Lancaster and Morecambe library staff told to re-apply for their jobs

Lancaster Library.
Lancaster Library.

Staff at the libraries in Lancaster and Morecambe have been told they must re-apply for their jobs – just days before Christmas.

An anonymous caller to the Guardian said that last week all staff at the library, along with employees in Lancaster library, were given letters telling them they would need to re-apply for their current positions.

Morecambe Library.

Morecambe Library.

Some have worked at Morecambe library for up to 40 years.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said the letters formed part of a review of the county’s whole library service.

Morecambe library was saved earlier this year after plans to turn it into a self-service ‘satellite’ library were shelved. It was originally among a list of libraries in line for the axe across the county blamed on government cuts, but public support for the facility proved overwhelming.

However, more than 20 Lancashire libraries have been earmarked for closure, meaning staff could be moved to different buildings around the county.

County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “Closing libraries is the last thing we wanted to do but the scale of the county council’s financial challenge means we had to take these difficult decisions in order to safeguard services for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“As we will have fewer libraries in the county, we will need fewer staff to work in them and libraries are currently undergoing a wider staffing restructure to ensure that they are appropriately staffed in the longer term.

“Libraries staff also work within a district area rather than at a single library which means that those who continue working within this service might work at other libraries in the district area following the changes.”