St Albans resident and councillor raise concerns over loss of library service in Hatfield

First published in News St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by

A HUGE library collection available for the residents of Hertfordshire is under the threat of closure.

St Albans resident Alison Carter has raised concerns about the loss of the “important asset” from New Barnfield Library in Hatfield.

Ms Carter said as a regular user of the Central Resources Library (CRL), she was “shocked” and “outraged” at the news its contents will be spread to three locations across the county, apparently into warehouses where there will be no option for browsing.

The relocation has been agreed by Hertfordshire County Council following its decision to build a waste incinerator on the current New Barnfield site.

But the county council has said there will be an online collection available and material will be available for order to local libraries.

A concerned Ms Carter said this will be an issue not only for St Albans, but the rest of the county.

The library loans out a collection of music, recordings, play scripts, literature and history books, biography and criticism, orchestral parts for hire, art, and many other special publications and resources for reference.

It is used by residents, performing arts groups, students, and others people from across the county for borrowing, study, and research. The library’s sets of orchestral parts are hired by the St Albans Symphony Orchestra.

Lib Dem county councillor in Hatfield Malcolm Cowan has launched a petition to keep the collection in one place.

The campaign has been backed by Chris White, county councillor for St Albans, who said: “It is not enough to say that access will be available via the on-line catalogue.

“People have made it very clear to us that they want to be able to browse the collection in public.”

The CLS was due to move to a new site in Welwyn Garden City, a site it owns, however issues about access and costs were raised.

Click here to sign the petition.

Do you use the Central Resources Library? What do you think about its relocation to warehouses across the county?

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