EDWARD PEASE, a member of the prominent Quaker family, gifted a magnificent library to Darlington townspeople.

The council proposes to close it and move the lending library to the Dolphin Centre, home of a sports hall and swimming pool. The cost of this move is to be considerably more than the money saved. There are no plans, apparently, to store the archives – a very large collection.

No buyer has been found for the impressive building which does not lend itself to flats or offices, of which there are many standing empty.

Darlington is a Quaker town. The Quakers were among the first bodies to recognise the value of education.

They built schools, made provision for education for adults and included libraries to further the education of all. Crown Street Library is a very important part of Darlington’s heritage.

Archives need very special storage facilities and qualified and skilled staff to administer them. These needs are met by the present building and the staff who are so knowledgeable and helpful.

Libraries need qualified librarians.

There is far more to the job than stamping books.

The idea that it can be done by volunteers is ludicrous.

Also any trade union member will be against the policy of replacing qualified staff with volunteers.

Darlington has lost its museum, art gallery and arts centre, which was home to many organisations and catered for all ages. The building was left empty and became an eyesore. Is this to happen to Crown Street?

Crown Street offers facilities and services to many groups. There are talks given by many speakers and monthly displays of material relating to Darlington’s history – supplied from the archives.

I have benefitted, for many years, from using all of the library’s superb services. I do hope to continue to do so.

Please help us to keep our library.

Margaret Wood, Darlington