IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Islington reference library is safe

08 December, 2017

• CARA Chanteau is absolutely right about the importance of maintain­ing a free-to-all portal to education and self-improvement (Library IT centre deepens haves and have-nots divide, December 1).

This is why we have worked so hard to protect our libraries from the effect of the government’s deep and vicious budget cuts in recent years, with more yet to come. In fact, we are bucking the national trend and opened the Cat And Mouse Library in Holloway at the weekend.

To be clear, I would like to reassure readers we have no plans to close, reduce or get rid of our reference library in Central Library, or any of the reference sections in our other libraries.

As the information provided in the reference library has increasingly moved online, including subscription-only services, the physical stock has reduced accordingly – but we have ensured that access to this information remains free for all library users.

In fact, we hope to improve Central Library – and access to our online reference material – by increasing the amount of study space on offer, which is in high demand.

This will better suit the needs of our users, who will be able to take advantage of quiet study space, our free-to-access computers and free wi-fi for anyone with their own laptop or tablet. Meanwhile, our physical reference material is available from Central Library – and will continue to be.

Cllr ASIMA SHAIKH
Executive member for economic development, Islington Council

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