Books Get Shelved in Public Libraries

Libraries nationwide are feeling the crunch as budget cuts are forcing them to appeal for donations for actual books and funds are diverted to other services.

The Library of Birmingham, recently built as the largest regional library in Europe, has already been forced to reduce its opening hours as a result of the cuts.

Northamptonshire County Council is looking to reduce its budget by £148 million over the course of a five year period starting in 2015. As a result of such reductions, the Oundle Library on Glapthorn Road has undergone a number of changes.

The library itself is an integral part of Oundle, not only as a resource for books and internet access, but also as a venue for society and club meetings.

Many residents from Oundle and the surrounding villages, who visit the library regularly, strongly believe that reducing the core services of the library through budget cuts, will seriously affect the wellbeing of the community as a whole.

The library currently acts as a community hub and is home to a number of different clubs and societies for different ages.

A series of French language cafés were recently held at the library by a fluent French speaker, and a chess club, which is managed by volunteers, is also currently run at the library and has received a number of different regular visitors, some of whom have found a new love for chess through the club at the library.

A wide variety of staff-run as well as volunteer-run clubs regularly draw in many visitors and have proved to be particularly popular. Not to mention, the Family History Help Desk which is run on the first Wednesday of each month by Jan Pearson.

Over time, and as a result of various budget cuts, the council has introduced more of its own services under the library’s roof, and this has had an impact on the space that is dedicated to the library’s stock of books and services.

Recently, the library has undergone a number of different renovations and space allocations changes. Currently housed within the library are council services such as the Registration Office and the Oundle Children’s Centre.

Although the recent renovations have put pressure on the library’s ability to stock book resources, the renovations have greatly improved certain parts of the library and have managed to both update and reorganise these areas.

By Adithya Menon