Demonstrators hold ‘read in’ over planned job losses for Portsmouth library staff

Portsmouth Central Library in Guildhall Square
Portsmouth Central Library in Guildhall Square
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Protestors gathered outside Portsmouth Central Library to campaign against expected job losses and service reductions.

Sixty members of the city’s library and museum staff, book groups and concerned members of the public staged a ‘read in’ at the Library’s entrance.

They wanted to make the public aware that an expected 30 members of staff are to be made redundant on April 25.

Librarian Patricia Garrett, whose role as an e-development librarian is under threat, said: ‘I work here at the central library and I’m facing the threat of redundancy but I’m really here as a wider protest against these cuts.

‘We feat that the loss of skilled and experienced library staff will mean the public cannot use the libraries to their full potential and this is something we want to stop.

‘It’s totally unfair that hard working professionals will lose their career as a result of a financial crisis.’

The musums will be shut every Monday and the central library is to close every Friday under the proposed changes.

Portsmouth poet Joanne Blandford read one of her verses to the protestors. She said: ‘I have a learning disability and I have come to use the library for many years.

‘I believe in the library. It has so much information available to anybody of any ability and it has always helped me. It’s very wrong that librarians should lose their jobs.’

The head of Portsmouth City Council libaray services Lindy Elliot will make the decision on which employees will lose their jobs in ten days.