Defend rural libraries from closure

  By NIPSA members in LibrariesNI who will be victimised/possibly sacked by management if they put their names to this article LibrariesNI have announced another ”consultation” about proposed library closures. The last consultation resulted in ten libraries being closed in Belfast. Over the past 5 years, twenty libraries have been closed across Northern Ireland. This time they are attacking rural libraries in Armagh, Carnlough, Draperstown, Fintona, Gilford, Greystone, Kells & Connor, Killyleagh, Moneymore, Moy and Richhill.

It is the poorest people and families who lose out most when libraries are shut. For learning, Internet and computer access or just for reading, many families depend on their local library. In Belfast pensioners and young children felt that walking 2 or 3 miles to the next nearest library was unreasonable. In rural areas, the next nearest library might be 10 or more miles away! A library van calling for 30 minutes a week is no substitute for knowledge and computer access.

 

Local communities are not powerless though and can succeed in stopping the closure of libraries. The local community of the Woodstock Rd/Cregagh Rd area in East Belfast organised several big protests and ensured that their local library was not closed. Attend the “consultation” meetings and make your voice heard. Get in touch with the Stop the Cuts Alliance today on 90311778 or stopthecutsni@gmail.com if you would like assistance on setting up a campaign.

 

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