Monday 31 October 2011

At the Archives... or not as is actually the case

Library closures, half term, children’s birthdays and Roman Day at school have been keeping me away from the archives the last few weeks.

Bradford Library was shut for 4 days when they identified a “fire risk”. The building has now reopened but there is only access to the first two floors.

The archives service has been temporarily relocated to the first floor but is closed this week for collections work and opening hours are restricted after that. Access to the local studies library which was on the third floor is severely restricted. Bradford Council’s statement on the current situation confirms that there is no access to microfilms (newspapers and parish registers), maps, card catalogues (including newspaper and WW1/WW2 soldier index cards) and if you want to obtain a book you have to give two full working days notice. 

Newspaper reports that the cost of making the current library building safe is £4 million meaning that all options now need to be looked at and may result in the library being relocated. It is expected that the library will remain open and will continue to provide service in the medium term (18 months – 2 years). But what happens to access to the local studies materials in the mean time and are they and the archives collections themselves safe from fire risk.  

I have written to my local councillors and asked them to press for a speedy and satisfactory resolution to the issue and encourage you to do the same. 

On a different front I am going into a local school to do a talk to year 3 (7-8 year olds) about why the Romans came to Ilkley. I will be using a variety of maps to show why Ilkley was strategically important and what life was like there at that time for the soldiers and the natives. If any other local schools would like me to visit them for similar talks please get in touch.

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