Anger over City library services

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I am 74 years old, I neither drink or smoke. I began reading as a young boy, but now due to the incompetence of Sunderland Council, I find that my days of visiting the library once a week to choose books for myself and my wife are coming to a close.

I have used this newly located library, it is smaller than my old branch, now closed, and visiting the main library is a waste of time.

No one on the city council seems to care whether we have libraries or not. It beggars’ belief that this same council, whilst closing down our libraries, is proudly announcing that it is putting Sunderland forward as a City of Culture. How can anyone equate the dismantling of any city’s or town library system, and pretend to care about the people who use that library system, or that they care about the culture of Sunderland.

To close libraries in any city is to act in opposition to the meaning of the word culture. Closing libraries deprives every citizen, one who reads, of both a means of cultivating their own mind and behaviour. Book reading is not the same as looking at paintings, both venues can have the result of cultivating the cultural side of an individual simply by increasing their knowledge. By increasing their interest in the arts, individuals can increase their feelings of self-worth through their own achievements.

Having lost our main library, the city has been robbed of its main place of learning, therefore, for the council to even put forward as a City of Culture will make us look ridiculous.

Keith Farnie