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Closing Date Announced For Central Library

Friday February 7 2014


Library Library


BARNSLEY'S central library will be demolished and temporarily relocated under plans approved by the council this week.

The decision to allow Barnsley College to build on the Shambles Street site and relocate the library to Wellington Street until a new library is built was rubber-stamped by councillors.

Central library will close on 21 March and reopen at Wellington House on 15 May, despite thousands of residents signing petitions appealing against the proposal.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “It is one of those decisions where we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

"No-one has suggested that we move out of the library because it's not fit for purpose. It's a terrific facility and people value it. But our decision has to encompass more than that. 

"I have the greatest respect for the protesters. They have a right to air their views but we have to take a decision for the benefit of Barnsley. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the right thing to do."

The move to Wellington Street will make way for a new state of the art sixth form college and the regeneration of Shambles Street, a major gateway into the town.

The works are all part of a £57 million town centre investment scheme.

A new library is expected to be built in the town centre in the next two to three years, at a cost of about £4 million.

Meanwhile, the council is planning to sell off more than 160 pieces of art from the library.

The artworks are a combination of original works or limited edition prints and were previously part of the libraries' picture loan collection that ceased in 2007.

A Barnsley Council spokeswoman said none of the pieces have significant value.

"Any funds raised from the auction will be used to support the future library strategy," she said.

The collection has been in storage since 2007 and apart from a few being used in the cafe area of the Shambles Street library, there has not been space for the rest to be on display.

The spokeswoman added: "We hope by selling the pieces at auction they will once again be able to be enjoyed by others."

Barnsley Council has advertised for auctioneer to assist in the sale of the paintings via an auction.

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40 Showing 40 comments

Reply Posted by Marc Birkinshaw on Friday February 7 2014 at 12:08
Such a shame to see this place go. I lost my virginity here. Towards the rear of the library behind the bookshelves. Remember it like it was yesterday.

Reply Posted by floozy on Friday February 7 2014 at 12:12
That's soooo funny! I remember you! Lol

Reply Posted by John Dowson on Friday February 7 2014 at 12:54
Council Leader Sir Houghton of Barnsley says "we're damned if we do and damned if we don't". In that case, since I haven't seen any petitions from Barnsley people to close the library, logic would tell me that the best approach is not to close it. But then again when has Barnsley Council used logic?

Reply Posted by rainbow on Friday February 7 2014 at 13:17
This was a done deal from the start, however the protest has dragged a pledge from Sir Steve to build a new Library along with the new town center. I just hope it doesn't take as long to build as the new bus station. That took about about 30 years.?????

Reply Posted by Andy on Friday February 7 2014 at 14:33
It's cheaper than the wickes by-pass cost and will be done in 2 to 3yrs watch this space (. ....................how long ...........?

Reply Posted by natalie on Friday February 7 2014 at 16:18
its about time they left stuff alone and stop building stupid sixth forth college and make town better place to do shopping instead wasting money !!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Mick on Friday February 7 2014 at 17:13
It's going to take them nearly 2 months just to move the library contents from one building to another, yet they say they can build & open a new library that hasn't even been designed yet in less than 3 years. Why don't I believe that??

Reply Posted by AlanB on Friday February 7 2014 at 17:45
Sir Steve has a lot to answer for.

Reply Posted by nobby on Saturday February 8 2014 at 08:54
if people arent happy about steve houghton and the rest of the imebas that run this town then vote erm out.

Reply Posted by tickedoff on Friday February 7 2014 at 18:35
Council leader Steve Horton won't bother answering comments on WAB. i doubt he even bother to read it. Public opinion is neither required or listened to by Barnsley council. This was a done deal as soon as plans were submitted. Now that the library is to be demolished in favour of a 6th form college, i would advise 'the leader' to bring Barnsley appauling schools to the top of his agenda because the way schools are performing there won't be any students bright enought to move on to 6th form. ....Its pathetic!!

