Libraries are not an optional extra

Dear Messenger...

Dear Editor,

I write in response to the letters which appeared recently in the Burngreave Messenger in support of volunteer libraries. The letter from Martin Jordin states that he takes “issue with his implication that the current volunteer-staffed library is somehow failing young people in the community”. Volunteer libraries could be argued to be failing on the basis of the dramatic fall in book loans since the volunteer takeover and the unsustainability of their funding when compared to council run libraries.

I wanted to thank Fran Belbin for sharing the petition on libraries, I have signed and shared it. I do disagree however when Fran states in her letter that the only way of keeping a library service in Burngreave is “through the great work of the library’s dedicated team of volunteers”. The only reason we have volunteer libraries is that we have a council which views them as an optional extra as opposed to the vital service that they are. Burngreave needs and deserves a professionally staffed library service.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Burnwood