MORE than 70 people protesters outside Bolton Central Library against plans to close some of the borough’s branches.

Children, pensioners and parents were joined by trade unions and library staff on Saturday as they chanted: “Read all about it, they are going to shut our libraries down.”

Shoppers stopped at the protest, which was on of many taking place across the country, to sign a petition against the closures.

Martin Challender, of the Bolton Metro branch of Unison, said: “There has been an excellent turnout, with 75 people attending. Users and staff are very concerned about these proposals. They will affect all groups, children, students, people who need the internet, the unemployed.

“But protests like these work, libraries have been saved by people who have campaigned against the closure of libraries.”

Many users spoke of their upset.

Mary Carter, aged 59, of Astley Bridge, said: “Five generations of my family have used the library.

“I use it and when I was younger I used it do my homework there.

“To take away that pleasure and happiness from families is criminal.

“Libraries are a lifeline for the community.”

Alwynne Cartmell, of the Bolton branch of the National Union of Teachers, said closing libraries would set a dangerous precedent for the country’s heritage and warned museums could be next.

She added it could impact on education standards in Bolton.

Seven-year-old Georjia Tighe from Heaton said: “I am here to help save the libraries.

“Libraries are very important — they have books and information. I will be very upset if they close.” Val Chadwick, library assistant at Little Lever added: “I feel stunned at the news to close libraries. They are essential.” A public meeting will take place on Monday, March 14 at 6pm at Bolton Central Library as part of the campaign to protect Bolton’s libraries from the axe