We have lived in Market Deeping since 1989 so feel more than qualified to air our concerns that Lincolnshire County Council intends to close our library.
When we were investigating the area we went to the library for reference material. We all joined the library when we moved and we recall many happy hours there.
My children used it as a resource for homework when they went to secondary school. It provided a place for them to focus on their work.
It remains a place to use for reference for us now that our children have left home, and as a lending library. It is a mark of a civilised society that such provisions are made for the people and that they are easily accessible.
And yet their plans make our library appear irrelevant to our town.
One of the subjects we have researched within the last 12 months was New Zealand. As my husband is now retired, we decided to travel there for seven weeks in the winter just passed.
One of the places we did visit was Christchurch. You may recall that there was a devastating earthquake there some two and a half years ago that destroyed much of the city.
The large, modern five storey building that is the main Christchurch library is now completely unsafe to enter. That likeness seemed to us to be very appropriate as libraries are sacred places to those who cannot access them as the people of Christchurch are unable to access their own history, archives, fiction, non-fiction of all subjects and the other multifarious facilities that libraries possess.
The Christchurch council authorities are trying to find ways of entering the library safely so that all of that history, learning and pleasure can be saved for a new facility that is, as yet, not designed.
They will have a temporary library facility as soon as they possibly can because to them, the renaissance of their library will help to make their city whole again.
And yet, we, known by many Kiwis as their mother country, are planning to close our libraries, making such precious repositories inaccessible to many of those who love them. What on earth would they think of us?
We know what we think. We are disgusted and ashamed to be part of the Lincolnshire County Council area, who would have us descend back to the Dark Ages.
Couns Roy and Sue Stephenson
Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Market Deeping