In response to newspapers and magazines being removed from libraries.

I was dismayed to find out that there are more proposed cuts on the way for our Buckinghamshire Libraries.

Last week I saw a notice informing the public that the authorities propose removing all hard copies of all the magazines and newspapers from all the libraries.

Yes, that means all hard copies of your paper The Bucks Free Press will be cancelled too.  I thought you and your readers would like to know.

They want to hear your views- please fill in the survey it says on the notice. However, there is not much time to comment or protest as the survey closes next week on the 19th of September.

Did they really expect to hear many comments from the public in the six-week summer holiday period from the 8th of August to the 19th of September?

The excuse for this ill-thought-out proposal is I quote “During Covid Buckinghamshire Libraries removed hard copy for hygiene reasons and now we have the opportunity to reshape our provision using digital resources .”

That’s Local Government waffle talk which translated means we saved a lot of money in COVID and we would like to continue to do so. We only want to give the public the option of reading their newspapers and magazines online.

This is a hugely retrograde step just as the whole Country is facing a recession and a long hard cold winter. Many people will now be cutting down on both buying hard copy newspapers and magazines and indeed their digital subscriptions.

They will be expecting and needing the Library Service to provide this service as they have always done before the Pandemic not diminish it to a digital format only. I am sure people will be looking forward to reading their newspaper in a warm well-lit library.

Reading a paper online is not the same experience as seeing and reading a hard copy. The elderly and all those who are not computer literate will miss out terribly.

I am afraid the Library service has turned into a Cinderella story with all the cuts it has suffered in the last 20 years. Take away the newspapers and magazines and it seems a Scrooge-like character has also entered the scene.

If you want to change this sad story, contact your county councillor.

Mrs K E Dorme BA MCLIP
Retired former Branch and Area Librarian