Save Woolton Library
Woolton Library has closed!
Woolton Library closed on 31st March 2012. Residents fought hard against the closure and almost 6,000 people signed a petition to save Woolton Library, but local opposition to the closure was ignored by the Council and the doors were finally locked and bolted on Saturday.
Woolton Library opened in 1926. It was well used by thousands of Wooltonians over the years and became a focal point of the village. It was housed in a former Methodist chapel in Allerton Road, a small, quirky building that is much loved and highly valued by the local community. Its closure will be a terrific blow to the people of Woolton. Many fear that its loss will savagely damage the community life of a village.
The library offered a reading lifeline for many with access to a wide range of books. It also provided free access to computers and a children's library with a weekly, well supported "Story and Rhyme Time" session for mums and toddlers. It will be sadly missed by all.
It is hoped that volunteers will now run the Story and Rhyme Time sessions for under 5s at the Simon Peter Centre, Church Road, Woolton from Tuesday 17th April at 10.30 am.
Many libraries have had their hours reduced as part of the Council cuts, but only 3 libraries will close and it appears that just Woolton Library will suffer permanent closure. What a stitch up!
The main reason given by the Council for the library closure is its lack of disabled access. Yet people have used the library for 86 years without accidents or challenges about access. A report carried out 6 years ago stated that there was no technical solution to the access problem, but that the Council had legally met its DDA requirements by posting a notice referring the public to alternative accessible libraries. Typically the notice disappeared a couple of years ago and wasn't replaced.
Frail, elderly and disabled people and young children will now have to travel 2 - 3 miles to find a library. It just doesn't make sense.
In March 2011 the Council approved a reduction in the Library Service revenue budget rising to £1,926,000 in 2012/13. The actual cut to the Library Service budget approved in February 2012 was £2,271,000. The additional £300,000 consists of a saving of £322,000 from the closure of Edge Hill, Great Homer Street and Woolton Libraries (option 9). The fact is that these 3 libraries could have remained open and the Council would still have met its budgetary targets.
Campaigners are working hard to run the library as a community organisation and have sent a letter of intent to the Council requesting that the assets are transferred to the community group. Find out more on Facebook by typing in "Save Woolton Library".
If you are unhappy about the closure you can contact the Leader of the Council by emailing Joe Anderson or email Maria Eagle, your local M.P., to express your discontent or ask them to explain the closure. Alternatively you can complete a Have Your Say form online (available on the Liverpool City Council website) or get a form from a One Stop Shop, library or other council facility.
Sites dedicated to the village
Woolton Village's Wiki Site
Photos of the village