Libraries Could Become Victim Of More Cuts

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Assembly Committee Concerned At Possible Library Job Losses THE Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure voiced its concerns today over possible job losses in libraries throughout Northern Ireland. Libraries NI told the Committee at today’s meeting that, as part of its cost cutting exercise to save £10.285m over the next four years, library staffing hours could be cut by 1200 hours per week. This equates to 33 full time posts. However as many library workers are part time, the impact will be even greater and will greatly affect the predominantly female workforce. Last week’s announcement comes on the back of Libraries NI’s proposals to reduce opening hours and proposals to close up to 10 libraries in mainly rural areas. This follows recent closures of 10 libraries in the Greater Belfast area. The Chairperson of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Strangford MLA Ms Michelle McIlveen, said, “This is a further blow to library services in Northern Ireland, and will have a significant impact on frontline services across Northern Ireland. [caption id="attachment_22565" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Local residents turned out in numbers to support the retention of library services in Killyleagh at a march earlier this year. . "][/caption] “The Committee urges Libraries NI to consider all and every measure to mitigate against these predicted job losses. This option should only be adopted as a last resort once all other avenues have been explored,” she added. Killyleagh Library Campaign Gets Musical IT may all be over bar the shouting but the Save Killyleagh Campaign has been persistent since it challenge the Libraries MI decision that the Killyleagh Library was not viable. The group of library supporters have waged a relentless campaign to encourage local people around Killyleagh to support the library, to join and  and support their lobbying of Libraries NI. But Now on the eve of the Libraries NI board decision, the campaigners have organized another event to muster support and a keep the focus on the issues of the Killyleagh Library which could close if the board decide it is not sustainable. The library campaigners have organised a musical few hours of music with Una McCann and some general frivolity and photos to encourage local members to borrow books. Campaigner Joanne McCrum said, “The library membership is increasing by leaps and bounds and this is vital if we are to keep our library open. The decision will be made later this month.” http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Killyleagh-Library/184311718260595 SKL The Musical The empty shop opposite the library from 10-1pm on Saturday 15th October. Be there if you care! Alliance Call For  Downpatrick Library To Further Utilise Rich Heritage

NEWCASTLE Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has written to the Director of Culture and Economic Development Ms. Sharon O’Connor asking Down District Council to consider including the Heritage Gallery at Downpatrick Library which presently houses the County Down historical collection as part of any future town tour of the historical places of Downpatrick.
Downpatrick Library is at present being proposed by the Board of Libraries NI to reduce its opening hours from 53.3 to 40 opening hours per week as part of the review of libraries across Northern Ireland in an effort to cost save.  Downpatrick Library presently hosts the County Down historical collection of maps, photos, newspapers, books and other historical information. Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke said, “Down District Council is keen to make the most of Downpatrick’s rich heritage, and has set about devising a series of interpretative panels that will form part of a town tour of the historic County Town of Down.  A total of eighteen sites have been identified for the walking tour, which will begin and end at the St. Patrick’s Centre in Downpatrick. “The tour will take in popular tourist attractions such as the Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Grave, the Grove, and the Downpatrick and County Down Railway Museum.  It will also focus on less well known aspect’s of the town’s history, including its links to the United Irishmen, in particular Thomas Russell, who was hanged at the gates of what is now the Down County Museum and who lies buried in the Down Parish Church graveyard off Church Street. “The present Heritage Gallery in Downpatrick Library houses the County Down historical collection. I believe the County Down Collection would certainly be a good link to have with Down District Council and in turn to be able to highlight the unique County Down collection which is held in Downpatrick Library.” “The collection includes maps for Co. Down from the 1830’s 1860’s, 1900’s, historical information, a wide selection of books on buildings such as the Cathedral in Downpatrick, and local newspapers on microfilm.” “Libraries NI are always encouraging more people to use the facilities at their libraries, so what better way for visitors and tourists to Downpatrick to learn more about the rich history of Downpatrick by viewing the County Down collection at Downpatrick Library,” added Cllr Clarke.]]>

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