Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Muir condemns cut in library opening hours

I have launched a petition at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/stoplibrarycuts against the proposed drastic cut in opening hours at Holywood and other libraries. I am concerned that the cuts could mark the end for some libraries whilst also restricting access to these vital community resources.


Holywood Library
Libraries NI recently announced plans to cut the opening hours of many libraries across Northern Ireland. Locally, Holywood Library will suffer drastic cuts with opening Hours slashed from 53.5 hours to 40 hours. Bangor Library will also have its opening hours cut from 65 to 57 hours. Whilst I recognise that Libraries NI need to balance their budget making such cuts at the behest of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure could be the death knell of some libraries reducing visitors to an unsustainable level with the next logical step closure.
I am particularly disturbed to learn that Holywood Library will have its doors shut for an extra 13.5 hours after recently being refurbished. This refurbishment involved a complete redesign of the library interior and was intended by Libraries NI to "broaden its appeal to the local community". To then cut its opening hours doesn't make sense alongside the plan to reduce the opening hours of Bangor Library.
Libraries are the lifeblood of local communities helping to create informed, creative and knowledgeable communities. The public have their opportunity to make their views known until 14 November via local libraries and http://www.ni-libraries.net I would encourage people to speak out and oppose these cuts before it's too late

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