My book The Norwood Author (UK US), which covers Conan Doyle's life in South Norwood, was only possible to write because of the Local Studies Archive at Croydon Library where issues of local papers were available on microfilm for me to study. It is no exaggeration for me to say that the project rested almost solely on that material and the expertise of the staff.
You only have to look at the Croydon Guardian website to see how government cuts are threatening this resource (amongst others). I have mixed feelings about this as I do recognise the need for cuts but I don't want this to be one of the things that is cut. This may come across as NIMBYism but that cannot be helped.
I think it reflects badly on the local council as they are suggesting (either by accident or design) that the local people will not miss the library. Regrettably I can understand this to a point. I won't pretend I ever had to queue for access to the local studies archives. The expression 'use it or lose it' does have some weight here.
However when you see and hear how much money is wasted in local government you cannot help but feel that they should tidy up their own act before they throw people out of work (or redeploy them) and deprive the community of a resource that is needed and wanted.
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