Proposals to cut Leicestershire's £7m libraries' budget have provoked concern from campaigners.
The county council is studying a report which says they could cut hours, be shared with other authorities or be handed over to volunteers to run.
But opponents said libraries were vital to communities and should not be compromised.
The Conservative-run council insisted it was looking for efficiencies which would not damage the service.
Dr Len Holden, of the Harborough Historical Society, said: "We have to have these kinds of services to the community.
"It is not just about collecting rubbish or looking after people who are less able - it is also about providing those spiritual and educational services."
Councillor David Sprason, cabinet member for Adults and Communities at the council, said there were precedents elsewhere
"We have 45 independent museums across the county, providing a fantastic service, run by volunteers.
"That model could be used in libraries - some of the libraries - as the whole approach has to be to look at these in a mix and match way."
The council currently runs 54 permanent and six mobile libraries.