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Libraries are a necessity for all, not a luxury

Andersonstown without a library is unthinkable! It is good therefore that the unthinkable is being rethought.

Having attended the ‘save our library’ meetings, I was struck by a remark by chief executive Irene Knox that, even during the worst of the Troubles, the libraries |remained a peaceful refuge. A remarkable achievement.

How, therefore, could it be a good idea to close the library in this post-conflict time when we are trying to encourage everything that promotes peaceful and cultural activity.

The library is the great social cohesive. In truth, it is ‘Community Street’ where everyone walks as an equal in their search. It remains the one place where people can tarry and have time to be friendly. The professor, the poor man, the old, the solitary, the troubled young can all feel welcome here. And, the library is also the key for the increasing immigrant population to absorb their new atmosphere and learn the language.

The local library is a necessity, not a luxury. It could be argued that libraries and the Department of Health have a lot in common.


Belfast 11

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