CAMPAIGNERS battling to save a closure-threatened library have begun a week of events aimed at furthering their cause.

The library in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, will be closed if a community-led solution for its future operation cannot be found.

Among the activities planned by the Keep it Public campaign group is the formation of a human book chain, around the library, which will be held at 6pm, on Thursday.

Fears over the library’s future were raised last year when North Yorkshire County Council announced plans to reduce spending on library services in response to public spending cuts.

The plans, which could have seen the closure of half of the council’s 42 libraries, were so unpopular that bosses were forced into a rethink.

Revised plans, that could ultimately see the closure of socalled “category three” libraries, including Great Ayton, were subsequently unveiled.

Alison Jarvis, from the campaign group, said: “We are asking people to give just half an hour of their time to show their support for our library.

If possible, bring a book from the library with you.”

The group’s last public event was an outdoor singalong, which attracted dozens of people, despite heavy rain.

Campaigners hope for a bigger turn-out on Thursday.

The group yesterday handed a 978-signature petition, in support of the library, to the council’s committee for Hambleton.

Ms Jarvis said the decision process had been flawed and did not fully take into account the views of the 800 children in the catchment area.

Julie Blaisdale, the council’s assistant director of library services, said the council tried to consult the greatest number of people possible and had received a strong response from children in Great Ayton.

She said the officers were examining what local organisations have said about an alternative to a council-run library.

She said: “Some of the community engagement ideas have been extremely positive and we feel there is a good community solution.”

Councillor Tim Swales, children’s champion for North Yorkshire, said the number of children in care in the county had risen this year and such issues should take a greater priority than libraries when considering the council’s budget.

A final decision on the future of the closure-threatened libraries will be made in November 22.