Campaign to save libraries ramps up

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CAMPAIGNERS opposed to the planned closures of libraries across the county are planning to step up their fight this week by holding a series of public meetings, ‘read-ins’ and protests.

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

Residents, literary experts and students have all rounded on the planned closures, with county author Alan Moore saying the move threatens to ‘take literacy away from the people’.

Tomorrow, a demonstration will be held at libraries in Moulton and St James with further protests in St James and Roade next Saturday.

Ella Swannell, a founder member of the Friends of Moulton Library, said: “We are very, very passionate about keeping it running.

“It has been there all of my life and it has been part of my family’s life for a long, long time and the community is very strongly in favour of keeping it. We want to keep it open, we really do, because it is so wonderful to so many people.”

Mrs Swannell said the library was used by around 28,000 people last year and hosts more than a dozen local clubs and groups, as well as police and council surgeries.

She added: “We are hoping people will come out, show the strength of feeling for the library. Everyone says their library is important but we feel it is especially important for Moulton.”

The protest will be held at the library from 10am tomorrow.

A protest will also be held at St James Library, Northampton, tomorrow from midday until 2pm, with a read-in then planned for Saturday, February 5, with writer Alan Moore.

Next Saturday villagers in Roade will also hold a read-in, to demonstrate the strength of feeling about the planned closure.

David Meneely, from the Friends of Roade Library group, said: “The library is used, it is used by children in Ashton, Stoke Bruerne and as far away as Hanslope. Our worry as a village is you could end up with lots of nice houses but nothing else here for people to use.”

The read-in will be held from 10.30am until 1.30pm at the library. The county council consultation ends on February 8.