IT’S heartening to see the people of Methley fighting to save their library (YEP, February 7). I fully support their attempt to keep their library service and the building.
We are fortunate that, unlike some other authorities, Leeds City Council has looked carefully at library usage and analysed this and other information to come up with a considered plan for making the most of resources and developing provision. We have some wonderful libraries in Leeds, many recently refurbished and extended. The range of library activities is impressive: story-telling, book groups, talks, internet sessions, and much more.
I wish that a wand could be waved across every underused library that is in a poor state, but that’s not going to happen. It may be that the Mobile Library Service will be successful in targeting people who currently make little or no use of the service.
Methley Library’s supporters put up a good case for staying open. Looking at the council’s consultation document A New Chapter for Libraries (www.leeds.gov.uk), I notice that the graph charting total issues for Methley between 1997-98 and 2009-10 shows a decline. However, there currently appear to be around 12,500 issues annually, or an average of 1,040 per month – not bad going for a library that opens for 12 hours a week. The consultation document comments that children’s non-fiction borrowing has reduced by 16 per cent, but no reference is made to children’s borrowing of fiction.
I live near a ‘viable’ library, Cross Gates. It is proposed that our library hours be extended to 60, including Sunday opening. I feel uneasy about having such superb provision when others are losing something precious.
Loudly and clearly Methley villagers are saying that they want to keep their library. Please, councillors, let’s look for a Plan B.
FRANCES McNEIL, Manston Lane, Leeds