EVEN if the public’s ideas to save Ixworth library prove ordinary, the method for getting them was novel.
To avoid its public meeting getting bogged in debate, Ixworth Parish council ringed the village hall with tables labelled for different aspects of the village library’s future and asked people to stick ideas on Post-it notes.
Ixworth’s county councillor Joanna Spicer told the meeting: “This isn’t an opportunity to object to possible closure or say ‘we support our library’. We want your ideas of how we can keep this library going.”
She said the county had to save 30 per cent on library spending and that of Ixworth’s £56,915 running costs only £16,825 was for staffing and expenditure in the library itself, which is the second busiest small library in the county.
Parish chairman Teresa Plummer appealed: “We’ve got to have concrete plans to save our library.”
But the first question from the floor was: “Why can’t we be left as we are?”
Cllr Spicer explained: “This year alone we [the county] must save £42 million and next year even more. That’s why we’re looking at every single thing.”
She said she would pass on a complaint from the floor that it was ‘upsetting’ library cuts were being proposed while council bosses took high salaries.
From the floor John Ellison said: “I’m willing to start a ‘save our library’ campaign because a lot of us don’t want to see charity shop type libraries.”
He asked people who are interested in a campaign to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org