Thanks to library staff

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One thing that seems to have been forgotten by councillors of all parties and the press is the wonderful library staff that Stannington and other community libraries lost in Sheffield upon the transfer to voluntary groups a couple of years ago.

The community libraries had a different feel for the large libraries which still have staff with regular users and librarians knowing each other in many cases by first name.

This familiarity of having a safe person in a safe space could have made all the difference to elderly and vulnerable people who would have viewed visiting the library and its staff as the highlight of their day or even their week.

It could be argued that this informal social work, along with everything else the library staff did, saved the council from having to provide other social services.

In addition the current generation will be growing up without benefiting from the decades of local and academic knowledge these human libraries had built up.

To any former library staff from community libraries reading this, thank you for you hard work which really made a difference to mine and other lives.

To any councillors reading this, please try a bit harder to find the savings to employ library staff at community libraries again.

They really are worth it and provide one if the most cost effective social services, helping tackle loneliness and social isolation among other things.

Matthew Smith

Endcliffe Vale Road, Sheffield S10