I don’t want to get funny with Martin Vaughan for sending in nice thoughts about libraries, but could he please rethink his position?
Firstly, he won’t find much in the way of mindless insults on the letters pages of this newspaper, because in these columns we conduct ourselves courteously even when we disagree. (Yes, Cyril Olsen, this means you!).
For example, we know that some ultra-lefties don’t like the idea of volunteers in libraries even when the alternative is nothing at all.
There has, for example, been targeted low-level criminal damage inflicted on Walkley and Stannington libraries, probably intended to disrupt their activities.
This has been reported by this newspaper and has hitherto been described as vandalism, but probably the right word for it is sabotage.
Secondly, of course everyone needs and deserves a professionally staffed library service: but it doesn’t logically follow that they’ll get one.
The Government has cut the grant to local authorities, and put a cap on council tax.
It’s no secret that soon all councils will be able to provide only their basic statutory services, and will be hard put to it to do even that.
Some local authorities eg, Northamptonshire, are already insolvent, and others, such as North Somerset, are in great financial difficulties.
In these circumstances, what will yet another meeting achieve?
At best, deploying such librarians as remain as leaders of volunteer teams, one to each library.
However, buses stopping immediately outside libraries?
A great idea, Mr Vaughan. Bring it on!
Oak Park, Sheffield, S10