Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire libraries 'good for communities'

A Warwickshire librarian has criticised plans to close 16 libraries in the county and insisted the buildings are about more than just books.

Corinne Harvey, a divisional library manager for the county council, said the libraries were put to community use as well and should be saved.

More than 80 events are being held across the UK in protest over threatened library closures.

Ms Harvey said: "It is about community space where people can come along to."

She added: "I think that's the most important thing about it."

Budgets reduced

The Conservative-run county council has said it has to reduce its budget by up to £60m across all services, and must cut £2m from its £7.4m Libraries and Information Service budget.

Councillor Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for customers, workforce and partnerships, said a review of the libraries network and opening times was taking place, with consultations being held.

"It is a stark fact that 90% of our library visitors use only half of our libraries," he said.

The council operates 34 libraries.

The 16 library buildings facing closure have been identified as being "no longer sustainable in their current form".

They are: Baddesley, Harbury, Bedworth Heath, Hartshill, Bidford on Avon, Henley in Arden, Binley Woods, Keresley, Bulkington, Kineton, Camp Hill, Kingsbury, Dordon, Studley, Dunchurch and Water Orton.

Other libraries could have their opening hours cut.

A report will be considered by councillors on 1 March.

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