Committee Concerned with Potential Job Losses in Libraries

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 06 October 2011

Reference: CAL 02/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure voiced its concerns today over possible job losses in libraries throughout Northern Ireland.

Libraries NI told the Committee at today’s meeting that, as part of its cost cutting exercise to save £10.285m over the next four years, library staffing hours could be cut by 1200 hours per week. This equates to 33 full time posts. However as many library workers are part time, the impact will be even greater and will greatly affect the predominantly female workforce.

Today’s announcement comes on the back of Libraries NI’s proposals to reduce opening hours and proposals to close up to 10 libraries in mainly rural areas. This follows recent closures of 10 libraries in the Greater Belfast area.

The Chairperson of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Ms Michelle McIlveen MLA, said: “This is a further blow to library services in Northern Ireland, and will have a significant impact on frontline services across Northern Ireland.

The Committee urges Libraries NI to consider all and every measure to mitigate against these predicted job losses. This option should only be adopted as a last resort once all other avenues have been explored.” 

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