Library closure prompts fury
The community of Belvoir can’t quite believe their local library is to be condemned with nine other reading hubs across the city in “a day and age when children are hooked on computer games”.
The controversial decision was announced last Thursday to a furore from local people and politicians alike.
Alliance Castlereagh councillor Sara Duncan has criticised the decision and has been campaigning to keep this library open.
She said: “This library is a vital resource for the local community and it will not be easy for people to get to other libraries.
“I took part in a rally to protest against the proposed closure as the community will be adversely affected by this decision.
“Libraries such as this one do not just act as a place for borrowing books but they are often a focal point for the local community and a meeting place for groups to learn new skills.
“I would urge them to reconsider their decision for the sake of the local community.”
Principal of Belvoir Primary school, Mrs Rosemary Russell said: “It is a sad day for the children of Belvoir. It comes at a time when the Government are trying to raise the standards of literacy — I just don’t understand it.
“They are taking away a valuable resource, not in terms of money but in terms of community wealth. This local library is a valuable source of information and our pupils use it very regularly indeed.
“It will take some very interested parents indeed to take the time to travel four miles to the nearest library in Newtownbreda.
“I also notice a lot of grandparents take their grandchildren to the library at the weekend, a lot of these people don’t have cars and there is no direct bus route to the nearest one —the library building to me does not look run down.
“The staff there are excellent too and a really good service is provided to the community.
“The library has adapted to suit the needs of local residents by providing music, computer courses and a variety of other things. I can’t see why this decision has been reached.
“Like I said a lot of children are hooked on computer games. The love of books is a way forward and libraries are the place were this |develops.
“It goes hand in hand with their literacy development.
“Nothing has even been made clear to us or to the local community from what I gather, as to the level of library service the area is to receive after the library shuts.”
Olive Moore, a classroom assistant at the same primary school, said: “Every Friday a class from our school would walk up to the library. If it closes we wouldn’t be able to do that.
“And the children use it for homework and the computers.
“The children will definitely miss it.”