Huge response to libraries consultation

Mobile libraries provide invaluable services to rural areas
Mobile libraries provide invaluable services to rural areas

THOUSANDS of signatures, letters, emails and response forms have been received by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) in support of local libraries.

Government spending cut proposals have meant that many of the region’s local and mobile library facilities, for so long the centre point of local communities, are at risk and may soon cease to exist.

Esk Valley Borough Councillor Tim Lawn said: “To lose it would be a further erosion of rural services.

“We used to have a library in the village hall in Sleights and that was axed so now the mobile library comes with internet access and various other things.

“It has got the potential to be more than a mobile library, a one-stop shop getting out into the rural areas.

“You look at what’s happening to the price of travel and cuts to local bus services, so it isn’t always easy to get into town.”

The responses are currently being analysed by NYCC in order to outline the key areas of feedback and concern voiced by local people and organisations.

It has been suggested that for libraries to continue they will need to diversify into other community centres, such as local pubs.

Coun Lawn added: “It is important we get everyone moving together to find another way to deliver the services.

“We will need to provide funding, training and support.”

The Library Service would like to hear from any communities or potential partners who would be interested in helping them to find alternative local solutions.

To suggest an idea or for more information email or call 01609 533826 or 533811.