Baillie throws book at Sturgeon in bid to halt cuts in local library hours

Hatter's Castle library

Baillie Jackie MSP

Dumbarton Public Library where services may be slashed and Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton and Lomond (left).

MSPs have been urged to back calls to protect library services in West Dunbartonshire in a parliamentary motion lodged by local MSP Jackie Baillie. West Dunbartonshire Council will soon launch a public consultation on proposals to cut library opening hours by a third and reduce the number of librarians in schools. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has strongly condemned the plans in a letter to SNP Council Leader, Cllr Jonathan McColl.  The professional organisation representing librarians told the Council leader that the scale of the reduction in opening hours would ‘severely damage the ability to meet community needs’.  Jackie Baillie’s motion says that the plans would contradict Scottish Government policy and calls on West Dunbartonshire Council to reject the cuts. She said“Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Clydebank are well-served by local libraries and the impact of cutting opening hours or reducing staff levels would be keenly felt in our local communities.  Nicola Sturgeon has said that closing the educational attainment gap between the richest and the poorest children is her number one priority. Libraries have a key role to play here by reducing inequality and improving literacy, particularly in areas like West Dunbartonshire with high levels of child poverty. The SNP-led administration needs to read up on its own government’s policies and stop making cuts to local library services.”

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