West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

MLA issues appeal to protect Strabane Library Opening Hours

Published: 1 November, 2011

On Thursday last, the Michaela Boyle accompanied by party councillor Dan Kelly, attended a meeting they had requested with Strabane Library staff to discuss the potential negative impact for library service users and staff alike if this recommendation is implemented.
Following the meeting, at which Libraries Area Manager was also present, the local MLA said,
"The Board of Libraries NI has initiated an opening hours review across the network of 101 libraries across the six counties citing that it has to make savings of 10.3 million by 2015 and it has determined that reducing opening hours is a preferred option to closing more libraries.
"Based on usage figures it is proposing the following 4 bands of opening hours:
· Band 1-57 hours per week
· Band 2-40 hours per week
· Band 3-30 hours per week
· Band 4-18hours per week
"The proposed changes would see Strabane Library being placed in Band 2 with a net loss of 12 hours per week which would undoubtedly seriously impact evening and Saturday opening.
"I would therefore call upon the local community to rally around in a determined effort to ensure that the existing level and range of services which are delivered by a committed compliment of staff at Strabane Library are fully retained. We can all play our part in this effort by firstly making it our business to regularly take out a book if you are a member and to sign up and become a member if you are not already one. Secondly, the Library has meetings rooms of various sizes for use by groups within the community and increased usage will also help the opening hours case. And thirdly and the most pressing action is for people to respond to the Review of Opening Hours Consultation before the closing date of 14 November.
Consultation questionnaires can be obtained from the library and be posted into the consultation box provided or accessed from the Libraries NI website www.libraries.org.uk with posted or online submissions forwarded to Mrs Pauline Martin, Libraries NI, Ballymena Regional Administrative Centre, 25-31 Demesne Avenue, Ballymena, BT43 7BG (e-mail pauline.martin@librariesni.org.uk)