Yorkshire Libraries & Information (YLI) Music and Drama Service in Wakefield, which houses over 500,000 items of music and 90,000 copies of plays will close after 12 councils agreed to the decision, owing to a lack of funding as a result of government cuts.
The YLI argues that loans of scores has declined considerably in the first six months of the year and it has plans to move other sections of the library to a new premises, but there is no space for the Music and Drama Service.
It will likely see the collection divided up between libraries or gifted to other councils or groups.
Making Music, along with the International Association of Music Libraries, has called on musicians for support of their campaign to save what they call one of the most important public collections of music in the country.
They say it offers a valuable resource to young musicians, students and people in their professional music career.
“Many musical works will receive fewer performances; many groups will perform less; many local communities will hear less live music in performance,” Making Music claimed.
“The rule among choirs all over the country is try your local library first, then Wakefield. It will be devastating if that ceases to be the case.” Robin Osterley, chief executive of the organisation told the Guardian.
By yesterday (November 2nd), the campaign had received over 1,000 letters and emails from individuals protesting the closure.
They are also arguing that councils made the decision to close the YLI on September 30th yet only made the information known to the public on October 20th, leaving little time for a consultation and opinions to be heard.
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