Why Great Libraries are Vital to Derby's Communities

February 4, 2017 12:43 PM
By Maggie Hird

Cllr Hilary Jones and Mickleover campaigners Maggie Hird and Peter Barker at Mickleover LibraryFor National Libraries' Day, Mickleover Lib Dems campaigner Maggie Hird tells us why she thinks our local libraries are so important.

Does Derby's Labour Council think our local libraries are just somewhere to store books?

We all know how important it is to fund care for the elderly and the vulnerable. But the full importance of libraries to people and communities is often missed.

For many people, old and young, local libraries are vital community hubs. They're a reason to get out of the house, to socialise, to find out what's happening in their local area, read the papers, exercise their imagination, learn a new skill, educate themselves through research and access to knowledge. They transform loneliness into friendship, community and learning.

Libraries host interesting talks, knitting clubs and language classes, community surgeries with local police or councillors, job or homework clubs. The list goes on - they're certainly not just rooms full of books.

And many people need their local library to use technology they perhaps can't afford or need help to use. To email their families far away, search for a job to support their family or photocopy important documents.

Libraries are at the most valuable when they're most accessible to local people. A library at the heart of the local community can do this so much better than one a bus ride or drive away in the city centre.

Great local libraries are right at the heart of a community. Don't let Labour's cuts take them away from Derby's communities.