CAMPAIGNERS are gathered outside Aberdeen City Council's civic offices to protest against the proposed closures of six libraries across the city.

Cuts to services in the Ferryhill, Cults, Cornhill, Kaimhill, Northfield and Woodside areas are scheduled to go ahead on April 1 in a bid to save £280,000 from the council budget.

A meeting of local councillors this afternoon has been picketed by the grassroots group Save Aberdeen Libraries, which met with politicians prior to the meeting to hand over "love letters" in support of the centres.

READ MORE: Scots libraries should be staffed like any other council service

Other library services in the city could also see their hours cut to save on running costs in swingeing budget restrictions that also include swimming pools.


The SNP/Lib Dem administration's spending plans were passed on March 1.
Sean McNamara, Head of CILIP in Scotland, the professional body for librarians, called the closures "hugely damaging" for Aberdeen.

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He said: "These closures will be hugely damaging for Aberdeen's communities and a very short-sighted decision. 

"Libraries across Scotland are well used and never been more vital after lockdowns and in a cost-of-living crisis by providing equitable access to books and IT, supporting health and wellbeing and economic development and reducing social isolation. 

READ MORE: Scotland's libraries are facing a 'slow death'

"These closures would potentially leave Aberdeen with the lowest provision per person in Scotland and for no detailed community consultation to have been undertaken is outrageous and risks Aberdeen city council not meeting its legal obligation to provide libraries that meet local residents' needs."

The council has previously said that residents will be able to use library services at 10 branch libraries in locations across the city, Central Library in the city centre, or on the council website.

However, locals have reacted in fury to the decision, organising a campaign group, petitions and arranging protests such as a read-in event similar to those seen in Glasgow last year when Glasgow City Council libraries were under threat.

Marc Lambert, chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust, told the BBC that library closures were a pattern seen around the country.

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He said: "I understand that councillors have very difficult decisions, and in fact choices, to make that they don't want to make.

"But what is being missed here is not only what a library does for a community but the longer-term benefits of having a library in a community in lots of different areas of life.

"Perhaps the most important thing is an ordinary citizen's access to information, entertainment, instruction and enlightenment."

Aberdeen City Council has been contacted for comment.