LAST Tuesday's news that Darlington council's new leader was preparing to reverse the plan to relocate the library to the Dolphin leisure centre and shut the historic library building sparked an immense response online. Here, to give a flavour of the reaction, is a selection of comments posted on the Echo's website and on our social media sites.

BRILLIANT news for our historic library, and a huge vote of thanks to the wonderful library staff who despite all the uncertainty hanging over them for so long, have carried on in their excellent professional way, always offering outstanding help, information and assistance.

We must all support this wonderful service. We don't want a help yourself facility for choosing our books. We want what we already have – a dedicated well informed team of librarians who are happy to engage, communication is at the heart of literature. We must not risk losing the facilities which make Darlington the town is it is today.

Patricia Woods

AT last common sense prevails. I just hope DBC carry out a sympathetic heritage refurbishment, not some hotch-potch of modern restyling by architects!

Carolyn Cliff

TOO little, too late – the town is already deserted.

Stephen Cartwright

WHAT an absolute plot twist! Didn’t see that coming at all. What a waste of two years and legal costs.

Natalie Ann Frame

I DON'T use the library but understand it is very popular. Brave decision to overturn their original proposal. For those who have campaigned to keep it open well done. However don't moan if and when other non critical services are cut.

Paul David Hamilton

It HAS taken over a year to do what the people wanted in the first place. I wonder how much money was wasted in that time in council meetings and court cases.

Paul Lamb

BEST news for Darlington for a long time. Common sense has prevailed.

Myra Apps

FANTASTIC, well done to everyone who fought to save it!

Kathleen Foster

ABOUT time! Someone from our council has seen the light. This town belongs to us as well so well done. Now go to phase two and remove all double yellow lines and charges for parking near the town centre.

Stan Raper

THE people of this town must have mixed emotions since the council's announcement: such joy at the announcement of “Keeping It At Crown Street” and such trepidation for the staff, our library's future, the internal changes proposed to the Grade II listed building and whatever else we are not in direct control of.

The last two plus years have been like waiting for a thief in the night so it will be a while before people can sit back, relax and trust that the council has only good intentions which are in line with the people’s wishes for our library.


IN two minds about this. I appreciate the building but at the same time if services can be offered cheaper in the Dolphin Centre, what's the long term benefit? I can't help but feel it's a decision made with the heart rather than the head. Spending £2m on a listed building won't go far.


I JUST wonder if it is not a gambit to get the council some votes in the short term. It is by no means clear as to just what the council’s intentions are for this historic asset. It is almost as if the council is toying with the staff and the public.

Sined 67

I FIRST started going to the library with my father, I was six years old, I still visit regularly in my 70s.

Malcolm Cummins

WOW! It seems like we have a councillor leader who maybe willing to listen to the town’s people. Let’s give this guy a chance and build on making this town great again.


SOUNDS like plenty to smile about – a member of the council who represents the people and is carrying out the people’s wishes (well done, Stephen Harker). Two initiatives which will encourage me to go into town again: the library (and the great local studies room) and the free two hours parking. Even Edward Pease can raise a flagon!


ANOTHER white rabbit pulled out of the hat to butter us all up before the local election in eight months. Just remember what we’ve had to put up with over the past five years.

Who do think you're kidding

WHY has there just been a court case in the High Court in Leeds paid for by council taxpayers at great expense, and then a change of heart now? Would it not have been wiser to concede to the protestors’ court action sooner?

I find it hard to accept there were ever alternative uses for the building – only for the land on which it stands.

Nige Boddy

DARLINGTON’S Labour-led council has reversed its decision to save its own skin in the forthcoming elections. It did not do it because it had a re-think and realised the public were right. The party should now come clean on how much it has spent on this shambles and issue a public apology. The general public should seek their vengeance on Labour and ensure they are annihilated at the ballot box.

Roll on 29 March 2019

THREATEN to close everything, then only close only part of what you were threatening to close: the public feels relief, the people in power get what they wanted.


CONGRATULATIONS to all the people who fought so hard to keep our library. A victory for common sense.

Now after the reprieve for Binns, can we ask the new listening council leader to re-establish Darlington as a market town by moving the outside market to the Market Place, and to make improvements to the indoor market, especially to provide toilets.

Can this be implemented sooner than later, possibly before the election, so that I can consider who to vote for. Even at this late stage, I could be swayed!


IT is still very hard to fathom why the future of our fabulous library was ever a question to be asked. It is a vital part of the cultural DNA of the town and we will be poorer without it.

I used the library every week until 16, starting with the children’s section and ending with the main library, taking three books every time. The breadth of reading was impressive and hugely educational.

The modern world might have changed education and reading but the library is still the centre of it. Reference, lending, IT, or the superb events are all important to bring us together and maintain the cultural DNA of the town.


GOOD news indeed. Glad the council has come to its senses, at last.

Time for the library to start promoting itself as the centre of the town. Exhibitions, events, children's reading hours, tourist information office, Citizens Advice, groups of all kinds using it as a meeting place.

Railway heritage should be at the forefront of anything to do with the town. We have neglected it so much.

And why not a cafe? It works in town libraries all over the country. Get with the programme, DBC!

The library staff's behaviour in all this has been exemplary.

Now can we take the fight to Amazon? This company has a poor track record on all fronts. It is sucking the life out of our high streets, and losing job opportunities in small shops and businesses.


THANKFULLY DBC has listened and made the right decision. It now owes it to everyone to reverse the negative publicity it has given the library and should actively promote its presence, not just in Darlington but the whole of the region.

I have used many libraries throughout the North-East and Scotland in researching family history. Crown Street has one of the best facilities for this growing pastime.

A cafe is also a definite requirement that would further promote it as a hub for many activities.


I could not agree more with this (Ten ways to boost library, Echo Sept 5). Library services need transformation to meet modern needs, just like our High Street. All of these easy-to-do options would require little money or knocking down walls, which is what seems to be on the current agenda.

The council requires most a change of heart and attitude. Heritage, sense of belonging, community, pride in the town, the past, all binds people together. It does not seem to be fashionable among policy makers these days, but this is what the people want, especially in this digital age when everything changes so fast.


A POLAR bear was spotted in the James Cook Museum in Middlesbrough which bore a striking resemblance to the one that used to call Darlington museum home (Echo, Sept 5). Was it the same one, and if so can we have him back for the library?

Scotty Trotter