Reply Posted by GRIM on Friday February 7 2014 at 18:43
Since it is a legal requirement for children to stay in full time education, training or work until 17/18, then I'd say that building a new quality Sixth Form is such as important as improving schools.

Reply Posted by nobby on Saturday February 8 2014 at 09:01
the people who want to keep the libary to me are knuckle draggers what about the car park turned into the pals gardensto me lets make the area to be demolished at that end of town in a similar vein trees, water, benches,a communal area to sit in the summer down with concrete carbuncles lets see a more sympathetic look towards nature in barnsley.as regards the knuckle draggers dont they realise the birth of computer technology was always going to be the death nell for most libaries.

Reply Posted by nobby on Saturday February 8 2014 at 09:10
please could someone tel lme how much money barnsley council is losing through lost parking fees due to the hand erm out like smarties attitude to blue badges in barnsley town centre .this scheme is blantantly being abused by most of the blue badge holders who can shift like mo farrah come on lets charge a fee of 70 pence even when parking cars with the badges as they charge at bdgh no one refuses to pay that do they,with the 70 pence parking fee reinvest this into the local schools for computers ect or the town centre ie bronze statues to local inventors ,sporting heroes ect we have to do someting just look at polls on barnsley for education ect.

Reply Posted by Jack on Saturday February 8 2014 at 10:26
@nobby. You have a valid point about the blue badge scheme. I myself am a blue badge holder. The problem here is not the amount of people who have no difficulty walking. It is more than likely an abuse of the scheme, ie; using someone elses badge. The best way to stop this is make the photograph to be displayed on the front. If they are caught abusing this badge then they will have it taken off them and possibly prosecuted. DO IT I say. They deserve it. I never abuse my blue badge and will not allow it to be abused.

Reply Posted by nobby on Sunday February 9 2014 at 20:16
jack wouldnt work barnsley council wouldnt invest in man power neede i think the way forward is to charge to use the disabled spaces people pay at the hospital dont they.also on the badge is someone in a wheelchair not someone carrying a stick too much abuse of this system it will take someone with big nuts to tackle this abuse i bet in yorkshire barnsley has the highest number of blue badge holders than anywhere else may be this is why other areas of yorkshire ney england laugh at us as the brunt of many a joke.

Reply Posted by nobby on Saturday February 8 2014 at 09:10
please could someone tel lme how much money barnsley council is losing through lost parking fees due to the hand erm out like smarties attitude to blue badges in barnsley town centre .this scheme is blantantly being abused by most of the blue badge holders who can shift like mo farrah come on lets charge a fee of 70 pence even when parking cars with the badges as they charge at bdgh no one refuses to pay that do they,with the 70 pence parking fee reinvest this into the local schools for computers ect or the town centre ie bronze statues to local inventors ,sporting heroes ect we have to do someting just look at polls on barnsley for education ect.

Reply Posted by Mac on Saturday February 8 2014 at 14:32
Try reading books, it will improve your literary skills.

Reply Posted by Michael on Saturday February 8 2014 at 10:01
Good, ugly building in a dead part of town... progress has to be made, education is now compulsory up to 18, and the current sixth form facilities in Barnsley are grossly overcrowded and not fit for purpose, so I am pleased by this decision.

Reply Posted by barnsley adviser on Saturday February 8 2014 at 22:17
why dont the council to make money and bring alot of visitors to the town why dont you convert the chicago rock and mabos and hedonism club into a arcade places like you would find at coast and pull down the big mans clothing and pulse bar down annd build round the large chicago rock building a fair like you find at ingoldmels you could use the local fair tubys that goes round barnsley areas and rest of barnsley fair and situated it in that space getting rid of abandoned areas and bringing sum entertainment and a feature to the town this would cut trouble in other areas and have a fully situated fair their with arcade and could have sum gaurds on and make it not only a town but a bit of a holiday place for kids to enjoy and people who havent much money to take their kids on holiday xx rant over

