Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Libraries - The Key To Community Regeneration?

According to an article in Managing Information, the Minister for Neighbourhood Renewal, Phil Woolas MP has just identified Libraries as an important means of creating sustainable communities: "therefore it is a priority that libraries are included in our work to combat social exclusion and promote neighbourhood renewal across the country." How does this square with the theat to close over 100 libraries across the country? Many of them in rural areas where the opportunity to travel to an alternative library is limited by the appalling state of public transport. Currently planned closures include Cumbria (20 libraries threatened), Northumberland (14 threatened with closure) Dorset (13 threatened with closure) and Devon, which is considering closing 12.

Community libraries are important in rural communites which lack many of the services and facilities found in larger towns and cities - closing these these libraries will create large pockets of social exclusion and do nothing to make the communities that rely on them sustainable.
The Managing Information article can be found here: