The ailing library service

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I wanted to share an alternative vision for Sheffield’s ailing library service.

One of the main reasons people visited smaller branch libraries in more distant communities such as ours in Stannington was the librarians, so these need to be reinstated.

Self-service is more suited to larger libraries, they are simply not needed in smaller branches when professional staff are present.

We need paid librarians to be at the centre of our community once again.

We have already seen one library turned into a bar at Walkley, with 15 more turned into volunteer-led book exchanges/community centres.

Adding this to five libraries closed in the mid-1990s and Sheffield will have lost 21 professionally-run libraries in the last 20 years, with only 12 remaining.

Libraries may not be a high priority by those involved in decision making, but librarians were and are the most highly valued by communities.

Labour’s volunteer libraries have failed.

Will the opposition parties on the council finally do their job and propose a workable alternative?

Their silence on libraries since 2014 has been rather deafening.

Restaffing 16 Sheffield libraries currently run by volunteers is wanted, badly needed and affordable.

Martin Vaughan

Stannington Road, S6