Hackney voices

People in Hackney feel very strongly about their library service. Here are a few of the many comments we have received, that show the strength of feeling there is around the issue of library cuts.

“Libraries are vital hubs in our communities and it’s shocking that politicians blindly make these irreversible and damaging decisions on library closures without fully understanding what our society is set to lose when we start to close down libraries. As has been said by Philip Pullman, those that make these cuts know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Please stand up against closures of libraries here in Hackney and elsewhere – once they are gone, they are gone. Literacy, lifelong learning, community spaces, the joy of books from birth to the senior years – there’s too much at stake when you threaten a library with closure. What sort of legacy do we leave the future generations in empty and derelict public libraries? A legacy that allowed libraries to become the sacrificial lambs to the greed of the bankers. Libraries deserve better.”

“Libraries are the absolute foundation of a community, especially in an area like Hackney, which is going to be hit extra hard by the cuts, thanks to the council’s total capitulation to the Condem government. It’s yet another kick in the teeth for young people when we are supposed to be supporting them and providing them with places to go. First the Youth service, now this, what next – close all the schools?”

“education is the key to many things such as employment, empowerment and free thinking, to do away with such places is a crime against civil liberties and ensures that those that do not have access to significant services are unable to learn of their own free will.”

“A public library is a service offered to the citizens, should not be downgraded but upgraded!”

“Libraries offer a great source of information for adults and children alike. To cut the library service will reduce a person’s right to learn and their ability to access the material needed to do so. We need more libraries, not less.”

“With all the cuts going on don’t you think we actually need a few libraries for everyone in the community? Hackney once had many libraries, so many closed and now there are only a few left. If there are no libraries how will our children ever learn anything when they have to study / look up stuff? If you really want to save money, get rid of a few of the clowns in the Town Hall, the one’s who call themselves bosses, the one’s who are more concerned with how they look than providing the people of Hackney with a good service which we pay for.”

“Although not a direct user of the library, I have had items from the library via the inter library service and value this service due to the wide scope of books I read. I feel these cuts in local services are abhorrent and some local authorities are paying for the failures of the economy and government, poorer local authorities are being forced to tighten their belts on already limited services…. It’s a disgrace and should not be allowed to happen. Council tax is being paid for these services to be available not to have them slashed to penny pinch and isolate certain towns and boroughs from the services that are their right.”

“Libraries offer a great source of information for adults and children alike. To cut the library service will reduce a person’s right to learn and their ability to access the material needed to do so. We need more libraries, not less.”

“Hackney libraries are a valuable community service and cutting this service will cause inconvenience and be detrimental to those who rely on them the most.”

“All the libraries in stoke newington, stanford hill and hackney have been a huge source for reading books and newspapers, foriegn films & documentaries, discovering new music over the past 11 years I have lived in North East London! They are an essential part of our community and education & must be saved!”

“libraries are the life blood of a civilised culture and educate us all. They make the ideas of the future possible. They must not be cut or reduced.”

“Once services have gone, they can’t be replaced – the dip in the economy is temporary, but the loss of experienced staff and the availability of free access to knowledge , which have been developed for years, will have an impact for far more years than the length of the cost cutting period.”

“Libraries are an essential part of a cultural and scientific society, they are not a luxury and should be protected.”

“Hackney Libraries provide an excellent service – and as cuts hit employment and incomes, libraries will be needed more than ever.”

“I am a frequent library user and can attest to the service it provides to the community. This is a vital public service — don’t cut us back into the Dark Ages!”

“Hackney library was a real friend to me when I first moved to London. It is an invaluable resource which enriches the lives of all in the community. It is vital that it stays intact.”

“Hackney Council: A disgrace to the Labour movement”

“This is part of an ongoing campaign of the last 20 years by our governments to dumb down the masses. Look at what they are doing to the educative services in our country in general. Meritocracy is systematically flawed as we don’t all start on the same playing field.”

“Our libraries provide a valuable service. Hackney should be proud of what our librarians do, and fighting to maintain it, not cutting it”

“In times of trouble libraries are one of the most precious resources for a largely underprivileged population. Hackney’s young people need protected spaces that welcome and encourage learning because they may not find that at home or on street corners. Elders should have local access to books, films and music. Cutting library services is cutting off access to opportunity and enrichement. Downgrading is an act of cruelty against loyal workers who will lose their expertise and their motivation when their employer should welcome their empowerment and self development.”

 

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