'Clear the shelves' library protest plan

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


PROTESTERS are urging people to clear the shelves at Newport Library as a defiant gesture in the face of proposed cuts.

Inspired by the residents of Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, who borrowed 16,000 books from their library in protest at its impending closure, protesters say the time has come for direct action.

The Isle of Wight Council's plan to save money by closing nine out of the Island's 11 libraries — believed to be the worst library cuts in the country — have sparked a wave of angry protests across the Island.

Ventnor town councillor David George, who is helping to lead the clearance of Newport Library, said: "There is a lot of anger about the damage being proposed to the library service and this will give people an opportunity to do something to show how they feel.

The plan is for library users to descend on Newport Library at 10am on Saturday and take out as many books as they can. It is hoped the empty shelves will serve as a stark warning of what will happen if the council's proposed closures go ahead.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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