Why is Summertown Library valuable?

Summertown Library serves thousands of households in Cutteslowe, Wolvercote, Summertown and north  Oxford.  Closing the library would remove a vital cultural and intellectual resource, and also a social facility which provides opportunites for people to use the internet, read the newspapers and find out about community groups.  For many people it is their main non-commercial connection to the area where they live.

This cut is very different to reducing spending on something for a temporary period - not so much tightening the County Council's belt as snapping it in half and throwing it away.  It is claimed that people in the area served by Summertown Library have easy access to Central Library, but this isn't the case, especially for older people and families with young children.

Why do you think Summertown Library is valuable?

1 comment:

  1. Local parent and university academic9 December 2010 at 16:05

    What price local libraries?

    My daughter was recently set a philosophical puzzle at school: ‘is a library still a library if all the books in it have been borrowed?’. I don’t know the answer, but I do know the value of local libraries. The benefits of freely accessible books are self-evident – surely nobody needs to rehearse them. But a library is so much more than the sum of its books.

    The library is where we go to be human. It is as crucial to our health and well-being as any doctor’s surgery. It is a professional institution, and cannot be run by volunteers. If we want to reduce social isolation, exclusion, bad parenting, obesity, depression and anxiety; if we want to raise standards in schools and colleges; if people are to get back to work; if we want the economy to grow; if we are to be engaged and well-informed citizens, we need to keep our libraries local, and keep them open. If we believe in ‘society’ in any meaningful sense of the word, we must protect our libraries and protect ourselves from irreversible, short-sighted cash-raising stunts. If we want to save money in public health, in education, in tackling anti-social behaviour and crime, we need to keep our libraries open. We are deep in a recession; the public purse is shrinking. We cannot afford to close our libraries now.