The decision taken by management at Fingal Count Council to cut local library hours has caused justiﬁable outrage from community groups and residents in Rush and Balbriggan. The libraries which these communities fought so hard for will now be forced to close at 5 pm four days a week! This is a cut of 33% in opening hours is an absolute disgrace and must not be allowed to happen.
The government’s public sector recruitment embargo has meant that the libraries cannot replace retiring staff. While council ofﬁcials argue that they have struggled to keep the library open, local groups are asking why the burden was not shared, as there are no cuts in hours at Malahide, Swords and Blanchardstown.
Rush has already lost a Garda Station and AIB branch in recent months. The library cuts have come as yet another blow to the community and to those studying for second and third level exams in particular, and it must be challenged.
Now more than ever the library is needed by young, old and jobseekers. This is a vital community resource if it is undermined it will have a disproportionate effect on the poorest in our communities who may not have easy access to transport or internet. Alternatives must be found. This is a step too far.
Concerned residents and community groups in both Rush and Balbriggan have organised events this weekend in support of their library service. The “Novel Gathering” at Rush library takes place this Saturday 11th May at the Library beginning at 2 O’clock a similar event “Love Your Library” will take place at the same time in Balbriggan. These events are a celebration of the role public libraries play in our communities. Please come along for what will be a fun family day out with music, dressing up spot prizes and more. All to emphasize how we need these resources and cannot afford to allow these cuts.