The BBC notes that Libraries NI have announced that, following a strategic review and a public consultation, 10 of their 32 branch libraries in the Greater Belfast area are to close. From the Libraries NI statement
It is with regret that the Libraries NI Board, after scrutinising the findings of the review and the public consultation process, approved closure of the following libraries: Andersonstown, Ballymacarrett, Belvoir Park, Braniel, Dunmurry, Gilnahirk, Ligoniel, Oldpark, Sandy Row and Whitewell. These libraries failed to match the vision requirements whilst also requiring major investment which could not be justified alongside declining usage.
The Strategic Review analysed each library in terms of fitness for purpose, potential to deliver the vision of Libraries NI, its location and sustainability. These four criteria included consideration of issues such as distance to other libraries, maintenance and investment costs required to meet current and future legislative building requirements and the current usage of each library.
Initially, 14 branch libraries were judged potentially unsustainable and a public consultation process was initiated seeking views on the proposed closures of these libraries as well as Libraries NI’s vision for the future and the potential redevelopment of a further 8 libraries. In response to information obtained during the consultation process and the public feedback received regarding the closures, the Libraries NI Board agreed that 4 of the libraries originally proposed for closure should remain open. The four libraries which will remain open are Ballyhackamore, Cloughfern, Tullycarnet and Woodstock.