Buckinghamshire library emptied in cuts protest

Children with empty library shelves Residents have spent the past week withdrawing their maximum allowance of books

Library-users have emptied a town's library of books in protest against plans to close it down.

People have taken their maximum allowance of books from Stony Stratford library, Milton Keynes - clearing all 16,000 volumes from its shelves.

Milton Keynes Council is considering closing the library within its draft plans to save £26m in 2011/12.

Friends of Stony Stratford Library (FOSSL) said they were amazed at how everyone had pulled together.

'Clever idea'

Emily Malleson of FOSSL added that she calculated that books had been checked out at a rate of around 378 per hour.

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

"I think it's a very simple but clever idea and it's given something that people can act on and make their voice heard.

"It shows it's such an important part of the community and well-used by everyone and not just for books - for DVDs, computers, spoken work.

"The amount of support is just staggering."

More than 500 supporters have joined a Facebook page and there is also a written petition and an online petition against the proposed closure.

The council's final budget is due to be decided on 22 February.

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