PLANS to close the School Library Service from August 31 have been slammed by Worcestershire County Council’s Labour group.
This week the county launched a consultation into the move into the closure of a service which has been serving young people since 1933.
However the number of schools using the service have fallen from 216 to 52, although this includes several from Redditch.
In that time it has helped schools manage and organise their libraries and resources, as well as providing books and promoting reading and literacy.
Leader of the Labour Group Robin Lunn (Redditch North), said: “This is a declaration of guilt by the County Council.
“Rather than closing the service and impacting those children who most need it, a greater link should have been forged with schools and a greater understanding of why the county services were no longer being used should have been sought.
“Allowing a service to wither on the vine and then close it, is surely not the way to proceed. Why has the service been allowed to decline in this way?
“Our solution is to examine why the use of the service has declined, to look at more successful services across the country and to grow the service to make it sustainable once again.
“A positive targeted approach is surely one which will benefit children and schools across the county, and we urge that this is explored immediately.”
Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities, Councillor Lucy Hodgson (Con, Malvern Chase) said: “We’re very proud that the County’s libraries have evolved to meet the demands of today’s students.
“Unfortunately, we have seen a decreased demand and attempts to bring additional buy in to the service have proved unsuccessful.”