I BELIEVE wholeheartedly in public libraries, a force for good in many ways. I’ve no wish to “bash them” as Monica Dyson suggests some do (The Yorkshire Post, December 26).
Like Monica, I once worked in public libraries and recall the high standards once set. Whilst I cannot comment in detail on Sheffield, I can assure her that in many library systems the standards are nothing like as good as they were.
Book selection is now almost always done by library supply companies and not locally-based qualified librarians. It shows in the book stocks, which are probably OK for general reading, but not for anyone with slightly more specialist interests. I’ve had numerous book requests turned down.
Sheffield’s libraries were once praised as a “champion of the arts” for their policies of buying first novels by up-and-coming authors. I doubt they’d achieve that status now.
The last six years have been disastrous for libraries. What I want to see is funds restored to local authorities to provide, stock and staff libraries to something like their former standard. Is that too much for a supposedly rich country?
From: Andy Riddell, Sheffield.
MANY people in Sheffield will be lonely this New Year because our libraries are closing until January 2.
They aren’t just libraries, they are a social service in their own right and many people, such as myself rely, on them to stay active and in a sense look after us. Libraries should be given better funding.
Labour should include reintroducing national library standards for England in its policy for its proposed National Education Service.
Sheffield’s MPs and councillors need to be doing more to make the case for professionally staffed libraries and holding the Government to account.
Don’t waste appointments
From: Miss J Ella, Thorndale Croft, Wetwang.
REGARDING correspondence and articles about GP waiting times, the other side of the coin is the number of patients who fail to cancel or turn up for their appointments.
In a winter newsletter from our practice which is in Driffield and Wetwang, the number of patients that failed to do either in November amounted to 151 appointments missed.
This, in turn, meant there could have been the same number available to others. It also amounted to 25 hours of wasted clinical time.
The practice has a couple of means of letting them know if you cannot attend, including an automated line available 24/7 to cancel or text reminders, so there is no excuse.
We have an excellent practice and it is patients who should also assist in it providing as good a service as possible.
Tackling tide of violence
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
IT is hardly surprising that young people, and some older ones, are violent.
They are fed a continuous diet of violence on TV and most of the computer games they play involve violence.
Youngsters have difficulty in separating fiction from reality and think it quite normal to follow the examples of actors, and characters, created by the computer games industry.
I know it will never happen, but a good dose of National Service would soon quell this. It was the making of myself, and many others of my age, and took me from a dead end job to one that gave me a decent life and a pension sufficient to meet my current needs.
Road signs need clearing
From: David H Rhodes, Keble Park North, Bishopthorpe, York.
HOW wonderful nature is with its prolific growth of foliage. Could I please ask councils and highways departments to bear this in mind in respect of road signs?
So many sign posts are blacked out by overhanging tree branches or covered with green lichen so as to become indecipherable.
Strangers to an area have to radically slow down to read them, causing irritation to vehicles behind them on what appears to be a clear/unrestricted road ahead.
Are speed restriction signs enforceable in law if not legible?
Maybe workers in highway departments could report in with signage requiring immediate attention when clocking on at work.
Trump’s error over Syria
From: Mr PL Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
PRESIDENT Trump is pulling America’s troops out of Syria. What a terrible mistake.
President Assad of Syria is an evil autocratic ruler who does not tolerate any opposition whatsoever.
He is a person who will encourage international terrorism and endanger the rest of the world.
President Trump has abrogated his responsibilities to the free world.
Failure of government
From: Roy Pearson, Brignall Garth, Leeds.
THE attempt to drive a wedge between those who have and those that do not is succeeding, whilst the gap between rich and poor is forever widening.
David Cameron once said: “The test of a good society is how you look after the elderly, the frail, the vulnerable and the poorest.”
I have news for Dave. You and those you represent have failed on all counts.