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Campaigners Link Arms Around Central Library

Monday November 18 2013

AROUND 200 campaigners who want to save Barnsley Central Library formed a human chain around the building.

They waved home-made banners and chanted throughout Saturday's demonstration. 

Local campaigner Dave Gibson said: "Our petition against the demolition has had over 4,000 signatures and we have had a very positive response by standing outside the library so far.

"It's a well-used, purpose-built library which is less than 40 years old. It's crazy to pull it down. The library service in the centre of Barnsley will get worse."

The council says redevelopment of the Shambles Street site will enhance the town centre and increase footfall, contributing to increased spend and improving Barnsley's economy.

The vision for the new £17million sixth form is 'an inspirational and vibrant building', which will allow Barnsley to compete in the sixth form education market on a regional level, offering better opportunities for Barnsley's young people and attracting students from other areas.

The project is being delivered within tight timescales, with the aim of demolition the library starting in the new year and the new college opening in September 2015.

To take part in the consultation, click here.

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Reply Posted by rainbow on Tuesday November 19 2013 at 10:28
You would think that at least one Labour councillor out of the fifty or so would be in favour of saving the library. Or do they all have to wait on what Sir Steve tells them to do.???

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Tuesday November 19 2013 at 12:11
What is there to save?? The library in the centre of Barnsley is to be relocated - it's not closing. It's a building that's too big for it's purpose. Flatten it and those ghastly buildings alongside and replace it with something better.

Reply Posted by Rosie powers on Tuesday November 19 2013 at 18:17
I dont want the library pulled down there is other spare land for sixth form college i had my photo taken by we are barnsley on 16th november

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday November 21 2013 at 22:09
People are saying there is other land to build the sixth form. They have to think about being practical, students have lessons across 3 buildings,with 15 minutes to get from a lesson,across to a building and up to the lesson. It's not asif the libary is being closed down. People need to think about others too, there will still be a libary In Barnsley and a safter building for students.

Reply Posted by Tracy on Monday December 16 2013 at 10:59
A library cannot be 'too big for purpose'. If there's space, invest in it, fill it with books; use it if for community projects, to promote reading, to support education, art, personal development. Don't be fooled into thinking that the new library will be as good as the current one - libraries all around the country are closing down. This is about serious downsizing and money saving.

I'll borrow some words from author Neil Gaiman:

"Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.

"Libraries are places that people go to for information. Books are only the tip of the information iceberg: they are there, and libraries can provide you freely and legally with books. More children are borrowing books from libraries than ever before – books of all kinds: paper and digital and audio. But libraries are also, for example, places that people, who may not have computers, who may not have internet connections, can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs or apply for benefits is increasingly migrating exclusively online. Librarians can help these people navigate that world.

"Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.

"Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open."

ipso Regulated