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.