Library is an essential service

Cheryl Leith, Plumstead

The Plumstead Library has been an integral part of our community for more than 60 years (“Plumstead library to close”, Bulletin, January 20).

The library has a long tradition of excellence, particularly with regard to services to children.

The present staff continue to build on this solid foundation, whilst always responding innovatively to the new challenges of changing times.

Our librarians are well-informed, knowledgeable professionals who are always friendly and approachable and enthusiastic about making library materials available to a diversity of patrons.

I am familiar with several libraries across the city and I have the greatest respect and admiration for what this small library achieves, despite the constraints of limited space.

The role of the library in enhancing and enriching formal education for scholars and in contributing towards the continuing self-education of adults through provision of non-fiction and access to the internet, should be obvious.

Education is in crisis and any facility which contributes as positively as Plumstead Library deserves support.

Less obvious and impossible to quantify objectively, is the inestimable value of carefully selected fiction in the development of insight, imagination, originality, creativity and empathy. The library is not an optional extra. It is an essential service.

Children and senior citizens without transport rely entirely on the library for access to books. Our library provides a bright, clean, safe space within walking distance of my home for me to continue a life-long journey with books, in the quest for a greater understanding of myself, others and the world where we all live.

The proposed closure of Plumstead Library is deeply shocking.