Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has signed a petition calling on Manchester City Council to halt plans to pulp some 300,000 books in its £150m refurbishment of Manchester’s Central Library.
A protest campaign against the action is being led by publisher Kevin Duffy of Bluemoose Books and the author Melvin Burgess.
The plans emerged after information about the council's plans for the library's stock was sent to local press. Allegations were made that under the new design there was not enough shelf space to take the stock.
Duffy has accused the council of “cultural vandalism on an industrial scale”, saying that there should have been a public consultation first “to decide what is relevant, what is essential and what should stay”.
City council head of libraries Neil MacInnes says that a team of five, experienced librarians is going carefully through the stock. He told the BBC: “Despite the alarmist claims which are being made in some quarters, we can reassure people that all rare, valuable, historic and local history collections will be kept . . . The idea that the library will be saying goodbye to valuable stock is just plain wrong.”