The Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Nick Fletcher, wrote to Doncaster Council asking them why the Central Library is only open for six hours a day except for Wednesday when it is open for seven hours. Don Valley MP Fletcher highlighted that exams are coming up, so keeping the facilities open is important to help them study and revise.
The MP took action as several citizens asked him the same, and he was sent a photo of the opening hours displayed by the Doncaster Central Library. He added, “I have researched the opening hours of the main libraries in South Yorkshire. We don’t compare well at all.”
The opening hours of the library are as follows:
BARNSLEY Cudworth Library in Barnsley is open 9 am – 5 pm save Mondays when they close at 7 pm, and Saturdays are only in the mornings.
SHEFFIELD Central Library is open from 10 am to 5 pm, save for Wednesday when they close at 8 pm and on Saturday at 4 pm.
ROTHERHAM Central Library opens at 8.30 am. They close at 5.30 pm on three days, 7 pm on two days, and 4 pm on Saturday.
The total public opening hours (using Rotherham as the benchmark) are, therefore, as follows:
- Doncaster 37 hours – 67%
- Sheffield 44 hours – 80%
- Barnsley 48.5 hours – 88%
- Rotherham 55 hours – 100%
MP Nick Fletcher said that the library is only open 67% of the time that the Rotherham Central Library is open. Exams are coming up, so keeping the facilities open is important to help them study and revise.
“The library is a key component in any education policy for Doncaster. We have a great library on which a lot of money has been spent. The fact that it is only open to the public for so few hours troubles me greatly. The opening hours could be made far more user-friendly than they are. We should be doing all we can to encourage children and adults to use the library,” added the MP.
He also asked the Doncaster Council why should a child in Doncaster faces obstacles that a child in Rotherham or anywhere else in South Yorkshire does not.
“I am sure you agree that the Prime Minister is correct in his belief that education is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet in changing people’s lives. I also note that the Library and Museum are often closed on Bank Holidays when people would most likely have the time to use them. This can’t be right either,” outlined Nick Fletcher.
He said he would update the citizens as soon as he got the update from the Doncaster Council.