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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Results of the AGM and the fate of the Library

Fifteen attended; not an unexpectedly low number for a November meeting on a cold night and considering it was the AGM.
    Dr Paul Ruffle of Jodrell Bank and Manchester University was elected President. He lives at Mytholmroyd. Two other people were elected new members.
All the other existing officers and recorders accepted nomination and were re-elected.
   We looked at about 50 slides from Frank Murgatroyd's collection of about 1500!
I had found some pictures of past members as well as orchids of Britain; views in Calderdale, Cumbria and Wales; historic buildings in Calderdale; fungi and ferns. Just some of the many things represented in Frank's collection of slides.
                                           __________________________________

The following night, Wednesday, I went to shout at the demonstration outside the Town Hall against the library demolition. I even got a ticket to go in and witness the full Council Meeting. The public area was full.
Unfortunately, as expected, the minute "to relocate the library in a new building adjacent to the bottom edge of the Piece Hall, next to Square Chapel" was passed. ( Not the official wording.) Several Councillors spoke passionately in favour of renovating the existing building, to loud applause and cheers from the public and other councillors, but to no avail. There was feeble applause for those speaking in favour of demolition - they knew they had the majority.

This could take many years to take place. (The Broad Street Development took 20!) And the Economic situation could change or some other factor come in to delay or alter the decision.

The proponents of the scheme think they have given the opponents a big consession by saying the lending library and the archives will now be kept together in the same building, and not seperated, as once proposed, but they are completely  vague about the archives. They never refer to the 3 collections: the Archives of Halifax in the Reference Library; the books/archives of Halifax Antiquarians, and last but not least, the archives and books of Halifax Scientific Society. Apparently one councillor looked at our book cases and assumed these was the whole of the the three collections!
The Library Archivist told me there are over 3,000,000 items in their collection alone, on the top floor of the library.

Anyway, many of us may not see it happen. We must be stoical and keep on meeting, recording and reporting on scientific subjects including Natural History while keeping our options open about the future. We survived a major upheaval in the early 1980s when our predecessors moved everything down from the old Central Library at Belle Vue near Peoples Park. We can survive this as well.
Steve Blacksmith, Chair.






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