Over the next couple of months KCC will be looking at ways of reducing their budget by £76.4 million. It is clear that Libraries, like all other areas KCC fund may have to play there part in the cost reductions KCC say are necessary. Last year all KCC Libraries cost £11.9 million a saving of £700,000 on the previous year. Across the same period Apr 14 – March 17 Shepway Libraries cost £2.8 million.
There are eight libraries across the district and we have visited them just over 1, 240,000 times between April 2014 and March 2017. All eight Libraries in Shepway have cost the sum of £2.8 million over a three year period, with an average cost per visit of £2.25. The most expensive library per visit is Lydd at a cost of £4.58 and the cheapest is Cheriton at a cost of £1.23
Books teach us so much, they also allow us to escape the daily monotony of life, to escape, in words ,CD’s in sound and DVD’s the moving image. These brief moments of escapism are essential to our well-being and our equilibrium and it is the people of Hythe who borrow the most items than anyone else and those in Sandgate who borrow the least.
Libraries allow us to stay in touch with those far away and play such an important and vital role in our community of Shepway. They allow those who need to search for work an opportunity to do so, read the newspapers, send an email, or just to chat to a loved one via skype. However, there has been a decline in the hours of computer use, perhaps because more and more people are accessing the net through their phones, or being connected at home.
Our libraries are a window into every emotion you could ever feel, into every place you could ever imagine or never imagine. And the staff who man these “palaces of our minds” are truly great people, so we’d like to say thank you to each and everyone of them for all their efforts throughout this and previous years.
Libraries are integral to our towns and villages we live in, and let us all hope they will be integral to our children’s towns and that KCC keep their mitts of them this year and they see no further reductions.
The Shepwayvox Team