Drama library could be closed

yew tree youth theatre
yew tree youth theatre

A MUSIC and drama library service used by amateur performing groups could be closed down.

The Yorkshire Libraries and Information Council (YLI) plans to shut down the service, which provides subsidised scripts, vocal scores and orchestral music, at Balne Lane Library.

Youngsters applying for drama college use the service to save having to buy costly scripts when preparing their audition pieces.

And the library, which holds around 500,000 items of music and 90,000 play scripts, is used by amateur dramatics groups across the district.

But YLI said falling demand and a loss of income meant the service, which is supported by 12 local authorities including Wakefield, was not financially viable in its current form. All 12 councils supported a decision to end the service, YLI said.

Paul Osborne, manager of Wakefield’s Yew Tree Youth Theatre, said: “It’s an important service.

“A lot of young people have used it in the past to prepare for auditions instead of having to pay for 10 to 12 scripts.”

A statement from YLI said a review was being carried out into future options for the library.

These included dividing it between various library authorities in the county or gifting the collection or parts of it to other councils or community or groups.

The results of the review would be presented on November 3.

The YLI statement said: “Despite cost efficiency measures introduced in 2011-12, reduced income from loans means that there will be a significant shortfall in funding.

“In addition to this the set up costs of an enforced move to new premises would add further to the shortfall.”