Friday, 27 June 2014

Wicklow TDs must work to protect the Wicklow Library service

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor and Cathaoirleach of the Bray Municipal District has called on the 5 Wicklow TDs to work together to save the Wicklow Library service which is slowly but surely being dismantled due to the public service staffing embargo that’s in place since 2009. This follows the news that the Wicklow Local studies section is due to close with immediate effect due to staff shortages.

Cllr Brady said “In Wicklow we have an excellent library service which thankfully have been built upon over many years. Unfortunately the service is slowly being dismantled. Since 2009 we have seen a 28% reduction in staff due to the public service staffing embargo, this has resulted in the opening hours of libraries being cut and unfortunately the latest cut will see the excellent County Wicklow Local Studies Service which is located in the Ballywaltrim library close with immediate effect”.

“Council officials have taken the unfortunate decision to close this important service due to a retirement, which has resulted in staff having to be redeployed to keep other services open in Greystones”.

Brady continued “The important service houses valuable local records and archives such as Ordnance Survey maps, parish maps, and place histories as well as a local newspapers dating back to 1858.It has been used extensively by historians who helped officials built up the excellent archive which is housed in the library HQ in Ballywaltrim in Bray”.

Brady went onto say “I am asking that every option be explored to ensure this valuable resource remains open. We are entering an important period of commemorating; this year marks the 100 anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 and the 1916 centenary is fast approaching. Access to locally held information is critically important to historians and others looking at documenting and remembering locals and local events that occurred at that important time in history. People used the service for many reasons; carrying out research,  into family matters, histories of clubs, groups and organisations, individuals seeking genealogical information, folklore, political matters, religious matters and all kinds of material from the old papers and reference books”.

Brady concluded “An application has been made to the Department of the Environment for the filling of a number of vacancies in Wicklow County Council Library Service, including the position of Executive Librarian at Greystones library. If successful, this will enable the position of Assistant Librarian in Ballywaltrim and Local Studies to be restored. I am urging the 5 Wicklow TDs to ensure this application is successful and that the Local Study Service can remain open and that the future of our library service is protected”. Ends

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