Library users hug to show their support

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Book-lovers in the county hugged their local libraries to show affection and support for the services they offer.

A range of activities at libraries in Northamptonshire took place on Saturday to mark National Libraries Day.

The events were special for many as last year eight libraries in the county were under threat of closure as part of Northamptonshire County Council’s budget cuts.

Following tireless campaigning by residents, they were saved from the immediate axe but the authority is hoping to recruit an army of volunteers to run them to save funds.

The Friends of Irchester Library, which was among those earmarked for closure last year, physically hugged the building. The library also held a Nintendo DS Swap Shop and cake sale on the day.

Jon Steggles attended the library with son Charlie, four.

Mr Steggles, of Woollaston Road, Irchester, said: “It is a pity this has to be done because they are an essential part of the community. It’s a meeting place for people and a great resource for books.”

Veronica Lane, library supervisor at Irchester, said: “I think people think, because of the publicity last year, that the libraries are saved – they are not. We will be under threat for the next two or three years depending on how we perform, the number of visitors, the number of books borrowed.”

The celebrations also took place in Burton Latimer, where there was a family story session, and in Raunds Library which held card-making and a cake stall.

Members of Oakley Vale Women’s Institute baked “Love your Library” cupcakes for the event in Corby Library, where competitions for youngsters also took place.

Carolyn Reynolds, secretary of the WI group, said: “The manager of the library got in touch with our president to invite us to come along, as we are known for our cakes, to support the library which we are very proud of because libraries are invaluable for us all.”