The closing of rural libraries is an ongoing back beat, alongside post offices and banks, in the tune of rural change. Looks like the situation is becoming quite acute in Northamptionshire. This article tells us:

Proposals to axe more than half of Northamptonshire’s public libraries have been denounced by readers and authors. Up to 28 of the county’s 36 libraries could be closed if the plans get the go-ahead. The move has been branded “monstrous” by Watchmen creator Alan Moore.

Northamptonshire county council, which needs to claw back £115m in savings over the next four years, has launched a consultation on the future of its library service. Three options have been put forward: two would shut the doors of 21 libraries; the third would close 28, leaving only eight branches open.

A proposal from Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Stanbra to halt cuts to the libraries service was rejected by the county council last week. “We wanted them to add a fourth option, which said ‘keep libraries as they are’, but the Conservatives voted against that,” Stanbra said. “At the moment, the consultation is giving the choice of three options, all of which involve the closure of libraries.”

Stanbra said he doubted that the council would be able to provide the statutory requirement of a comprehensive and efficient public library service if 21 branches closed. “All of the libraries left would be in the larger urban centres, and this is quite a rural county,” he said. “People here are definitely against the closure of libraries … [they] are the heart of communities.”

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