Letters: Library is heart of our community

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Have your say

The support for keeping the library at Market Deeping as “a properly funded and professionally staffed library” is gaining momentum.

To date there are, I believe, more than 3,000 signatures on the ongoing petition which will ensure a proper debate at Lincolnshire County Council.

Does this one item in what I’m sure must be a list of items all being considered, merit special attention?

Yes, of course it does because we are not just discussing a library, we are talking about the heart of a village. There are many groups that are important to village life – toddlers’ groups, over 60s groups, schools, youth groups and our local U3A, but these are groups that all come together as one - where, in the library of course.

Deepings Library is there for the whole community to make use of whether it be for story books and story telling sessions (the children’s section is one of the most used in the area), research, reference, relaxation, learning to use and become computer literate, (very important these days, especially for those on low incomes or unemployed, for whom computers are not readily available). So, yes, there is a real need for Market Deeping to sustain its library.

I hope that there are among those given the power to make this decision, users of their local library.

All too often decisions of such significance to a community are made by those to whom it matters not at all, through ignorance of the place and its importance to its community and a certain arrogance that they do it just because they can.

It would be sad to discover that this was the case for Deepings Library.

Please, help us to keep a treasured and important village facility available to everyone.

ANNE JONES

Granville Avenue, 
Northborough

The Deepings Library has a good case for being placed in tier two of the consultation, and not being demoted to three.

1 Last year it was in the top 15 used libraries in Lincolnshire, and 15 are being kept open, so it should be included.

2 With a population of 18,000, and growing, The Deepings is one of the areas of higher population in the county. It has four primary schools and a large secondary school.

3 Due to its geographical location, from most of Deeping St James it is not possible to get to an alternative library within the 30 minutes travelling time as one of the required criteria in the consultation. Indeed the centre of Deeping St James is two miles from the centre of Market Deeping.

Surely it cannot be right to expect the elderly and young mums with children to walk the two miles to the bus stops, and back, in all weathers. Bourne and Stamford are therefore not within 30 minutes away from Deeping.

4 The Deepings has its quota of underprivileged families on the Black Prince estate, which is made up of social rented housing.

5 The Deepings Library is an award-winning library, with very high standards. It provides an excellent community service, and goes the extra mile to ensure it does provide a great service. There is no way a volunteer-led library could maintain these standards, or even hope to keep up this level of achievement.

6 In a previous e-mail one of the senior ranking councillors made the point that the council has ringfenced education from cuts – 
but surely the library service is education in its 
broadest sense?

7. Recently one of the headteachers at the local primary schools declared that now some of the local schools have control of their own budgets, they keep book purchases to necessities only, and advise pupils to take advantage of the local library for further studies. Another reason for the library to remain at tier two status.

A volunteer-run library in The Deepings would not be a viable proposition, due to the size of the community, and would inevitably result in the closure of the library. It is not sustainable in the long term and would lead to closure by stealth.

The Deepings library fits the four criteria required to ensure it is positioned as a tier two library, by the county council’s definitions, and therefore should remain as a fully funded permanent service, not a volunteer led or mobile library service.

Please urge county councillors to do the right thing.

Help us educate our youngsters for the future benefit of the nation and provide the social infrastructure for the tax-paying members of the Deepings.

Helen Morgan

Belvoir Close, 
Market Deeping