DAINGEAN’S effort to preserve a vital local resource, its library services, is far from over as fears grow in the community that the library services could ultimately close.
The ‘Save Daingean Kilcormac Banagher Library Services’ campaign is responding to Offaly County Council’s plans to reduce the town’s library services from 13 hours to just 5.5 hours and it has seen a surge in support, following last week’s well attended public meeting in the town’s Old School.
Showing no signs of dissipating, another public meeting will be held this week and the local community is being encouraged to attend to voice their concerns on the issue.
In the meantime, people are being urged to support the campaign and sign the petition, which is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks and sent to Offaly County Council in protest at the decision to reduce the town’s library services.
According to a statement from the campaign, this is an ‘outrageous attack’ on all the people of Daingean and the surrounding areas, who use this library.
“Since it was announced that Daingean library opening hours were to be slashed from 13hrs to 5.5hrs a week there has been a tidal wave of disbelieve, followed by anger among the local users.
“There was also a well attended meeting last Thursday evening where people voiced their concerns that this is a step towards closing our library altogether. Some initial draft plans have been made for demonstrations and increased media attention if Offaly County Council press ahead with these planned cut backs.”
The campaign group has requested a direct meeting with the County Manager and the County Librarian to discuss their long term plans for the library and to appeal for a reversal of their current decision.
“We understand the problems faced by the County Council at this time, of decreased funding and staffing levels. But for ordinary people money is also extremely tight so now more than ever access to books, newspapers and the internet is absolutely essential.”
Meanwhile, the next public meeting will take place in the Old Daingean National school on Thursday, March 22 next at 8pm and all are welcome.