Reply Posted by barnsley adviser on Saturday February 8 2014 at 22:21
also if you extended the fair from the old hedonism club to the club buca it would cut traffic from passing threew and brighten up the night life too making it like something you would find either at coast or at a festival or at xscape making the town sumthing to talk about and it wouldnt cost too much if right investors were found and tubys were givien a fixed contract it would turn part of the abandoned town into a vibrant entertainging place for all the family if it works for rotherham park with their fair and park part sure it would work for us and its always full

Reply Posted by barnsleyadviser on Saturday February 8 2014 at 22:23
you shuld also pull down the toilets across from the court situated across from dickie bird statute cause its disgusting and attracts sexual activaty and it brings down barnsley to save grief pull it down theirs enough places to use toilets without wasting time and money on a sexual attraction for the none caring community

Reply Posted by Karen from Worsbrough on Sunday February 9 2014 at 08:40
Why waste all this money on a new library when the one we have is perfectly functional when services that are essential to our disabled and special needs community are being slashed to next to nothing, these people rely on the services of Mencap (which will have to stop some of its vital services) to get them out of their homes and into the community, without this help some will be made prisoners in their own homes........ Bloody disgraceful!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by Starbucks on Sunday February 9 2014 at 13:14
It's not that much of an eyesore, I can think of worse in Barnsley.

I will miss the old building.

Reply Posted by Dr J Garwood on Sunday February 9 2014 at 15:50
Humm, don't I recall the multi-million rebuilding of Barnsley College? Granted the council might not have foreseen the raising of the full-time learning age to 18, but I still think a little bit of forward planning should have gone into this. And what is to be taught at a further sixth form expansion - surely not more A-Levels? Wouldn't the College provide the kind of skills actually needed in this town? And in the meantime, where are the young people to study? Noisy, over crowded homes? Certainly not in the library, because it won't be there.

Reply Posted by hoyland red on Sunday February 9 2014 at 19:13
Dr, the library will be on Wellington St, why can't the kids study there? You're not confusing the college of technology building amd the sixth form college on Eastgate are you? The building on Eastgate (the old DSS) is not fit for the young students of this town - They deserve better and the college identified that the site on Shambles St was the preferred site, including the footprint of the library.

Reply Posted by G on Wednesday February 12 2014 at 09:42
hoyland red.

Wellington House is not big enough for the new sixth form (the new one is going to have 150 more places than the current one. and its not much a move away from the current sixth form in terms of teaching space. Plus the funding from (£10 Million) is for a new building.

Reply Posted by hoyland red on Thursday February 13 2014 at 17:08
G - I support the move to demolish the existing library, I was merely referring to the doctors comments about where would the kids go to study which I assume he mean't library study. They have a choice either the temporary library or the new colleges library will be perfectly acceptable.
I do hope however that a new modern library can be accommodated within the town centre development sooner rather than later. It certainly doesn't need to be big just fit for the 21st century.

Reply Posted by kirstydrivesr on Sunday February 9 2014 at 17:29
get it pulled down and rest of shops at side of library all disgusting eye sore get gay bogs pulled down too across from dickie bird statue get all sheffield road shops and oold doncaster road shops pulled down too its a dead end of town makes town look an eye sore get em to move businesses into town and pull all the shops takeaway etc of sheffield road and old doncaster road and allow housing places to build nice homes so as u arrive in town it looks beautiful not like a dead and a live hole especially the brothel up sheffield road shuld go where barnsley not scummy london

Reply Posted by nobby on Sunday February 9 2014 at 20:07
what we need is more people space what am i talking about ie sheffield train station water lighting seating then look at there town hall fountains sculpture grass seating people space

Reply Posted by G on Sunday February 9 2014 at 19:06
Dr indulge us what in your option are the "skills needed" in this town? This building is a replacement and expansion of the dire. Ex dss buildingg on eastgate. Furthermore you can study pretty much any skill at barnsley college. Odd that an academic hints that they are against academic buildings. I would have expected a bit more research from someone so learned

Reply Posted by nobby on Sunday February 9 2014 at 19:58
dr indulge has just cured my constipation problem i have being having how you ask well one of the buildings above he mentions is the benefits tribunal office ohhhh got to go againnnnnnnn

Reply Posted by James on Monday February 10 2014 at 11:15
The people who are looking to save the library could do with spending some time in there looking at the comments!

