Friday, 6 August 2010

Public Fear over Library Merger


By Sunil Patel

A number of people from Leicester have raised concerns at council plans to merge central library services, arguing it will cause a reduction in overall quality.
   
Leicester City Council applied for planning permission last week to combine the Central Lending Library into the Learning and Information Library in Bishop Street.
  
Under the £500,000 plans, the improvements made to former the reference library include a refurbished foyer and substantially increased space, services and facilities on two floors.
    
The cash will be spent on building works, redecoration, lighting improvements, new shelving and guiding.
  
However one regular library user described the council’s move to house all services under one roof as a ‘desecration’ of the Belvoir Street building.
  
Another frequent library user, Gerry Kelly, Leicester, said: “The old Bishop Street building could get very crowded as the library is very busy with just the reference section.”

Mr Kelly remembers when there were three libraries in the city centre and by next year there may only be one, he said: “It looks like it is going to happen so I will have to get used to it.”
      
The council’s aim is to save £228,000 a year by centralising library services, which will used to reinvest into library services in other parts of the city.

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