A new campaign is taking off and we ask you all to support this as our services are in even more danger .... We will keep this page open until people catch up with the new one. See the post immediately below this one. Meanwhile follow this link and sign the new re-worded petition.
To: Herefordshire Council
Save Herefordshire Libraries
Halt all planned cuts to our libraries and museum services forthwith. A halt to cutting Herefordshire's library and museum budget, reducing opening hours and replacing staff with volunteers; and the denigration of services previously provided, for instance inter-library lending. Volunteer run libraries can not provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons in the area that want to make use of it, as required by the Public Libraries and Museum's Act.
Why is this important?
As you may know we raised nearly 10,000 signatures previously and will raise even more this time if they fail to get the message. Our libraries should be off-limits to all corporate destruction! .
Following the initial success, we are well aware the battle is not yet over as the impact assessment forms produced by HCC are a complete travesty, along with consultation guides which still include the original proposal in disguise. This battle continues ....
The amazing response to this campaign forced the Tory led cabinet to bring this issue to a full council meeting on the 24th May 2013. A little victory in itself.
Volunteers can assist, but not run libraries or museums. For example it requires 18 volunteers to keep Peterchurch Library open for 10 hours per week. Further denigration of services, for instance the cancellation of inter-library lending, have since been introduced without consultation, continuing the secrecy operated by the council cabinet. Illegal under the 1964 act.
We apparently have three Turner paintings in the county ... do you think these paintings that belong to us the people should be sold off into the hands of private enterprise? We don't!
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, Family and Local History rely on the library to provide them with the relevant source materials.
Hereford Library has been closed to the public for 3 months, due to asbestos problems, long known about. One might legitimately ask why they started interfering with the building when already armed with that knowledge.
The temporary library is not fit for purpose due to the lack of study space, computer facilities, space for children's activities, homework facilities etc.
Herefordshire council is no longer providing the people of Hereford with a 'comprehensive' library service as required by the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964:
It is surely time to ask Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture Media and Sport, and Jesse Norman local MP and chair of the DCMS committee, to intervene.
Please share with all who are missing their library service.
How it will be delivered
To be confirmed