The following message was posted by "Wendy Bennett
COMMITTEE MEMBER of Wallasey Group, FHS of Cheshire"
"Without consultation and warning, our group heard of this a few weeks ago, Wirral Archives have arranged the movement of many reference and research items from the Libraries, to be held there in future.
Directories, photographs, Cammell Laird
collection, Microfiche, Films ( burial records, censuses, newspapers) which are all used by family historians all the time will no longer be available Freely to everyone.
The libraries have reasonably free parking in and around the libraries. They have longer opening hours including late nights. . Also they have ample computers and microfiche/film readers available too as they have the space, as well as plenty of space.
The libraries are also the places that we, as Family History
Groups (Wallasey, Bebington, West kirby and Birkenhead) all use to consult records to help people research their family tree.
My group Wallasey, hold help desks every month at Earlston Road ( who will also be losing their resources) and the availability of these resources are VITAL to us to help people. A lot of these resources are NOT available on the internet and may never be.
We shall also be holding a help desk at Moreton Branch once their work has been done.
We have plenty of room at the library, together with Pc's and books etc.
THE WIRRAL ARCHIVES
The parking next door is limited to regulars who have reserved and paid for their place irrespectivecof whether they use it every day. So you would have to pay for parking elsewhere probably with a bit of a walk too.
Their opening hours are 9.30 to 4.30 approx.
They have limited places for people.
They have limited PC'S and fiche readers.
Also staff may be limited too.
All this could also lead to certain libraries closing down as footfall reduces. We have been told that our help desks have helped the footfall increase at Earlston Road.
By taking all this away, and not all resources have to be kept in temperature controlled conditions, it will make it very difficult for us to help people efficiently at the library. It may even end our help desks.
It will also have an effect on the well being of people who make a specific journey each month to the libraries for these resources.
Wirral Archives I believe want to digitise many records, which isnt a bad thing, however I believe that once that is done then it will cost money over the internet for copies. That will probably be more than the 30p or 50p paid now for photocopies etc
It not a bad idea to have many things under one roof but not everything needs to be there. Many counties have resources in a few places.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
If you are concerned about this PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR COUNCELLOR expressing your feelings about this.
Our group are already doing this.
No apologies for the long post, it is very important people know the implications of this move. No groups who use these records were consulted about the repercussions of this action as it will have a knock on effect for us and many many others."
I have followed this up by speaking to the Reference Section of Borough Road library, and they are just as unhappy at the turn of events. I have contacted all three of my local Council officals and I am still awaiting their response.
Please now is the time to contact your council members. Wirral Archives have already arranged the vehicles to remove the resources, OUR resources!!