It is time we stopped celebrating the policy of volunteer-led libraries as it has seen library visits drop considerably, library staff lose their jobs and library users across the city (including many in deprived areas), lose access to a professionally run library service.
I do wish that councilors of all parties would wake up and realise that we need change quick, before we lose 16 libraries for good.
As a library user I do find it to be incredibly dubious and insulting for the council to claim that volunteer-run facilities are just as good as staffed, statutory libraries. They aren’t.
I do wish the volunteers who have stepped in to try and fill the void when the council has withdrawn proper library services well, but please could politicians stop calling these facilities libraries.
If they were libraries, the council would be classing them as part of the statutory library service.
A library without paid/trained staff and a statutory remit isn’t a library, it’s a community centre.
By all means, call them community centres but don’t insult library users by calling them libraries.
Thanks you to all the Sheffield librarians past and present for the life-changing work you have done or are still doing. And thank you to all councilors and campaigners who have fought for or continue to fight for the fully staffed library service Sheffield deserves.
Stannington Road, S6