PROTESTS were held at a number of closure-threatened libraries in Newcastle at the weekend.
National Libraries Day was marked in the city with a number of events, including readings by crime writers Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves.
Ms Cleeves, whose books were base for hit TV show Vera, joined campaigners at under-threat Cruddas Park Library.
She said: “This place is buzzing. How could anybody want to close this? Especially in Cruddas Park, where many people haven’t got computers at home and they can’t afford books.
“The council will say it’s only a mile and a half into the city centre but for disabled people and kids, that’s a long way to go.”
Award-winning author Val McDermid, who wrote the books on which ITV series Wire In The Blood was based on, said: “It’s nothing short of criminal to close a library in an area like this. In areas of social deprivation, libraries become much more important. This is a place where people come to use the computers and read books. Some people don’t have that at home.”
Newcastle City Council will announce its final decision on the future of libraries on March 6.
Tony Durcan, director of libraries and lifelong learning at the council, said: “Many of our libraries will remain open, operating in the same building as other shared community services, like customer service centres and shared housing schemes, and we hope others will stay open through the support and goodwill of local residents.”