Libraries are not a luxury

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From: Will Hiorns, Glencoe Road, Sheffield.

ANYONE who says we don’t need all our local libraries needs to spend a day in one to find out what goes on.

Talk to the users: why do they come, what do they need… what will they do if it closes?

Because there are many people who simply can’t make it to the next nearest library. There are children, the elderly, the infirm, the poor, all depending on this gateway to a wider world.

Research on historic library closures in the UK showed that up to 67 per cent of young children entirely lost access to libraries when their local one closed – but schools depend on public libraries to provide the huge range of reading that their pupils absolutely need and cannot get elsewhere.

Homework clubs are hosted after school, with resources and professionals to help children with their research and study.

What about the elderly, looking for large print books in a warm place? And what about the job clubs already queuing up to use over-subscribed computers? If you can meet those people and still conclude that local libraries are a luxury you don’t want to pay for, then you are guilty of shocking narrow-mindedness and selfishness.

Not such an easy stroll...

From: Ron Jevons, Muncastergate, York.

My WIFE, two friends and myself recently completed what was described as “A relatively easy walk over gentle farmland” – The Barwick in Elmet Circular (Yorkshire Post, January 11).

What your compiler forgot to mention was that this description applies when the walk is taken in the middle of a long, hot summer, not on a wet Sunday in January when accompanied by a six-stone black Labrador.

None of the many stiles were dog-friendly (not mentioned in your walk description) so much of our time was spent heaving a very muddy canine over the top of the stiles. On future occasions, please advise if the walk specified is appropriate for taking a dog.