Campaigners fighting for libraries in Sheffield to remain open have gathered petitions containing more than 5,000 signatures, which they will present to the council in January, according to the Yorkshire Post.
The move comes as Sheffield city council considers plans to reduce the number of libraries it supports, leaving only the city’s Central Library and 11 others continuing to run in their current form, with five more becoming "community libraries" that receive council funding for running costs but not staff. The remaining 11 libraries would face closure unless they are taken over by volunteer groups.
Patrick Black, from Sheffield Communities Against Library Privatisation, has spoken out against the council’s proposals, saying: “Once a library closes, it will be hard to re-open it. Once a library is run by volunteers, standards will decline. Once a library is transferred from council ownership, there is little control over what might be stocked, collected or provided.”
In September, Sheffield City Council revealed that the groups interested in keeping open the 16 library branches threatened with closure included companies who suggested combining library services with a wine bar, as well as community groups.