Bookmark and Share

Further Library Provision Slashes Revealed

Libraries NI have announced plans to reduce the opening hours at Cregagh Library by a quarter, from 40 to 30 hours per week.

This announcement follows the closure of three of the seven libraries in Castlereagh and further reduces service availability for local people.

Alliance East Belfast MP, Naomi Long, and Castlereagh Central Councillors, Michael Long and Carole Howard, have all expressed their concern at the proposals.

Cllr Michael Long stated: "We intend to challenge this proposal, which is a further significant blow to library services in the Borough. Our experience in Braniel, Gilnahirk and Belvoir is that in all three cases significant reductions in hours, far from stabilising the situation, in the end led to the closure of those libraries."

Cllr Carole Howard added: "Libraries provide a very valuable service in the local community but to do this they need to be accessible. We want to see a proper plan for investment and support of these services and their social, educational and cultural value properly recognised by Government. We will be seeking a meeting with the Chief Executive of Libraries NI to raise our concerns and would encourage people to respond to the consultation."

Ms Long said: "We understand the pressure which Libraries NI faces with respect to their budget; however, they have in their documentation identified that libraries affected significantly by the Stage 1 strategic review of provision, because they are close to libraries that have been closed, should only have their opening hours reviewed again in September 2012; however, Cregagh Library has not been afforded this protection, despite the fact that during public meetings on the Stage 1 Consultation, library users in Braniel and Gilnahirk, both of which ultimately closed, were told they should use Cregagh Library as an alternative."

The proposals follow the refusal to grant Belfast's Central Library funds of £20m for a planned refurbishment.

The plan to renovate the 123 year-old building was halted because of Northern Ireland Assembly cuts.

Last year plans were also announced to close 15 libraries in the Belfast area, including Woodstock Library.

Libraries NI are also waiting for consultation on proposals to reduce the opening hours of libraries in County Armagh, which would result in a 45% cut in library provisions.

See: Save Our Libraries campaign


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 April 2006
Government plans unveiled for £2 million state of the art library in Antrim
The government has today unveiled plans to build a £2 million state of the art library for the town of Antrim. Making the announcement earlier today, Libraries Minister, David Hanson said: “Since the beginning of 2005 Antrim Library has been located in temporary premises in a retail unit in the town centre.
18 May 2016
Library Opening Hours Could Be Cut Under New Plans
Opening hours at the 14 busiest libraries in Northern Ireland could be cut under new proposals announced by Libraries NI. A public consultation is to be held until 17 July to identify the most suitable pattern of hours in the libraries. It is planned that the opening hours will be reduced from 54 and 50 hours to 45 hours accordingly.
03 November 2014
Budget Cuts Change Library Opening Hours
From today, temporary changes to library opening hours are to be introduced across Northern Ireland. Libraries NI said the move is one of the measures being implemented to make £1.4m of savings by March 2015, as a result of its budget being cut by 4.4%.
09 July 2014
Permission Granted For £20m QUB School Of Law
Planning permission has been granted for a new £20m School of Law and student amenity area at Queen’s University Belfast. The application by Queen’s is for the main former library tower redevelopment to provide a new School of Law and student cafe/amenity area.
27 October 2010
QUB Library 'Most Sustainable Building'
A Belfast building's green credentials have been recognised by a panel of international judges. The McClay Library at Queen's University won the RICS Sustainability Award 2010 with the presentation taking place at a gala event in the Guildhall in London, hosted by Michael Portillo.
22 January 2007
Views sought on single library authority
The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is seeking views on the setting up of a new Northern Ireland Library Authority.
21 June 2005
£6.4m Lottery windfall for local sport
PE and sport facilities across Northern Ireland are to be transformed because of a massive lottery windfall totalling more than 6.4 million.
06 January 2004
NI public urged to sign up to Holocaust principles
Members of the public are being urged to affirm their support for the principles of Holocaust Memorial Day by signing public Books of Commitment.
06 November 2001
Conference opens book on future of NI Library Service
A three-day conference on the future of the Public Library Service in Northern Ireland is currently taking place. Part of ‘Tomorrow’s Libraries’, an ongoing review of the Public Library Service in Northern Ireland, the conference was opened by the Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Michael McGimpsey in Newcastle.
29 October 2013
McClay Library Wins Design Award
The McClay Library at Queen's University in Belfast has won a national architecture and design award. The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Award is presented every three years to a UK library that "best meets the needs of users and staff".
04 January 2018
SF Launch Amendments To BRT Proposals
Sinn Féin are to present two amendments to the proposals recently released by the Department for Infrastructure on the operation of the Belfast Rapid Transit Route (BRT).
20 January 2012
Funding Boost Helps Libraries
Northern Ireland libraries have decided on a revised plan, which allow for longer opening hours, after they received a boost in funding. Libraries NI said that the extra £2.4m allocated to them by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure has relieved financial pressures.
06 October 2003
Special needs pupils relocated after classroom fire
Special needs children at a school in Co Down are set to be relocated after a mobile classroom was destroyed in a fire at the weekend. Police are treating the fire at Crossgar Primary School, Co Down, as malicious after a bin was set alight and pushed against the building in the early hours of Sunday morning.
18 January 2018
Fresh Talks To Restore Power-Sharing In NI to Begin
Fresh talks to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland are to begin next week, the Secretary of state has confirmed. Karen Bradley was speaking alongside Irish foreign affairs Minister Simon Coveney outside Stormont today, 18 January.
16 January 2018
Yellow Warning For Snow And Ice In Place Across NI
A yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in place until the evening of Wednesday 17 January, with snow, sleet and hail expected across NI. Forecasters warn that snowfall of up to 20cm is expected on higher ground, with up to 8cm expected in more populated areas.