Southampton to protest on library closures

Southampton to protest on library closures

Library campaigners in Southampton are urging members of the public to join in a public protest against library cuts in the city, which could see five libraries closed.

Campaigners are planning to assemble in the city at 1p.m. on 18th March, and stage a march to the civic offices ahead of the council's next full meeting.

According to the Daily Echo, marchers will wear black and carry books, and after the march will stage a silent read-in on the steps of the civic centre.

The council is looking for volunteer groups to take on the running of five of the city's 12 libraries. If community groups do not come forwards, then the libraries could close their doors for good. Alongside those cuts, the city's mobile library is also on the chopping block, while the equivalent of 6.6 fulltime jobs would be lost. The council believes the cuts will save £303,000 from its annual budget.

Meanwhile in County Durham, library users are being asked their views on becoming involved in the running of the service.

The public sessions, which will take place in communities around the county, are being organised by the East Durham Trust charity. Chief executive Malcolm Fallow told the Northern Echo: “In recent times the opening hours of local libraries have been cut and in some cases libraries have been closed down. Whilst there is no imminent threat to local libraries, continued austerity measures and public spending cuts suggest that it would be wise to consider all future possibilities."