Letter : Libraries lead way to bright new dawn

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The Independent Online
Mr R. A. Kirk

Sir: I don't know what qualifies Marianne Macdonald ("On borrowed time in Libraryland", 17 May) to make such sweeping generalisations about the state of public libraries, but she cannot have visited West Sussex or she surely would have prefaced her remarks with "with one or two exceptions".

There are many library services such as ours that may not have "big regional centres of excellence" but do have bright, modern buildings which have received substantial investment over the years and which have been extremely successful in remaining relevant to the needs of our users. All are open at least five days a week, and all staff are fully trained. All provide access to computer facilities; most have self-service information terminals.

This is not to say that we couldn't do even better, but let us not delude ourselves that technology and commercial sponsorship are by themselves going to lead to a bright new dawn.

Yours faithfully,

R. A. KIRK

County Librarian

West Sussex, County Council

Chichester, West Sussex

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