridiculous policy but I know that it often comes down to choices between that and further cutting social services etc. It is a no-win situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this. Its not in line with my usual blogging subjects, but I just had to vent a little because I was angry about it. Our main library up the road is excellent and I’m dreading when our council decides its no longer worth keeping open. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And so there it is. Once more, a thing that benefits the community lost now in service to some mysterious budget shortages. Why don’t they ever talk about how they’re going to improve the community when they remove something? Because governmental infrastructure is not set up tp serve the underserved. That’s why these things are the first to go when austerity measures kick in. And then you have more homelessness, more poverty, and the erosion of a society. I think you should make this a letter to the editor of your local paper–if that’s still around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes it does undermine the very fabric of society, and I wish they *would* discuss how they will distribute the savings – but sadly all it means is that our government gives them less of a budget to work with…(translated as “lining their own pockets”) A letter to the paper is a good idea, but they too behave at the behest of the government, so its pointless. Everyone locally protested at the closure of our essential post office (another service squeezed out from our towns) and it still shut down. Its power, control and greed that runs this society nowadays. People don’t matter. (Gosh am I cynical or what, haha!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s NOT pointless. People feel the press serve the government, but it’s not unilaterally true. It just FEELS true, which is why it works to keep us from getting involved, or doing enough. Our respective countries are not Pravda (Russian media). We don’t serve dictators. (yet.) I encourage you to try.Protests are good and healthy, but newspapers respond to readership. Sometimes they just need to know it’s an issue that people care about. It’s newspapers that, for centuries, have revealed government corruption and moved the people to action. Have I taken this too seriously? It’s something I’m passionate about. I love the newspapers here and the committed and passionate journalists who risk everything to ferret out corruption. That is all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You haven’t taken this too seriously at all – your passion is clear, and I do get your point, totally. I guess everyone over here is feeling jaded with all that is currently going on. There seems to be an air of helplessness. The town in question is under a different jurisdiction from me, so any letters would have to come from the townsfolk themselves – which judging from the article I read, a fair few of them will be protesting . But if it happens in my town, rest assured I will be campaigning against it! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Then it’s a global problem. People feel disempowered, unhappy, afraid and they want an easy fix. Then they elect men like Trump. He makes them feel safe. It’s easier to feel disempowered than it is to wake up and try to do something. That’s complicated. I’m talking in global generalities. Not you and I, thank God.

        Like

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