Hundreds of residents joined a book raid at Broomfield Library last Saturday, with another book raid taking place at Galleywood Library this Saturday February 2 between 10.00 – 13.00.
It comes as campaigners against library closures from across the county prepare to gather in Chelmsford on Saturday 9th February.
Assembling in the county town’s High Street by the Saracen’s Head at midday, they will march on County Hall.
Essex County Council plan to axe twenty-four libraries, a third of the total. Campaigners say another eighteen are in danger of closing under the plans, describing Essex County
Council plans to run them voluntarily as “unsustainable”.
One of the Broomfield book raid’s organisers Broomfield parish councillor Angela Thomson said: “The book raid went very well with a steady flow of Broomfield people coming along & borrowing up to 14 books, DVDs, audio books over 3 hours.
“Many said they would hate the library to close, with helpful staff and IT access, which they don’t have at home, being mentioned. Children love borrowing books every week & rhyme times, the elderly know it’s a safe warm place to be to read the newspapers.
“A number of people belong to book groups as well. It is a community hub. Please Cllr Barker reconsider shutting down this and all the other Essex Libraries under threat.
“One of my friends said we are entering a new Dark Age with councillors who seem to be Essex Philistines.”
The Galleywood book raid is organised by Galleywood Library users and being supported by SOLE.
On the event’s Facebook event page a book raid is described as having been: “Held in other libraries in the county facing closure, with hundreds of library users taking part at the likes of Hockley and Colchester.”
“The idea is for library users to turn up on mass and withdraw their maximum entitlement of 14 books.
“The raids have been well received by users and staff, and generated much publicity and awareness.”