New Huntingdon library - 'desecration'

I READ the piece on the new Huntingdon library (June 17) with some incredulity, and wonder what criteria your reporter used to come to his conclusion that the town s library is a success story . Certainly, that sentiment is not likely to be shared by any

I READ the piece on the new Huntingdon library (June 17) with some incredulity, and wonder what criteria your reporter used to come to his conclusion that the "town's library is a success story".

Certainly, that sentiment is not likely to be shared by any users of the excellent reference section of the old library, which in the new building has disappeared; merged with the old non-fiction section of the lending library, with numbers of books sent into storage at Cambridge or simply vanished, presumably either sold or destroyed.

For example, I have an interest in heraldry and, of eight books in the reference section to which I used to refer, only two are now on the shelves. I am sure that my experience is not an isolated one. On enquiry, I was told that the books had been dealt with in this manner "because there was insufficient shelf space", an explanation I can well believe having visited the premises for the first time since opening.

So now, after spending �4.6 million of public money, we have a 'library' that has large expanses of shiny metal and glass; a caf� (with an executive chef, no less), a large learning centre, meeting and interview rooms and rows of computer terminals - but not enough space to contain all the books that were previously held in the old 'not-fit-for-purpose' building.

There is (for the time being at least) a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary on the shelves, and I suggest that the perpetrators of this desecration of a valued asset use it to learn the definition of the word 'library', which is 'a building used to store books'.

K G SAVAGE

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