Thursday 25 May 2017

Library emptied in closure fight

A person walks past empty shelves at the library in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes
A person walks past empty shelves at the library in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes
Three children join the protest to save the library

A town has emptied its library in a bid to fight plans to close it down.

People in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, have spent the week withdrawing their maximum allowance of books in protest against council plans to close it as part of budget cuts.

And they said the plan had been a success, with all 16,000 books withdrawn from the library.

As they celebrated the empty shelves, Emily Malleson from Friends of Stony Stratford Library (FOSSL) said they were amazed at how everyone in the town had pulled together.

She said it was calculated that books were being checked out at a rate of around 378 per hour - smashing the usual rates.

"A local resident mentioned the idea, maybe as a bit of a joke, but we thought it was a great idea so we put it to FOSSL," she said.

"I went home, put it on Facebook and emailed everyone I could think of and it's just gone absolutely mad."

They planned to start the campaign on Wednesday, but keen supporters of the library started taking books out the week before.

And in just over a week, the shelves were emptied, with the final books withdrawn on Friday.

"People were going in last night to get books and there weren't any left, "she said.

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