Library - use it or lose it - warning
PUBLISHED: 11:04 15 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:27 15 July 2011
USE it or lose it, is the deputy leader of Sedgemoor District Council's message to library users across Somerset.
Councillor Dawn Hill believes that the public needs to get more involved with the libraries if they are keen to save them.
Somerset County Council must make savings of 25 per cent in the next three years to the libraries budget.
Although Cllr Hill believes they cost a lot of money she can see the benefit in community involvement to try to keep them open.
She said: “Libraries are important, but equally when the council is funding them it has to consider how cuts are best made.
“I think libraries have to share the pain and I do hope there will be more community involvement.
“I would hope we could get some volunteering to make sure that the library is open for more hours than it is now.
“When Cheddar held an open day it was done through the Friends of Cheddar Library and that was real community involvement.
“I think very often if the community really values something it will look to keep it open.”
Andrew Preston is a member of the Friends of Cheddar Library, which began in January.
He said: “I think most of us appreciate in a difficult economic climate savings have to be found.”
A spokesman for the county council said: “We need to make savings of 25 per cent from the libraries service budget over the next three years and face some very hard choices.
“We will be making one-off grants of £5,000 to communities who want to take over responsibility for running their library, and will be providing support for the training of volunteers.
“We are also offering to pay for the on-going costs of broadband connectivity in community-supported libraries.”
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