TEN weeks after repeatedly calling on Wiltshire Council to publish their proposals for Calne library, which include adding unstaffed hours, they finally did so on Friday, April 1 (possibly an appropriate date). They will not be consulting on these plans – indeed work is due to start on the library on April 18.

It may be of interest to your readers to note this insight into the council’s thinking. In the leaflet they have just published they write, under Frequently Asked Questions: ‘How will you stop this [library] being used as a meeting place for young people after hours?’ What is the problem with young people – ie under 16s? Are they not to be welcome in the library? Are public libraries not as much for children as adults? What kind of library is being created if children are not wanted at certain times?

The council would not dare have written: ‘How will we stop this being used as a meeting place for pensioners after hours?’ To demonise young people in this way shows just how ill-considered some of their ideas are. And did they consult a single young library user? No, I was forgetting – they didn’t consult any library users.

Even worse, those who are elderly, vulnerable or disabled will be discouraged from visiting Calne library at unstaffed times – and advised to stick to the core times.

Surely in 2016 any extension of services, or premises, needs to be fully inclusive. It all comes down to what kind of library we want.

Calne Labour Party want a library that is professionally staffed at all times and welcoming all whenever it is open.



Calne Branch Labour Party

Woodland Park