THE Northern Echo’s campaign to save Crown Street Library has attracted more than 1,700 supporters.

People from around the world have flocked to join the protest against cuts to library services in Darlington, sending support from as far away as Canada.

The campaign asks readers to sign and send in coupons registering their support for the library.

At last week’s most recent count, 1,731 coupons and letters had been received – with more flowing into the Northern Echo offices daily.

Along with Cockerton Library and the town’s mobile library, Crown Street faces closure as part of a proposed programme of swingeing budget cuts.

Darlington Borough Council plan to spend £1.1million moving resources from the Grade II listed building to the Dolphin Centre in an effort to sustain the future of both services.

The campaign to save the library has attracted the support of hundreds of people, including acclaimed authors Philippa Gregory, Anne Fine and Gervase Phinn.

Two respondents from Toronto, Canada, showed their interest in the market town’s plight by sending signed coupons on a ten-hour flight over 3,000 miles to the Echo offices.

Letters from closer to home expressed strong opposition to the closing of the library.

Margaret Gailbraith wrote: “The library should be saved because it is the people’s place to come and read and cultivate interest in all subjects, which is why it was gifted to them by the Pease family in the first place.

“If I was a member of Darlington council I would gladly give up a year’s salary to do so”.

Other members of the public wrote to say how they had used the library since they were children and were now elderly, praising the library for facilitating their love of books and celebrating the history of the Victorian building.

Youngsters from across the town have produced posters and drawings to show their support.

Five-year-old Lucy McCallien wrote: “Dear council. Please don’t close my library because I love reading books”.

Scarlet Stevens, aged nine, wrote: “I love my library and don’t make people sad by closing it.

“It’s a beautiful place to go when you’re angry or upset.

“It is a peaceful place where people can read books and have peace. It won’t be the same in the Dolphin Centre.”

Coupons can also be found online and should be signed and returned to The Northern Echo, Priestgate, Darlington, DL1 1NF, or handed into the offices’ main reception.