North Antrim MLA Robin Swann has urged the DCAL Minister to look again at proposals to reduce the opening hours of libraries in light of the volume of consultation responses received by Libraries NI.
Mr Swann, who represents the Ulster Unionist Party on the Assembly’s Culture, Arts & Leisure committee, said;
“I believe that Libraries NI is fully justified in seeking further discussions with the Minister and DCAL following the amount of feedback they have received.
In addition to more than 7,000 questionnaires which were returned, they also received more than 500 pieces of correspondence and a range of submissions including petitions, coupons from a newspaper campaign and a range of children’s work from schools. Twenty two Councils responded as did 20 MLAs and/or MPs and officers had meetings with a range of individuals and organisations to discuss the proposals.
It is heartening to see that a very broad section of society cares deeply about library provision in Northern Ireland and in particular about the detrimental impact of reducing opening hours on both the library service and on the communities that benefit from that service and I support them in their efforts.”