CONGRATULATIONS to the new leader of Darlington council, Councillor Steve Harker, for seeing common sense in saving the Crown Street library (Echo, Sept 4).

I hope the council cabinet will endorse his view, especially as these are troubled times for our high streets.

Footfall is of vital importance for the survival of towns and the library can still play its part in attracting footfall as an information, arts, cultural and heritage hub.

Its purpose needs to be central to the community offering access to information on all aspects and accessibility to the internet for those who do not have computers.

Also it needs to act as a tourist information centre – this function is already embedded in the general public’s mind when they want to access information on an area and its facilities in other towns.

It is evident that the function of the lending library is decreasing but it is not beyond the wit of man/women to redesign the library inside fit for 21st Century use.

A central café with performing area and all round display integral to all parts of the library would be a boon!

It could display not only the local collection but art of national significance.

This could further attract footfall and a display of the heritage of Darlington, which is currently squirrelled away in other collections, could be brought out from storage.

These artefacts will no doubt have national significance with the coming of the railway celebrations in 2025.

The library therefore could play its part in attracting those interested to the town. The saving of the local history archives is important.

The Dolphin Centre idea was inadequate to say the least as not only would the archives suffer from being transported but research would be stunted for academics, students and the wider general public who are studying aspects of their interest in family trees.

Let’s hope the library will be redesigned and saved for future generations to admire this architectural wonder.

Jean Kirkland, (Local Historian), Darlington