31 Jan 2014

SONY DSCThe Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, has expressed concern about Glasgow Life’s plans to cut library opening hours across the city.

In a briefing paper seen by Mr Mason, Glasgow Life are proposing to reduce Shettleston, Bridgeton, Baillieston and Parkhead libraries’ opening hours from 51 to 48 hours a week.  In contrast, under Glasgow Life’s plans Hillhead Library, in the West End, will be open longer.

John Mason has written to the Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, Dr Bridget McConnell, to ask her to reconsider the cuts which are due to come into effect on 1st April 2014.

Commenting, Mr Mason said:

“Given that both internet access and general literacy is poorer in less well off areas – not least the East End – cuts like these will make it even harder for local folk to get to a library and try to improve their situation.  On top of that the forthcoming introduction of universal credit will make it even more important for people to be able to access libraries and, in turn, computers. 

“Recently a host of organisations across the city have rightly indicated their concern that a universal credit application will take 90 minutes to complete – and can only be done online.  Therefore, people are likely to need more time to access a computer.  However, reducing library opening hours would be heading in the opposite direction.

“What really seems strange is that our library hours are to be reduced yet Hillhead’s are to go up.  So we help those already reading more and with better education yet disadvantage those who read less and have poorer education?  How does that add up?  Surely that will widen the gap between the richer and the poorer rather than reducing it?

“I have written to Glasgow Life to ask them to reconsider this proposal.”