The council have claimed this is in preperation for the move to the new library, but that is 18 months away, and surely the costs of the move should have been accounted for in the cost of the new library? We think this is a way to make cuts in the library budget.
Libraries around Birmingham are facing cuts, with shorter opening times, or fewer qualified librarians working in them.
These are an important community resource, offering books, learning resources, spaces for people to study and do homework, internet access and many other important services.
We oppose the shortening of library times and the deskilling of the service and will be campaigning on this.
Hall Green Library Supporters have been fighting for Hall Green library to keep its opening hours since we found out about the consultation re restructuring cynically and secretively started in Augus. They have a facebook group here
Handsworth Against the Cuts have been campaigning over the Friday closure of Handsworth Library.
We will be picketing at the central library as often as possible until Christmas, from 5:30pm-6:30pm, collecting signatures for a petition about the libraries.
You can download the petition here.
Please go along if you can – post here or on our facebook page and let people know when you can spare some time. With the German Markets on, this area is very busy. In one hour on Tuesday, 48 signatures were collected, and there is clearly a lot of support for the library. A few people turned up after 6pm to return books, or use the library to study.
We are planning to hold a demonstration on Monday 10th January, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, after which we will go to the full council meeting that is being held that day.
Come along to this demonstration, and we will plan a campaign to keep all the libraries across the city open for the amount of time needed by their users, and properly staffed so they can serve our communities properly.