“BRING on round two” - that is the message from library lovers across Southampton who have vowed to again fight any plans to close their cherished facilities, less than a year after previous plans to cut the service were shelved.

The city’s 11 libraries face an uncertain future after city council chiefs announced this week that they intend to begin a 12-month review into their future.

They have refused to rule out the possibility that the review, which would begin in April, could result in the closure of some libraries.

Campaigners say they will fight any attempt to close libraries, describing them as “vital” services and “pillars” of communities across Southampton.

There was an outcry last year when the Labour administration unveiled plans to cut opening times at libraries by more than 50 per cent in some branches and slash the new books budget by £50,000.

Even TV nature presenter Chris Packham joined the campaign at his local branch, at Cobbett Road Library in Bitterne, describing the cost-cutting plans as “short-termist lunacy”.

Eventually, after the council received an unexpected windfall of Government cash, the reduction in hours was reduced to between five and ten hours a week in eight libraries.

But with the council still having to make further cuts of £48m by 2016/17, fresh concerns have now been raised over the future of libraries after the announcement of the review.

When the Daily Echo asked Cabinet member for resources, Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews, whether the review could result in the closure of libraries, he said: “We’re going at it with an open mind and a blank piece of paper.”

He added: “We are undertaking the review so we can change the format of libraries. We are going to look at what options are available.”

Library user Ann MacGillivray, who campaigned against the reduction in hours at Cobbett Road approved by the council earlier this year, said: “I would fight any attempt to close libraries. They are vital to helping people to get into work, and it would send out completely the wrong message to be closing them.

“I think that libraries, rather than having funding withdrawn, are resource bases enabling people to help each other and should see more investment.

“They are integral parts of healthy communities.”

Dr Denis Nicole, a course leader in digital systems engineering at the University of Southampton, said: “My view is there should be more libraries, not less – they are pillars of the community.”