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West Berkshire residents unite to protest against library closure proposals

Residents from across West Berkshire demonstrate over plans to close all but one of district's libraries

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Email:

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886632

Protestors march against library closure proposals

CAMPAIGNERS from across West Berkshire descended on Newbury Library yesterday to form a mass protest against council proposals to close eight of the district’s nine libraries.

Yesterday’s protest was designed to show the council how impractical it would be if everyone from across West Berkshire only had access one library.

In a defiant display of community spirit, around sixty people - both young and old - gathered in the library and held up placards.

They then marched over to demonstrate outside the council’s offices in a bid to show councillors the “devastating impact” the closures would have on communities.

Seven-year-old Momo, from Newbury, was among the crowd.

She said: “I don’t want the libraries to close, it would make me sad.”

Her mother, Julie, said: “We’ve been taking Momo to the library since she was a year old and she loves reading books.

“The libraries are a vital part of our community and it would be a devastating loss if they were to close.”

For more reaction, see next week’s Newbury Weekly News.

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Article comments

  • Hellebore

    29/02/2016 - 10:10

    AndyV - I'm afraid you are incorrect. Book labels show the RRP to protect the commercially sensitive discount that libraries get from their suppliers. That is NOT what the library pays. Libraries purchase from library suppliers like A&H rather than Amazon for several reasons, one of which is so that the books arrive shelf ready, with labels and jackets and all the paraphernalia that allows them to be loaned multiple times. Specific library suppliers are set up to provide this at a very low cost using automation. I'm a librarian (and I also once worked for West Berks) so I know how books are purchased.

    Reply

  • AndyV

    26/02/2016 - 20:08

    Read the label in most library books and you will see that W Berks buy books from one supplier, Askews and Holts, at full cover price. Why not use Amazon like the rest of us?

    Reply

  • AndyV

    26/02/2016 - 20:08

    Read the label in most library books and you will see that W Berks buy books from one supplier, Askews and Holts, at full cover price. Why not use Amazon like the rest of us?

    Reply

  • LibraryWatch

    26/02/2016 - 17:05

    Has the Council explored practical alternatives to closing all its libraries. These include merging library services with those of other authorities or passing library provision to a public service mutual. Before the last major local government re-organisation, Berkshire had a single well used library authority. Now there are six library authorities, each with their separate management, overheads etc. The Council should look to Northern Ireland which now has a single library service or to the Tri Borough Service (Westminster etc) in London ,which delivered large savings by merging library services across authorities.I am sure that the DCMS, ACE and the Library Taskforce would help the Council's officers and elected members to come up more imaginative solutions than simply closing almost all the libraries.

    Reply

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