Officials concerned over proposed library cuts

Calls to save libraries before it is too late
Calls to save libraries before it is too late

Union officials are “gravely concerned” over proposals to cut library services after Falkirk Community Trust announced its business plan.

As children and adults across the country were enjoying Book Week, Falkirk Community Trust announced there would be a reduction in staff numbers and shorter opening hours within the libraries, possibly in Bo’ness, and the mobile library scrapped.

Edinburgh City Council, which runs the library in South Queensferry, wants to save £2.8 million through a review of the city’s library service, which it says could include the closure of some existing buildings. The proposal said some libraries will continue to be stand-alone, others combined with community centres and some run by local communities.

West Lothian Council has no plans to close libraries, but there have been some changes made to opening hours in a bid to save cash.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The changes to opening hours at Linlithgow were minimal and there has been very little feedback from customers on the changes.

“The feedback that has been received, however, has been positive.”

Gray Allan, secretary of Unison Falkirk branch, said: “Libraries are a vital part of a democratic society, providing access to ideas and information.

“They strengthen literacy and attainment, and improve health and well-being, digital literacy and employability.

“Public libraries must be defended before it is too late.”