Concerned villagers have handed in a petition following the sudden closure of the library in Seahouses.
The document was handed in to a county council officer by parents and children yesterday afternoon – which was the branch’s final day.
The facility, located in the grounds of the village’s first school, had to be closed urgently on safety grounds after the building was found to have serious defects.
Alternatives have been put in place. Seahouses Development Trust will host a limited supply of books and public access computers, which can be used free of charge.
The community centre will offer library services from early November, from 10am until 4pm, four days a week and library users can return their books to the Development Trust and to the mobile library, which stops at the Trust’s car park every other Saturday, from 9.45am to 11.45am.
However, Seahouses resident Judy Cowen said: “The closure is devastating. Library users young and old from Belford, Bamburgh, Seahouses, North Sunderland, Beadnell, Ellingham, Elford, Lucker and other hamlets turned up in force yesterday to say that another library premises is needed in Seahouses.”
Coun John Woodman, ward member for Bamburgh, said: “It is sad that the library has closed, but I don’t think the county council had an alternative. The current situation is not a long-term solution and we will try to work out a long-term fix.”
No date has been set to demolish the library building at the school site, but the clearance will be carried out as soon as possible.