PLANS to dramatically reduce our library services in Worcestershire have, understandably, caused outrage among loyal visitors.

For many people, the local library is so much more than just a place to borrow books or use the internet. It is a community hub where they can meet fellow residents for a chat, the venue for all kinds of social groups and classes, and a source of information.

We must remember that not everybody has their own computer or phone which provides access to the internet, so they need the library to browse websites – therefore, for them, the library is vital for keeping in touch with the world.

With all of this in mind, Worcestershire County Council’s proposed cuts, whether taking the form of reduced reduced opening times, having fewer staff or none at all on duty at some times, or just closing a library altogether, will undoubtedly have a major impact on some communities.

For example, many people will find that they are no longer able to use their local library, community groups will have to find new homes or cease to exist and, of course, some of the library staff could lose their jobs.

Yes, the county council and pretty much all local authorities have to save money due to shrinking budgets, and you can argue that libraries are not ‘essential services’ such as social care and thus, if money has to be saved somewhere, they are the sensible choice.

However, in decimating our libraries, the council would be tearing a huge hole in the fabric of our communities – and there would be many victims.