People show their love for libraries during protest against proposed Norfolk County Council cuts
PUBLISHED: 16:09 09 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:23 09 January 2016
Dozens of people have written about why they love libraries at a protest against proposed cuts to the service in Norfolk.
The event, at the Millennium Library in Norwich this afternoon, saw members of the Norfolk People’s Assembly hand out leaflets outlining their opposition to proposals that could see staffed opening times reduced, less money spent on library stocks, and reductions to the mobile library service.
They are part of the Norfolk County Council’s budget consultation, which closes on January 14.
Kate Baczkowska, 11, from Long Stratton, showed her support for the library by writing on one of the dozens of red paper hearts that were then stuck on columns and book displays in the library.
She said: “I think it’s important because you could spend so much money on buying books and films you want. You can just get these from the library, and it is completely free. And if you just want to spend time there, you can.”
Her mother, Helen, said the library service was especially important to rural communities.
In a statement, the Norfolk People’s Assembly said: “We are asking Norfolk County Council to vote no to cuts to this and all other essential services and investigate ways of joining with other councils to refuse to implement this government’s latest round of cuts which already have disproportionately hit the most vulnerable in society.”
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “The council is examining how we maintain library services while reducing costs. We plan to keep all libraries operating and will invest in new ‘open-plus’ technology that will maintain opening hours with swipe card entrance to libraries and self-service. This has already been successfully trialled at Acle Library.
“While this will maintain overall opening hours, there is a proposed reduction in staffed opening times at the Millennium Library in Norwich. There would also be a reduction in the amount spent on library stock. The mobile library service remains although it is proposed that the extra Saturday service in some areas will stop. The council will review whether other services can be run from library buildings or mobile libraries.”
He said the scale of the council’s budget challenge meant some services have to change, and encouraged people to look at the budget consultation.
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