A campaign to keep Morecambe Library fully staffed is gaining momentum.
The new manager of the Arndale Centre has spoken out against plans to make the library a self-service ‘satellite library’ and has set up a petition for shoppers.
Sarah Harrison said: “It’s ridiculous that it’s not going to be staffed.”
The petition will be passed on to Lancashire County Council as part of the current public consultation on countywide propsals to cut library services running until mid-August.
At the moment Morecambe Library is not only used for lending books but also as a venue for many varied community groups.
They include the 1st Morecambe Rainbows, part of the girlguiding movement, who use one of the library’s ground floor rooms for weekly meetings.
Paul Good, a volunteer helper at the Rainbows, said: “We don’t know what’s going to happen but we’re worried we’re not going to be able to use the room any more.
“We love it here. It’s clean and safe.”
The Rainbows, all aged between five and seven, have transformed the outdoor area in the centre of the library into a garden with lovely plants and are also growing fruit and vegetables as part of their gardening badge.
Paul’s wife Michele is group leader and their daughters Vicki and Chelsea help out too.
“We’ve been members of the library since we moved to Morecambe in 1988,” said Paul.
“We don’t know how a satellite library is going to work. But kids like to browse through the books. It won’t be the same if it’s picking your book online and then going in to collect it.”
Jan Gomez is director of Positive Futures, a training company which runs classes at Morecambe Library for people who want to improve their mental health and well-being,
“Lots of vulnerable and older people use Morecambe Library and it worries me that they might be marginalised,” said Jan.
“They often need face to face contact and support. I don’t think these people will use a self-service set-up.
“Morecambe Library is central. It’s safe and people trust the staff.
Here are some of the classes and events held at Morecambe Library...
Family history/ancestry drop-in surgeries (twice a month)
Reading groups (last Thursday and Friday of the month)
Chess and Scrabble (Thursdays)
Lego Club (Thursdays)
Baby bounce and toddler rhyme time (Wednesdays)
Knit and Natter sessions including crochet, embroidery and other needlecrafts (Tuesdays)
Beginners ICT sessions (Tuesdays and Fridays)
Film clubs (every fortnight)
Yoga classes (Mondays)
An Eric Morecambe art exhibition
Chinese drumming workshops
Cub scout sleepovers
Venue for the 2016 ‘Bard by the Beach’ Shakespeare festival
Archived Visitor and Guardian newspapers on microfiche