Reply Posted by Mandy R on Tuesday February 11 2014 at 21:48
Why waste money any mend something what's not broken??????

Reply Posted by world to rights on Tuesday February 11 2014 at 22:00
I think barnsley adviser should be made Mayor. His plans to re-open Hedonism, Chicago Rock and old Pulse as a massive arcade full of amusements are spot on. And to give Tuby's a long term contract is pure genius, perhaps pitch the Fair in Morrisons car park to attract tourists. Me and my neighbour would be available on Monday evenings (since we both own spades) to turn the old CEAG land into a scrambling track, too. I'm so proud I'm from Tarn....

Reply Posted by rick on Tuesday February 11 2014 at 22:16
The time to hold the Council to task is if they don't do anything about building a new library. If you feel that strongly stop voting them back in power. The area they want to pull down is an eyesore and is overdue for redevelopment, same as the town centre.

Reply Posted by jenny on Tuesday February 11 2014 at 23:14
I know we have needed a better library for a while now, but how many sixth form colleges does Barnsley need?

Reply Posted by g on Wednesday February 12 2014 at 09:03
Just one Jenny and thats all we'll have. Read the proposals. One will be built and one will be demolished. It's quite simple really.

Reply Posted by Jimmy on Thursday February 13 2014 at 18:14
Why knock down a building that's fit for purpose and more importantly bought and paid for. The new library will be built using the government's Private Finance Initiative (PFI) where a private construction company builds it and then leases it to the council over 25 years. Payments will be many times higher than the cost of construction, a sort of Wonga for council services. All the nice, shiny and ultimately ***** schools in the town were built using PFI as well. The construction companies gain not only the taxpayer being in hock to them for 25 years but nice land for redevelopment as well, a win-win for McAlpine et al. Steve Houghton will get a consultancy role with them in 5 years time or even a seat on the board. Public service? Bollocks.

Reply Posted by AlanB on Thursday February 13 2014 at 18:57
You're pretty close to the mark there Jimmy. Well said.

Reply Posted by JB on Wednesday May 21 2014 at 17:33
I worked at the old library in the Civic Hall, and the new one, and well remember the move from one to the other in February 1975. Because the council was too mean to pay for a proper specialised removal service the library staff had to do it (90% of us female) and we were only allowed to close for 2 weeks. We physically moved all the books in the first week (thousands of them) and then spent the second week shelving and getting ready for the grand opening. In case people forget - the new library was - at the time - cutting edge. Just having a coffee bar in there and a children's story room, homework room and an exhibition space, not to mention a music library, was all pretty new for libraries at the time. We were only the 2nd library service in the whole country to computerise cataloguing and book issue (Oxford was the first). And don't forget this was in the wake of the trauma of Local Government Reorganisation in 1974 when the library service had suddenly expanded from just three branch libraries to over 30 branches and a mobile service. We'd inherited a lot of West Riding County Library Service staff (and books too). The person who said the next new library doesn't have to be big underestimates the amount of storage needed for books and materials. When we moved from the Civic all the books we had would not fit into the Shambles Street library due to the architects misinforming us about the dimensions of the bookshelves. We'd worked out the mileage of shelves required on the information given - that the shelving bays were all a full metre wide - but when we got into the new building a considerable number of them were much less than a metre - the cumulative result being more books than shelf space. Big oops. Any new library building needs not only the public space, but behind-the-scenes work space, office space and 'stack' space for the books not on display. Hey, how about moving the library back to the Civic? At least it's nice and central. Barnsley would only be slipping back in time forty years. The Shambles Street library is a good facility, but it was always in the wrong place. The central library needs to be in the middle of town - not stuck in the old Arcadian buildings - which would be a doubly retrograde step.