Ideal location for library of future

I HAVE previously written to your newspaper to highlight the need for a town square for Cramlington.

I now turn my attention to Cramlington Library.

However, I have recently become aware that major changes are taking place at the one-stop shop next to Concordia.

Northumberland County Council has relocated its personnel who deal with public safety to Morpeth.

The council offices once held senior officers from Blyth Valley District Council and they are a prime location for officers from the county council.

Yet, I would hope that such officers can hold themselves back and investigate the possibility of the library moving into the new council offices.

There does need to be a feasibility study done to see if the library will actually fit. Personally, I think it can be done. The building has three floors.

There is talk that one of the floors will be occupied by the council’s telephone-answering service, but that can be spread around Northumberland even if the majority of operators are situated within Cramlington.

There are three major reasons why I am suggesting what might be seen as a radical move.

I have had many discussions with library staff over the past two years.

There is a very well-contented and indeed a large attendance at the library.

Fortunately or unfortunately, they are largely of my age range!

There is also a very good attendance from junior readers. But where are the teenagers? Where are the people in the middle of the age range?

The days of the video and the CD in libraries have gone.

The Kindle and the listening book are now here, and the IT revolution needs to be embraced, so, I believe a new start in a new location could regenerate the library.

Libraries need to be in the centre of towns. I believe the movement of the library, just by a matter of yards will increase public involvement.

Finally, much has been said about joined-up services.

There is no doubt that if you can bring council services into the same place as a library, you can reach the people better.

The council has legally to provide a library service. It gets no more money for providing a good service, and it does not get less for a bad service.

What we need is to provide a service that we can be proud of and that moves with the times.

I believe Cramlington could be the setting for a revolution in library services and council services and social services.

Coun BARRIE CROWTHER

Cramlington Eastfield