The news that Sheffield City Council has found £262,000 to help with running threatened libraries is to be welcomed.
However, the proposals are far from satisfactory as a number of community libraries will still be run entirely by volunteers.
Whilst we recognise that the council feels it cannot afford to maintain the current position, a compromise would be to employ one librarian to work with the volunteers
This part-time member of staff could oversee several libraries on a peripatetic basis, at a relatively low cost.
Our local library at Walkley was a gift to the people by Andrew Carnegie in 1905.
We would like to see the council fighting to retain the library with a librarian – to weather the storm until a time that the library can be taken back fully under council control.
The council has identified that libraries are essential to health and well-being, hence accessing funds from budgets relevant to this.
It is vital for Sheffield to look beyond the current strictures to the city it wants for the future.
If it can retain its libraries, the financial and political landscape may be very different in a year or so – and we can all feel proud that we resisted national attempts to dismantle and demoralise communities in our city.
Carolyn Waudby, Dr David Clarke.