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Library battle goes on

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 July 2011

LIBRARY campaigners are seeking further assurances over the future of smaller branches in the wake of a confusing council meeting.

“We want a commitment that there will be no closures for libraries between now and 2013,” said Sue Hall, spokesman for Save Suffolk Libraries.

The group fears that libraries could still be in danger despite repeated claims they have been “saved”.

Miss Hall, of Kesgrave, was at Suffolk County Council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday and she said: “There was a lack of clarity about exactly what they are proposing. I think they are thinking on the hoof, they don’t know themselves.”

The council has revealed that they are looking into a series of pilot studies looking at ways of running libraries in the future.

“They are looking at having volunteers run outreach services, where they take books to people or bring people to the library and that is just not sustainable,” said Miss Hall.

She fears the divestment of libraries could result in their closures as communities struggle to keep up with the running costs.

“To say they are not closing them is not enough,” she said.

Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio-holder responsible for libraries, has previously said: “Many of the ideas and principles within the proposal have come from communities themselves. Building on libraries as community hubs, supporting outreach work and enabling pilot projects to flourish were all things people told us they wanted.”

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