Libraries in Barnsley at risk of closure

Image caption,
A campaigner described Worsbrough Library as the "lifeblood of the village"

Several libraries in the Barnsley area could be axed in a shake-up of council services to be decided next month.

One council employee told BBC News that up to eight libraries, including one in Worsbrough, could be closed.

Barnsley council confirmed it was reviewing its libraries along with its Barnsley Connects advice service.

The council said no decision would be made on which libraries or Connects offices would be affected until it met in December to discuss the plans.

Worsbrough library supporter Eric Fearn said the library was the "lifeblood of the village".

"Our library is in full use every day it opens and it would be a tragedy for the whole area if it were to close.

"There is no way a long trip to the town centre library or a mobile library could ever seriously be regarded as a proper effort to provide a vital service."

The campaign to fight the closures has won support from poet and broadcaster Ian MacMillan.

He said: "Libraries help people to define themselves and to see what they might become.

"They're vital socially and educationally and it's hard to put a price on the cost to society if they're closed."

A Barnsley council statement said: "All libraries and Barnsley Connects offices are currently being reviewed.

"As part of the Access to Services Strategy those libraries where there are Connects offices in the same vicinity will be joined together only if they remain in use following decisions by the council in December.

"No decisions have yet been made on the future of any libraries and Connects offices other than that."

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