Opinion: What future for libraries?

The Star: Opinion.
The Star: Opinion.
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TEN thousand people have signed a petition to try to stop library closures.

But yesterday in the council chamber, those pleas were largely ignored with the decision to make £1.6m of savings going through just about on the nod.

There was the usual political rhetoric. Labour blaming the Government and the Lib Dems crying foul.

Interestingly, these are the same Lib Dems who when they were in power had also proposed making a similar level of savings from the library budget.

And unfortunately the standard of debate sunk to the level of the Lib Dems claiming Labour wouldn’t have to make the savings if they didn’t spend money on new carpets and redecorating the council.

The real debate should surely have been about whether the library service still has a role to play in our communities.

Ten thousand people may have signed a petition, but one wonders how many of them were active users of the service.

And if more people used the library service then perhaps they would not be the easy prey for savings that the politicians on both sides of the divide make them.

Today, our reading habits have been transformed by the availability of cheap books. We simply don’t need libraries like we used to.

Yes they play an important part in binding our communities together. What really needs to happen is a grown-up debate about what can replace those under threat to ensure there is still a focal point for those communities.

Teach children value of money

THE old saying “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” could have a new twist according to a report out today.

Compiled by researchers at the University of Sheffield, the report sheds light on the fact that if children learn the value of money at an early age, they will spend it wisely in later years.

So the findings on children’s attitude to earning pocket money suggest that youngsters who work for cash by carrying out chores or errands, turn out to be better savers.

It is a salutary message to parents who are tempted to give pocket money to children out of a habit.

If you make them earn the money by carrying out little tasks, you will be helping them in later life.

So the next time your child asks for their pocket money, you should feel justified in asking them to do something to earn it. After all, as another saying goes, money doesn’t grow on trees.