SCC Launch Public Consultation on Closure of William Salt Library and Lichfield Records Office.

Posted by | January 08, 2014 | Latest News | 5 Comments

A proposal made by Staffordshire County Council to centralise Staffordshire’s Archive Service and the William Salt Library Collections has been made public.

Staffordshire County Council would like to hear your views and suggestions about the proposal to bring the William Salt Library and Lichfield Record Office collections under one roof at an extended Staffordshire Record Office site.

Under these proposals there are a number of worrying factors including:

  • The loss of the identity of the William Salt Library which will become indistinguishable from the Record Office; the building itself will be disposed of. It is unclear whether anything resembling a library would be re-invoked.
  • If the proposal goes ahead it is far from clear that users will receive an improved service; the real driver behind the scheme appears to be saving the County Council money and relinquishing responsibility for the Library building.

They would also like to find out what type of activities you would like to see delivered by the Archive Service in the future.

Staffordshire County Council wants to hear what you think!


  • Susan Hawley says:

    The William Salt Library is an old house with limited space and not fit to be brought up to modern standards to house the collections it is custodian of, therefore an extension of the Record Office is an
    excellent Idea.

    • Media Team - SWSL says:

      Good afternoon Susan,

      Thank you for your comments, its always great to see discussion on our site about the proposed changes.

      I would normally respond however I feel that Dr David Jacques has summed up our position on the proposals fantastically, As he has put so well “We do not oppose new accommodation for the collections. What objectors are against is the near extinction of the name William Salt and that there will be no such thing as ‘The William Salt Library’ after the changes.”

      Many Thanks

      The Save William Salt Library Media Team.

  • Hello, James and Sue – I’m chairman of the Friends. I don’t think that many people propose that the Library building should be brought up to modern standards, and most do not oppose new accommodation for the collections. What objectors are against is the near extinction of the name William Salt and that there will be no such thing as ‘The William Salt Library’ after the changes. We believe there are alternatives that keep the identity, but the County Council is not looking for them.

    • Media Team - SWSL says:

      Good afternoon David,

      Firstly I would like to on behalf of to thank you for your support, We agree with all your comments above and are glad to see the Friends of the William Salt are doing what they can to help preserve the only unique collection of its type left in the UK.

      Many Thanks

      SWSL Media Team

  • M. George says:

    I have just listened to the interviews on Radio Stoke today by Dr David Jacques, Chairman of the Friends of the William Salt Library (FWSL and County Cllr. Mike Lawrence, concerning the proposed closure of the Salt Library. As a member of the FWSL Committee and a user of the Archive service for 30 years, I became aware of this issue from the start and would dispute some of Cllr Lawrence’s remarks this morning.
    Firstly he says that the this proposal has been discussed for 2 years and that the FWSL have offered no alternative proposals for the future of the Salt Library. The FWSL first became aware of this issue in November 2012 when it was published in the Staffordshire Newsletter 14 months ago. Despite the prior consultations which must have taken place with the County Council and Archive Dept., the Trustees of the Salt library did not think it fit, or indeed courteous, to include the FWSL in these discussions, even though they are happy to take substantial donations from us every year which we raise to support the Library. I would ask Cllr. Lawrence, and others involved, if you have been holding these discussions for 2 years, why were we not included and had to find out via the local newspaper?
    As for your comment about not puting forward an alternative proposal. Let me say that we have tried repeatedly to be heard just to be repeatedly rebuffed and met with patronising and condescending comments such as, ‘we don’t care what you say we are selling the building and that is that!’
    Secondly, Cllr. Lawrence, if as you stated, the County Council has spent £75,000 per year to maintain the Salt Library building, why is it in such a poor state of repair that plaster from 2 rooms has recently fallen from the ceiling?
    If we had been consulted from the beginning possibly non of this conflict would have arisen. The FWSL have much expertise within its membership including that of archives, fund raising and buildings. All we have ever asked for is the chance be consulted and use our expertise to develop the much needed extra storage and at the same time retain the Salt Library building within Record Office complex thus saving a unique, national, heritage gem.

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