OUR communities would be a lot poorer without those volunteers who are giving up their time in order to help run local libraries and spare them from closure.
This is particularly pertinent in North Yorkshire where local people are effectively running 31 branches after the county’s libraries budget was cut from £7.8m to £4.2m in this financial year.
And while this concept does have its critics, notably in Sheffield, the desire of so many residents to give something back to their community is actually stopping councils from introducing even harsher cuts.
That said, librarians are not just responsible books – they are, invariably, experts when it comes to offering assistance on how to access local services and so on – and it is important that local and national leaders understand their wider value. In short, it is now time to recognise libraries as an asset, rather than a drain on resources, and put a moratorium on any closure plans so other options can be considered.