It should be a criminal offence to close a library, says Focus Team member Bob Seymour!
Right now of course we have no open libraries, so this invaluable source of learning and wisdom at the heart of any community has been denied to us all for many months now.
Have pity then for the residents of Elson and our neighbours in Lee-on-the-Solent. The Tory led review of county library services last year has resulted in both closing their doors.
It reminds me of the actions of Caesar in Alexandria two millennia ago! Of course it was all in aid of making the claim to have not increased our council tax. But the cost is endangering the future of our children’s abilities at a time when there are so many risks to that most precious of our reasons for being.
The library at Lee was always such a source of wonder to the many children who passed through its doors and of course a haven of peace and recreation to those of us who have already benefited from a library’s formative role in our education.
The range of values of course goes well beyond the availability of knowledge and leisure, reading or entertainment. So many times have I been struck by the variety of groups taking advantage of our Stubbington library’s position at the heart of our community. Many of you reading this on your tablet or phone will have been taught how in a class with others overcoming fear of the technology.
All is not lost in Lee or Elson though, despite the best efforts of the administration. A collection of our citizens have stepped forward to work on new solutions, aiming to preserve the ambitions of a library within a community hub.
To revive the purpose of that glorious building in Lee, they of course need our help. Take a look at the latest position on their website.
Just remember: This narrow-minded approach to service provision, which in the case of libraries should in my opinion be outlawed, could so easily have taken our own library on the green away from us.
As with that ancient library in Alexandria, any temporary decline in its influence must not be taken as an excuse to commit the vandalism inflicted in Hampshire last year.