Book-borrowing fee falls foul of Welwyn Garden City bookworms

PUBLISHED: 07:56 25 March 2016

The literary society meets at St Bonaventure's Church parish centre

The literary society meets at St Bonaventure's Church parish centre

Archant

The head of one of Welwyn Hatfield's oldest cultural organisations has slammed County Hall for a new fee on organisations borrowing books.

Liz Carlin, chairwoman of the Welwyn Garden City Literary Society, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times she was dismayed at the new £25 fee charged to her organisation, together with all book clubs, for bulk-borrowing from libraries.

She said: “These people talk about communities, but when people try to foster community spirit, they don’t help at all.”

The society, which was founded in the town’s earliest days, organises talks by specialists at St Bonaventure’s Church in Parkway, with members reading books loaned by Welwyn Garden City Library in Campus West.

A county council spokesman responded: “From April 1, we are asking for a modest annual fee of £25 per reading group, which we believe represents excellent value for the additional library services they receive - including reserving multiple copies of books, longer loan periods and access to our reading group choice collection.

“We value the support and regular custom of reading groups, and hope that they will understand the need to ask for a contribution towards the costs of providing these services due to the challenging financial situation within local government.

“The income raised from this subscription will be directly re-invested into the library service.”

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