LEEDS literary legend Alan Bennett is in a fortunate position when he renews his call for libraries to be publicly funded to prevent branches from closing down – he’s not one of those officials, or politicians, having to take such invidious decisions.
Yet Britain cannot remain wedded to the past when it comes to the delivery of public services. Time stops for no one and the public’s needs are changing, not least because every mobile device is effectively a mini library.
It’s the same with the police – old-fashioned help desks are, like it or not, becoming obsolete because of the public’s desire to contact their local officers by telephone or log complaints online.
Why, for example, can’t police in West Yorkshire make use of existing drop-in sessions in local libraries in order to connect with the public? Not only would it make their officers more accessible to communities, but it would boost use and awareness of those buildings so close to Mr Bennett’s heart.