PROTESTERS linked arms to form a human chain around one of Bolton’s under-threat libraries.

The mass demonstration took place at Bromley Cross Library.

More than 4,000 people — which is 30 per cent of the people living in the area — have already signed a petition against the closure of the “well-used” library.

Rallied by pensioner Janet Allison, who has single- handedly organised the campaign, the protest on Thursday evening attracted more than 150 people, despite strong winds and heavy rain.

The 65-year-old said: “We’re quite a small community and it is a small library but it is so well used. There are all sorts of activities going on.

“There must be a better way of cutting costs than removing books from society.”

Ward councillor David Greenhalgh said: “There were children, young parents and pensioners there.

“It shows the strength of feeling from every part of the community.”

Bromley Cross is one of 10 libraries under threat of closure as part of Bolton Council’s programme to save £60 million over two years.

In January, the executive approved a review and reorganisation of the borough’s library service to potentially contribute £400,000 to £500,000 to those savings.

Central Library in Le Mans Crescent, as well as Farnworth, Westhoughton, Horwich, Blackrod and Little Lever libraries, are all safe.

But nine libraries — Astley Bridge, Breightmet, Bromley Cross, Castle Hill, Harwood, Heaton, High Street, Orchards and Oxford Grove — face closure under the proposals.

Residents in Astley Bridge, Harwood and Breightmet have also collected signatures and last month the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign lobbied councillors outside the Town Hall.

Last week, a petition with almost 15,000 signatures was handed over to council bosses.

The council will announce its final plans later this year.