We call on Newcastle City Council to re-consider their proposals to close 10 libraries and ensure that these remain open so that their vital service can continue to be delivered to local residents.
Why is this important?
As part of its budget proposals Newcastle City Council is proposing the closure of 10 branch libraries, along with staffing cuts at City Library. Public libraries provide a vital service for all sectors of the community, but it is the most vulnerable who will be hit hardest, just as access to information becomes even more essential in view of all the other government changes which are about to hit. Not everyone affected will be able to afford to travel the increased distance to a library, and children are particularly likely to lose out. Once these local libraries are closed they will never be restored and we will all have lost a vital resource. The City of Newcastle will have suffered irreparable damage to its reputation as a centre for culture and learning. As local author David Almond said recently, "a library is one of humankind's greatest inventions and is at the heart of our culture".