Protest held as library closure fears grow

Protesters gathered again in Roslin on Saturday demanding answers as fears continue to grow over the future of the village library.
Protest at Roslin Library.Protest at Roslin Library.
Protest at Roslin Library.

As reported in the Advertiser last November, local resident Sarah Keer-Keer set-up the Save Roslin Library Facebook page to fight any plans to close the facility.

Closure fears were sparked by the Choices for Change consultation regarding the council’s review of services, with one particular question leaving residents in Roslin concerned that their library could be set to close.

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In the section about Roslin Library, two options were given – increase mobile library provision or introduce self-service technology.

Sarah Keer-Keer, worried that nothing has been heard since the survey late last year, said: “The council did another customer service consultation and they have published the results of that one. With the library survey they are not intending to publish the results.

“I’m a little bit alarmed. Normally they consult and talk about the results of a survey. So we thought another show of support would be good.”

Sarah was delighted with the turnout on Saturday.

She said: “It was brilliant, we had around 120 people there, double the amount there at the last protest. People are getting on board.

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“I think the message is getting through that the community is going to come out and support this local hub. I’m much more optimistic than I was before Christmas.”

Despite the population of Roslin being only 1800, the library currently receives 1000 visitors a month.

Kevin Anderson, Midlothian Council’s head of customer and housing services, insisted that no decision had yet been made on the library’s future and that further consultation would take place.

He said: “We are planning to use the results of the recent libraries and customer services consultation to inform our next set of proposals, which we will then go back out to consult on later in the year – as was made clear in the original consultation.

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“There are no plans to put any proposals or recommendations to councillors at the next council meeting and we do not plan to take any decisions without further public consultation. We will be working on the next stage over the coming months, with the consultation itself likely to take place after May 5. This is due to legal restrictions which come into force in the period leading up to the council elections on May 4.”