Yesterday I popped into the library, looking for a book on digital photography.
This is the first time I have been into the library since it moved into the Concordia Leisure Centre and I was truly horrified.
Gone are the peaceful areas to read, browse, reflect and pause.
Gone are the rows and rows of books that I’d browse for ages, looking for something to catch my attention, and ending up with several of them.
Gone is the quiet IT area, where a group of people could research, write and learn.
Gone is the kids’ area, which was great for them, but fab for adults too as it was tucked round the back, in their own special place, leaving me to browse peacefully.
What on earth happened?
The kids now have a tiny table at the front, and there are shelves dotted all over the ground floor.
The library is both up and down stairs, but it still occupies less than half of the space in the council building.
All but a couple of the cosy couches for quiet reading have disappeared, and those still there are in the noisy cafe part, of all places.
I really could have cried.
The IT section is now just a few computers, already taken, meaning a wait for others to use them.
I found my book in an unmarked jumble mix of cookery books, and spotted Shakespeare in with the travel guides.
I was brought up using the proper library building and when it closed it was sad. However, the replacement in the council building was inventive and outstanding.
Like a lot of other people, I loved it.
Rumours then abounded that it was moving to Concordia to make space for more council employees, but I see that cannot have been the case as the building is now ‘To Let’, so I assume this is a way for the council to make more money by cutting back on services.
Cramlington is expanding, however the library is getting smaller and smaller.
Yes, the advent of e-readers and iPads is impacting on those who actually like to feel the weight of a book in their hand, but this new service in the leisure centre is atrocious.
Absolute shame on all those who agreed this ridiculous plan.
A very disgusted library member.
Mrs Susan Convery