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Library Campaigners Get More Support

Tuesday November 26 2013

AUTHOR Milly Johnson joined around 200 people at Barnsley Central Library to protest against the demolition of the building to make way for a new sixth form college.

A broad cross-section of Barnsley was represented on November 17 with a novelist next to a councillor, a firefighter next to a children's illustrator, a columnist to a baker, a lawyer to a highway worker, a pensioner to a child and a nurse to a retired steelworker.

The protesters had gathered to form a human 'chain' around the Shambles Street library and show they're against proposals to flatten the building next year.

Once the library was fully encircled the human 'chain' marched around the building.

It was almost a carnival atmosphere as numbers swelled and sympathetic car drivers hooted their horns as they drove past.

Campaigner Dave Gibson said: "To get so many people out demanding the library be left untouched shows how much it means to the community.

"If you add that to the 4,000 people who have signed our petition in less than three weeks, then it seems very clear to me that the popular mood in the town is for the library to stay where it is."

What do you think of the plans to move the library? Have your say below. 

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Reply Posted by Ged on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 18:41
Protest by all means, but please come up with a viable alternative, that answers all the needs of the 16 plus educational needs. As an over 70 yr old I too depend on libraries BUT I would sacrifice that for improved education for our young people, for a temporary period until a new library is sorted

Reply Posted by Jo on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 18:49
I can't see the problem - the library is being located in a more central location with therefore making it easier to access. How can anyone think improved learning facilities for the young people of the town is a bad thing. It is also my understanding that the person who appears to be the main spokesman for the cause is an ex-member of the college, I question his real motive!

Reply Posted by observer on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 21:01
Milly Johnson did it just for the publicity.

Reply Posted by Fred on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 21:44
Dave Gibson is a communist and a serial protestor, he would protest if you threatened to close a door !!!

Reply Posted by Kilkenny on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 21:58
Fred I thought that was happening,the DOORS are being closed on the library and wanting to relocate elsewhere.

Reply Posted by Mystery on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 06:47
Agreed. He was the same when he was my tutor at Barnsley 6th Form/Barnsley College 20 odd years ago.

Reply Posted by gigsy on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 22:45
The old CEAG site is in more need of development than Shambles street and surely would be large enough for a new college without the needs for demolishing a perfectly adequate Library. But who owns that land? Maybe the council wouldnt benefit financially as they would from selling the library site to the college. Sir Steve reckons the rush is to meet a deadline for college to qualify for 17mil government funding. But then how many millions is it going to cost the council to relocate library to wellington street and then again to civic or build a new one - if that ever happens.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 13:03
The old CEAG site is proposed to be the car park for the town centre re-development so in principle it is unlikley to be developed upon in the near future unless of course the town centre re-development plan changes.

Reply Posted by Tony on Tuesday November 26 2013 at 23:43
Ged, Jo
Don't be fooled into thinking by saving the the library the post 16 education will suffer. There are two other sites that are adequate AND one that was the original site to build on.
The current library is sufficient and meets all the needs of users, including lecture rooms and meeting rooms. It even has a separate children's library and a coffee bar.
Will the relocated temporary library have any of these facilities? Indeed if and when there is a new build will it have all those facilities? I suspect not.
Should the library close one thing the councillors will be happy about is that there will be no public meeting rooms whereby ordinary Barnsley people can meet and plan protest meetings to lobby the councillors on issues such as the bedroom tax. They see these people as 'agitators' who 'throw a spanner' the works and want rid of them.
A sweeping statement I know. But if I am right then they, the councillors, are deluded. Closing the library will not stop the good people of Barnsley coming together to stand up for what they believe is right, even if it means upsetting the a few councillors.

Reply Posted by Mystery on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 06:50
'Even if it means upsetting a few councillors'. Surely you mean especially if it upsets a few councillors! Seems to me all that this site is for is to provide a forum for slagging off the council.

Reply Posted by G on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 10:42
Tony have you any idea how ridiculouse that sounds. The council want to close the library to stop people having public meetings. You do know there are other public meeting places in Barnsley.

Also I can't help but think you don't use the library for anything other than the above.

So far I keep seeing these old socialist teachers lobbying in town who protest about anything that goes on in Barnsley on a Saturday and any given weekday at the drop of a hat. Maybe they should get a bloody job or hobby and help Barnsley move forward instead of stonewalling everything. I'm fed up of being acosted by luddites opposed to change.

Reply Posted by Chers new album on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 08:49
So fed up of people opposing anything that modernises and improves our town!
It'd be great to ave a new college, and that library is ugly anyway and only ever full of foreigners using the free internet when I've been in it. People probably moaned when cars and colour TVs got invented too...but still use them! Get on with it council..ignore the attention seekers

Reply Posted by rainbow on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 09:55
No problem knocking the library down, just include a new library as well. Don't sixth forms need a library too.???

Reply Posted by -_- on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 20:24
I don't get why they don't just build a new building but merge them both together and people would only be allowed in if they have a library card or a college card? One half could be for the students and one for library which then students could use to enrich their learning. I'm sure people can come up with more cost efficient ways - students don't need fancy buildings to succeed, students just need desire and the passion to learn.

Reply Posted by g on Thursday November 28 2013 at 12:29
Any Old weirdo can have a library card, you have to be crb checked to work in a college. Thats why

Reply Posted by TheGuardian on Wednesday November 27 2013 at 23:16
Haha true

ipso Regulated