'This place helped me come out of depression': Mum tells of impact Northampton library closures could have on residents

Following a series of early budget proposals to help Northamptonshire County Council save £9.6 million pounds, 28 libraries across the county could shut as part of cost-cutting proposals.

Tuesday, 17th October 2017, 5:31 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:46 pm
The council has announced plans to "redesign" library services across the county, putting up to 28 at risk including Abington.

These libraries could close the doors on book-lovers from Abington, Far Cotton and Kingsthorpe and St James. But some people have said it is not just reading, which they will miss.

Mum-of-one, Mrs Cook told the Chronicle & Echo that she managed to beat depression after making friends at the parent and baby group at Abington library in Lindsay Avenue.

She said: "I've been coming to the library since my daughter was eight weeks old and she is three now.

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"I moved to Northampton not knowing a single person and I was heavily pregnant. The library was actually the only way I got to meet people and it has been the only way I have made friends.

"If the library goes, for people like me, I don't have a lot of money to pay for groups, so youth groups are brilliant because they are free and anyone can come."

Abington library hosts four activities for children every week, including Rhyme Time, Story Stomp, Play and Learn for babies under one and Play and Learn for children under five.

"It will have a massive impact on me, as a mother, and I know that my friends will be devastated. This library really brings people together," she added.

"This place helped me come out of depression, this is what helped me get through that and meet friends."

The authority is to put three separate proposals out to consultation this week - the first of which will be to invite community groups to run 21 smaller libraries around the county, saving the council £290,000 next year.

Options two and three, however, would involve simply shutting the doors of up to 28 book lending premises around the county.

Northamptonshire libraries now provide breastfeeding support sessions, health checks and midwifery clinics following children's centre cuts.

Retired, Abington resident, Marie Poole said: "It's a lovely little library, there is always people in there, what a pity.

"I use this library to get books out and have a look around, I live just down the road.

"It's convenient for me to walk up here. I will be sorry to see it go because people do like it.

"I take my grandchildren in for the toddler mornings."