Library policy branded ‘poor’

Greenhill Library which is threatened with closure under council cuts
Greenhill Library which is threatened with closure under council cuts

Worried residents packed into a public meeting in Sheffield to voice concerns over council plans to close their local library.

There was standing room only at the meeting in Greenhill which was called by the Friends of Greenhill Library.

Locals were given a presentation by a representative from Sheffield Council, who outlined the reasons for the proposed closures.

The council is planning to shut up to 16 of its 27 community libraries unless third parties step forward to run them.

The presentation was followed by a heated two-hour question and answer session.

A spokesman for the Friends of Greenhill Library said: “One question about the savings made by closing the library could not be answered, and that raised a flurry of subsequent questions about how the council could have properly costed its proposals.

“The head of library services was also asked about the legality of independent libraries lending books because it would function outside the public rights lending system.

“He said he ‘thought it would be alright’ because others were doing it.”

The spokesman said: “That raised further questions about the thoroughness of the analysis that underlies the library proposals if such fundamental issues such as the legal status of the independent library model have not been addressed.”

He said there was also concern that the nearest ‘hub library’ at Woodseats would be unable to accommodate the extra users generated if Greenhill Library were to close, and no assurance that ‘dilapidated’ Woodseats library would get an upgrade and renovation - or even that it would remain open.