Save Herefordshire's Libraries
Many people, of all ages and from all backgrounds, are adversely affected when a local library is closed:
• As well as a place from which to borrow books, the local library provides information and free ICT. It’s a place to meet friends and join social activities such as, reading groups, bounce & rhyme sessions, storytelling sessions etc.
• Children need libraries to support their literacy and reading development. The library also provides them with a place to study, with staff that can help them with their homework.The Summer Reading Challenge ensures that children continue to develop their reading skills during the long summer break.
• There are many people, especially the elderly, and those living alone, who value the opportunity offered by the library and its staff, for conversation and companionship.
• The local library is a place where vulnerable members of the community feel safe and receive support.
• There are very few indoor, public spaces which are warm and welcoming, where one can linger without spending money.
• People visit the local library if they need help; for example with form filling, letter writing, using ICT, or when they need information that they are unable to find elsewhere. There are still large numbers of people who do not have access to IT, other than in their local library.
• Job seekers, make use of the library’s ICT to look for and apply for jobs; they also borrow books on job seeking techniques, writing CVs, interview skills etc., and books to help them improve their work based skills. An economic downturn is the worst time to close libraries.
• When Universal Credit is introduced applications will have to be made online, those without computers at home will need to make use of ICT in their local library.
• Many visitors to the county use the libraries for tourist information; they also value the ICT for communicating with friends and family back home and for printing airline, coach and train tickets for their return journeys.
• The provision of ‘Books on Prescription’ supports the work of the health service.
• Researchers in, for example, Family History and Local History rely on the library to provide them with the relevant source materials.