Libraries are an important resource especially for the unemployed which is why we urge all unemployed people in all communities to get involved in this campaign.
Reading between the lines it would appear that Libraries N.I. have already decided to accept the closures and we believe that the so called 'consultation process' is a sham.
The fact that library employees are banned from taking part in this campaign and that posters or literature pertaining to the campaign are not allowed on or in Library premises is evidence of this. Just like public consultations on reforms in the Health Service and other public services, the views of the people will be largely ignored.
The Coalition Government at Westminster have expressed their aim to facilitate the transition of the running of some of our public services to the Voluntary Sector and charities as part of David Cameron's 'Big Society', we would urge people to think again about the possible outcomes of such a plan.
Currently the libraries are funded primarily by the State with additional revenue from small charges which the libraries make for some services such as using the internet.
If libraries were given to the Voluntary sector public funding would be phased out and members of the library would end up standing on the street corners with collection boxes. Depending on charity for funds would inevitably mean that the quality and range of services would suffer and eventually if the library was to survive it would end up in private hands. Under private ownership, and run on a profit basis, library services would be priced out of the reach of many people on low incomes, especially school students and the unemployed.
The Government's real motive is to privatise this public service just as they are doing in all of our public services, and unless we understand this and fight it, shareholders will steal the libraries from right under our noses!