BURLEY Library supporters defied freezing temperatures and snow on Thursday to join hands to show their support for a campaign to save the building.

A hundred people of all ages gathered at Burley Library and linked arms and hands around the building in a show of support for keeping the library in its present building.

Everyone wrapped up warm and circled the 1970s building on the edge of Grange Park. Young and old, friends and neighbours joined together and cheered when the chain was complete.

Niccola Swan, parish councillor and library volunteer, said: “It was really wonderful to see so many people and families turn out to show their enthusiastic support. Our library is a marvellous resource which is getting busier and better all the time - we mustn’t lose it.”

In celebration of World Book Day, library community arts organiser Maddie Coelho created a number of activities and story telling sessions for young children throughout the day. Over 75 children attended the event based on the books of ‘Poles Apart’ and the ‘Water Horse’ and many children dressed as their favourite book characters.

Burley resident Andrea Williams, who is a library user along with her three children, said: "We love our library! It's an everyday part of my children's lives, we go at least once a week - the space is brilliant and it gives them the freedom to explore books in a warm and friendly, purpose-built place next to the park. It's the main link to our community outside of school and we've enjoyed story sessions, chess club , performances and events like the one here today. My outdoorsy children have developed a love of books and reading, it's a place which is so welcoming to them.”

The library became a community library owned by the Parish Council in April 2017 and is now run by over 50 volunteers with one professional part-time librarian. A recent consultation in Burley revealed support to retain the library in its current building and for investment in improvements. However, some members of the parish council believe the library building should be sold to pay for improvements to the Queens Hall.

An organisation called Save Our Library Site has campaigned to retain and improve both buildings, to meet the demands of the growing village population. Burley Parish Council will decide on the future of the library at its meeting on Thursday, March 8, 7.30pm at the Queens Hall in Burley. Burley residents are invited to attend the meeting, to give their views at the beginning and hear the debate.

For more information please contact: Niccola Swan niccola.swan1@btinternet.com 07929 509229