375 public libraries across the UK could soon face closure, with dropping numbers in visits and tightening council budgets to blame.
The indisputable and ever-growing power of the internet is a crucial factor to take into account, a bleak but logical explanation to the recent reduction in visits. Last year, out of the 4,490 libraries across the UK, visits were down by a hefty 250,000.
Libraries are an invaluable part of the community and running them costs each person only a few pence each week. This has left many both puzzled and angry that low council budgets are being used as an excuse for so many closures. Campaigns against the expected closures are attracting increasing attention, and are supported by well-known writers such as Carol Ann Duffy and Philip Pullman.
Should closures come into effect, community libraries would be the only alternative. However, affluent areas are more likely to be able to provide this service to the public than more deprived ones, as the latter could be less likely to have enough people with the time and commitment to regularly volunteer.
The Wessex Scene wants to hear your views concerning the potential closure of many libraries nation-wide. Is it right that libraries are closing down and that more people are instead relying on the internet for information? Is the idea of the library as the heart of the community still relevant?