The petition to save Arbury Library has now closed, but not before a whopping 1,340 people put their names to the statement, letting the decision-makers know just how strongly the community feels about its branch.
The text of the petition reads: “We, the undersigned, call upon Cambridgeshire County Council to firmly reject any suggestion to close Arbury Court Library, or to replace the existing professional service with a reduced service run by volunteers. We believe the huge social cost to the community would far outweigh the small financial gain to be made.”
John Marais, Acting Chairman of FOAL, addressed Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet yesterday (September 28) to put the case for protecting the branch – which had 40,391 visitors last year.
His statement said: “The 1,340 signatures on our petition indicate the strength of feeling in Arbury, King’s Hedges and Chesterton and our determination to protect Arbury Court Library from closure or any serious reduction to its services.
“We are pleased that council officers and members have said several times that they have no desire to close any libraries, but we remain anxious because that option is still on the table. There would be outrage if such a thing were put forward as a serious proposal.”
FOAL was set up in response to the ongoing library service review, but its long-term aims are to support the branch and help ensure its continued development.
Tomorrow (September 30), local Nestlé Award-winning children’s author and FOAL member Paul Shipton will present awards to children who took part in a summer reading scheme at the branch – demonstrating just one of the important roles the library plays in the community.