WGGB West Midlands representative William Gallagher joined hundreds of campaigners to condemn proposed cuts to the Library of Birmingham, at a public meeting in the Library’s Studio Theatre last night (Wednesday 7 January 2015).
In a passionate speech, he said the cuts – if they go ahead – would be an embarrassment to the city:
“Birmingham is supposed to be a great place to do business. But we are showing the world we can’t even keep our library open.”
Sam Owen, a member of staff at the library, branded proposals to cut staff “short-sighted” and said only basic counter services would remain if cuts were approved.
She said the building’s specialist archive and research staff would be lost, and collections would be “irreparably damaged”.
If the cuts go ahead to the £188-million library, 100 staff will lose their jobs and opening hours will be reduced from 73 to 40 hours per week.
Birmingham City Council has said it was exploring alternative ways to save services.
You can hear William Gallagher’s full speech here.