Authors show support for their village library

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TWO published writers from Northamptonshire will attend a protest day at their local library to demonstrate against council plans to close the facility.

Eight libraries across the county – including those in St James in Northampton, Moulton, Roade and Woodford Halse – are facing the axe as part of efforts by Northamptonshire County Council to save £73 million.

Residents, literary experts and students have criticised the plans, with county author Alan Moore saying the move threatens to “take literacy away from the people”, and several demonstrations are scheduled to take place around the county in protest at the planned closures.

Roade Library will hold a read-in from 10.30am until 1.30pm on Saturday, February 5, which will be attended by local crime writer Leo McNeir and his cookery writer wife Cassandra.

The read-in – part of a national day of protest against cuts in library services – will include readings and a talk from Leo, and local residents are encouraged to attend to show their support.

Paula Davies, chair of the Friends of Roade Library, said the committee contested both the closure of the library and the savings the council claimed it would make. She said: “The library is at the heart of the village. It’s not just about books. Visitors can attend reading groups, author visits, recitals and computer classes, as well as Rhyme Time sessions and homework clubs for the children. It would be devastating for the community if the library were to close.

“Once a library has been closed there will never be enough money in the county council kitty to re-open, so we would like to know what the council is likely to do with a site such as ours in Roade if they do decide to close it.”

Further protests are planned at Moulton Library from 10am today and at St James Library from noon today. A read-in is also planned at St James Library for February 5, with writer Alan Moore.