No reprieve for School Library Service

THE county council run School Library Service which councillors agreed to scrap last month will not get a last-minute reprieve, despite efforts by a library user group.

Herts County Council’s Cabinet agreed to pull funding on the service, which provides facilities, including mobile services, books and specialist resources, to libraries at schools either through an annual subscription or a pay as you use service.

North Herts group We Heart Libraries had written to the county council following the decision, and it was subsequently discussed in a scrutiny meeting yesterday (Wednesday).

But councillors decided to not take any further action on the matter. It means the service will still cease in March.

Andy Darley, co-founder of We Heart Libraries, said: “I looked for arguments that might suggest why it would be worth accepting a loss for a year, so they can find a way of working with schools, and maybe gain something of value.

“It was all decided [by Cabinet] really quickly, and many didn’t know it was happening.

“The least we can hope for is they will take what comments they can from it.”

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The committee was asked to consider two other options; undertaking a whole committee scrutiny, or establishing a topic group to undertake it.

A county council spokesman said: “As the decision to discontinue the support services we provide to school libraries has already been debated as part of the panel process, councillors decided not to put this matter on their work programme for scrutiny.”

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