YP Letters: Fully-staffed libraries affordable and essential

From: Martin Vaughan, Stannington Road, Sheffield.

Library cuts continue to be the focus of political debate.

CUTTING libraries or replacing them with volunteer-led community book exchanges, as has happened in Sheffield, is tantamount to cutting hospitals and doctors during a plague.

With the total libraries budget comprising less than one per centof the total spend of Sheffield City Council, it’s not as though campaigners and library users are asking for the moon on a stick to have 16 small libraries staffed on a part-time basis.

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The volunteer-led model is more a product of the localism agenda promoted by the Conservative government and our New Labour council, combined with our council’s track record on outsourcing as a first priority – irrespective of the cost or consequences.

Restaffing Sheffield libraries is affordable, achievable, and badly needed.

Thank you to all the library staff, past and present, for all the life-changing work you have done and to all the individuals who have taken action to try and get a fully staffed library service for Sheffield.