Consultation (closed)

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The Devon Libraries consultation has now closed.

All responses will now be considered and used to inform Devon County Council’s decision making process on the future strategy for the library service. Further information on the next stages with the strategy and a summary of the feedback received during the consultation will be published on this website in the autumn.

Below you will find general comments left on this page during the consultation.

150 comments on “Leave a comment

  1. Margaret Clinch |

    Dear Friends,

    These comments are in support of continued County library services to Stoke Fleming. However they are made to support whatever outcomes the local community wants.

    Library services are supermarkets of knowledge, and a window onto the world. Like compulsory education, they are an essential part of a well informed life, with continual learning, and productive healthy recreation.

    Many who are not library users have outdated ideas of the actual services they can provide. Much of this is unquantifiable. Library borrowing statistics are too narrow to give a true indication of their range of services.

    In small branches, reference books are useful, collections can be swapped around, and new formats supplied. On-line catalogues can identify inter lending, and research done, such as for university study and family history. Staffing is a vital service resource.

    Much is made of the Dartmouth library being not far away, but the Stoke Fleming library service is walkable, with good parking. It is important as a local meeting point, for information sharing and social exchanges.

    Without a library people can be reduced to watching TV soaps, and reading celebrity magazines. This will not build an informed, positive, active and intelligent nation.

    The Stoke Fleming Library is housed in a well placed fine multipurpose community building. This is a positive. Having library service staff there at times adds to the community potential of the whole building.

    Perhaps Council and community might consider the potential of something like the Shropshire County Library at Craven Arms. Here the facilities and staff are multifunctional, facilitating other activities, whilst providing library services all in one building.

    I have reviewed Council’s information and statistics on the smaller libraries.
    The cost to Council is shown as less than 7000 pounds per year. This is a very small return to ratepayers and residents.

    In my opinion it would be a very negative step for the Devon County Council to discontinue this small library service by cutting off access to the established shared network of county-wide library resources and services.

    Regards,

    M A CLINCH

  2. Pat and David Harvey |

    We believe Budleigh Salterton Library is under threat – we have already made our submissions in support – many users could not, by reason of age or disability or transport make it to larger centralized libraries; if such a facility is withdrawn this much valued service would be denied to those most in need of it.

    David & Pat Harvey

  3. David Jenks |

    Is there any point in me completing this bogus consultation? People have been through a tough time waiting for the decision about the residential homes, when decision was made on day 1. The service will do whatever it intends to do no matter what the public want or say. I congratulate you on your ability to avoid any high court ruling by initiating this mealy mouthed discussion. As a result of political not economic decisions by the austerity mongers, the county finds itself plunging into a cultural and social abyss from which there will be no return once the axe has been wielded. I will not take part in a discussion that is based on falsehoods. I apologise if I appear negative but I have enjoyed libraries all of my life, the sense of social consensus fostered then destroyed in the past 30 years leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It is not an opportunity for communities as suggested by the councillors. If volunteers can’t be found, libraries will close and that’s that.

  4. Braunton Parish Council |

    Braunton Parish Council supports the formation of a local group called ‘Friends of Braunton Library’. The group was formed following the proposed cuts by Devon County Council to our local library service. The Council would also like to take this opportunity to further express that it wholly supports the recommendation put forward by ‘Friends of Braunton Library’ that Braunton Library be reclassified and included withe the other 22 centres/hubs in Devon.

  5. Hilary Fyson |

    I am a passionate supporter of our wonderful library in Dartmouth. I found the questions in the feedback form disingenuous, and hope the general comments which we are invited to make will be given full consideration in the tough decision making process.
    The partnership between the library and the Flavel centre works very well, a symbiotic relationship which would be jeopardised by a major withdrawal of funding from the library.
    We have excellent, paid library staff augmented by volunteers. Volunteers alone could not run a comparable service: they need the expertise and leadership of paid professional staff. An increasing number of the services Dartmouth needs and values are supported and run by excellent volunteers, but the pool of volunteers in our town is limited.
    The library is well used by all members of the community. For those who are unemployed and on low incomes, with no IT skills or access, the IT suite at the library, with knowledgeable staff on hand to help, enables them to contact the nearest job centre, search for jobs, and find support. They, and those on low incomes, with young children and the elderly would find it very difficult to access library services 13 miles away.
    Libraries are the life blood of the community. Our library actively encourages a love of reading for learning and pleasure in all age groups, and is a source of vital information and social contact for many people. It cannot be adequately replaced by virtual, technology-based “solutions”, or hand-to-mouth services run entirely by volunteers.
    The proposals to cut services drastically in smaller centres of population, and invest in larger centres which already have more facilities of all kinds seems unfair.

  6. Christine Massey |

    It would appear that this is a win win situation for the residents of Ashburton moving the Library to the Post Office. Both facilities would still remain in the centre of the town enabling it to become a social hub and continuing to provide the two amenities.

  7. Gillian Soper |

    In Ashburton, the proposal of re-locating the present library within the local Post Office would seem to be an excellent one. Both facilities are important to Ashburton residents and housing them under the same roof would be both helpful to people and cost-effective. The Post Office, as in most communities, is quite a hub for the townsfolk.

  8. Margaret Spencer-Brown |

    I attended along with a great deal of other people the meeting at Axminster Guildhall which was part of a Town Council Meeting,regarding what was happening to Libraries in general and Axminsters library in particular. A young lady who was a member of the Friends of Axminster Library stood up and quoted some very sound reasons for not altering the way the Library was run with its paid staff. One being that Axminster was the most efficient library in Devon and for this reason was cost effective. She pointed out how much would be saved if every library was as efficient as ours. The amount exceded what was needed to be saved so I suggest that the Council go back and study its own figures. The two people who came representing the Council and were in charge of libraries and money saving did not come with any figures, had never been to Axminster Library and were completely lost by the end of the session. It seems that if efficiency is the key word then perhaps that is where the County Council should start. Not by expecting communities to run their own Libraries and fully trained staff being put out to pasture.
    A librarian was and still is a respected person who trained to do their job and at Axminster the service we receive from them is first class. My husband enjoys his books and they go out of their way to help him find fresh copies of his particular choice in reading. It would be a very sad day if Axminster Library was slowly run down and eventually taken away while we had to travel to other towns to get reading matter.
    Not everybody wants to have a Kindle to read with. A lot of us still enjoy the pleasure of holding a book. I am not against modern technology , I am doing this on a lap top but do not do away with the human touch, of visiting the library passing the time of day with another person, this is often something people on their own look forward to and worst of all losing that knowledge that comes with trained staff. Volunteers are fine and we all do it somewhere or other but trained staff are really needed.
    Please Devon County Council go back and look at those figures and start saving by becoming more efficient before you start cutting services, staff and buildings.