Caitlin Moran wrote an excellent piece for The Times about library closures, in which she says:
“A public library is such a potent symbol of a town’s values; each one closed down might as well be 6,000 stickers plastered over every available surface reading: “WE CHOOSE TO BECOME MORE STUPID AND DULL”.
Although I have read a million words on the necessity for the cuts, I have not seen a single letter on what the exit plan is: what happens in four years’ time, when the cuts will have succeeded, and the economy gets back to “normal” again. Do we then – prosperous once more – go round and re-open all these centres, clinics and libraries, which have sat, dark and unused, for nearly half a decade?
It’s hard to see how – it costs millions of pounds to re-open deserted buildings, and cash-strapped councils will have looked at billions of square feet of prime real estate with a coldly realistic eye.
Unless the Government has developed an exit strategy for the cuts, and has insisted that councils not sell closed properties, by the time we get back to “normal” again, our Victorian and postwar and Sixties red-brick boxy libraries will be coffee shops, Lidls and pubs. No new libraries will be built to replace them. These libraries will be lost forever.”
Doncaster Council needs to rethink its priorities – does it really want to plaster labels all over itself, advertising the fact that it chose to make its town more stupid and dull? By the time the volunteers have lost their energy and willpower (if anyone had the time and ability to step forward in the first place), after the staff have been made redundant and our buildings closed and sold off, it will be too late. The council needs to drastically change its plans, or risk being seen as a town of failure and stupidity forever.