Sunderland city library to close two-and-a-half years after £500,000 revamp

Sunderland city library to close two-and-a-half years after £500,000 revamp

Sunderland’s city centre library is to close as part of cost-cutting measures – just two and a half years after £500,000 was spent revamping it. A city centre library is set to close its doors just two-and-a-half years after a £500,000 revamp. Sunderland City Library , in Fawcett Street, will close on November 19 before its staff and books are permanently moved to the Museum and Winter Gardens in January 2017. A “pop-up” library will be opened at the Fawcett Street site during the transition. Now a row has erupted over the future of public access to computers, especially since much of the half a million spent in 2014 went towards providing this. The council have defended the move and pointed out the money spent on the library in 2014 was mainly spent on equipment which is transferable. Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for culture, said: “Much of the investment in the city library refurbishment in early 2014 was spent on equipment – including PCs for the computer suite and new microfilm/microfiche readers/scanners for the local studies library. “The public access computers will continue to be available both for the period of the temporary library closure and thereafter.” Councillor Niall Hodson, a Liberal Democrat for the Millfield and Thornholme ward, said: “The museum doesn’t allow for a large space for computer terminals. Read More Sunderland children's services making 'significant progress' after inadequate report “They are talking about a small lending library rather than a large hub library. “From my point of view I want them to continue to provide access where ever the library goes. “I don’t think they have done that in terms of how many computers or where.” The decision, finalised at today’s cabinet meeting, comes as part of Sunderland City Council’s drive to save money in the face of budget cuts. Coun Kelly said: “The decision to relocate the city library to its former home at Sunderland Museum is a direct result of the unprecedented cuts to council funding whic…

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