YOUR Opinion column in the October 2 issue of the Hereford Times must have raised a few eyebrows besides mine; so local libraries "have been a quiet success story!"

No doubt it is good that private individuals are doing their best to compensate for a first-rate service (a statutory one at that) which has been grossly underfunded and ultimately decimated by Herefordshire Council.

Herefordshire County Libraries had an international reputation and hosted many British Council librarians to study its method.

Hereford City Library was also highly regarded. Under Hereford and Worcester County Council the service went from strength to strength and it was during their tenure that purpose-built libraries were erected in Leominster and Ross.

A state-of-the-art library was mooted for the Old Market development. In the event library buildings (including Hereford City Library and Museum which had already been declared inadequate to provide the services for which it was built) have been required to house additional services while the library service has been squeezed out.

I feel sorry for the professional librarians who are being required by their political masters to preside over a shambles.

While volunteers may have a place, for example in providing a service like delivering books to the disabled, they should not be replacing professionals.

Would we accept it in other aspects of service such as teaching, adult care, children's services?

And yet the library service contributed by its very nature to all of these activities.

F MILLIGAN Church Road, Hereford