Portadown library hours cuts

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A proposal to reduce the opening hours at Portadown library, from 48 to 45 per week, has been officially approved by the Libraries NI Board.

The library began operating the reduced hours last November due to budget cuts.

A further period of consultation with the public began this Monday and will continue until Saturday, June 13 to agree the most suitable opening hours’ pattern for each library in Northern Ireland.

The resulting arrangement will be implemented in October.

Meanwhile, Richhill library’s opening hours will remain the same at 18 and Tandragee’s at 25. Brownlow’s will be reduced from 40 to 35.

Professor Bernard Cullen, chairperson of Libraries NI, said, “The board recognises that reducing opening hours reduces access to services and will impact on library users.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and is a better option than closing libraries. We would like to acknowledge the DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín’s decision to provide a measure of protection for Libraries NI in the draft budget to ensure there would be no library closures”