Andrew George, MP and Baroness Kate Parminter meet the Friends of St Just library

Posted on: 31st October 2014
Andrew George Outside St Just library

Andrew George, MP discusses impact of reduced opening hours with Friends of St Just Library co-chair, Kate Beckly

Andrew George, MP and Baroness Kate Parminter meet the Friends of St Just library during a visit to St Just on Saturday 25 October. I wanted them to meet the group of enthusiastic supporters of our local library, especially as I knew that the Baroness was interested in literacy.  Kate Parminter is an adviser to the ‘Every Child a Reader’ programme which tackles illiteracy in schools.

I am committed to ensuring that St Just Town Council and Friends group get the support and advice they need from officers in Cornwall Council to find a solution that will work for us to keep our Library in St Just. I have also been assured by councillors in the Cabinet that whilst the community are actively engaged in talks, it is not at risk of closure.

Members of the Friends group were keen to explain to us the importance of the resource to the Town and their hope that they can help restore some of the hours lost earlier this year. They explained that people are willing to volunteer to supplement what the valued and skilled paid library staff offer.

Some of those present explained why the library was so important to them and here are a few examples:

“It is the only easily accessible free to use public space in St Just. It has a wealth of information about the locality and wider world.” (Trevor)

“I used to like coming to story time on Fridays when it was open, before the hours were cut.” (Marie)

“I get so many books out; I probably read 3 books a week. I love reading.” (8 year old boy)

“It’s a place to come and be, use the Internet and free access to books that I can’t afford.” (Gill)

“It is an essential place for research for my writing.” (Rita)

“I used to use the library for my tutoring but now the hours are so restricted I have nowhere to go.” (Kate)

“For the rural communities around St Just & Pendeen this library is an essential resource; an information exchange, a meeting place, a Tourist Information hub – oh, and for books!” (Sue)

“To connect with the community and activities and of course, books. I use the photocopier and printers.” (Hilary)

“It’s the only access to people and civilisation that I have in St Just.” (Trevor S)