BOOK lovers took to the streets of Southampton in a bid to protect closure-threatened libraries.

Around 150 residents, from children to pensioners, representing numerous facilities walked through the city centre in dignified silent protest.

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They wore black and carried books, many with library protest themed handwritten titles like Wind in the Library, The Importance of Libraries, The Famous 5 Libraries, A Brief History of Libraries and A Tale of Two Libraries.

Other carried placards which held messages like 'let our libraries live', 'Save Cobbett' and 'Love our Libraries'.

They walked from the Bargate down past West Quay Shopping Centre ending up at the civic offices where protestors sat on the steps with their books reading as councillors entered for a full council meeting.

Campaigners are protesting at Southampton City Council's review of library services that could threaten five libraries with closure - a public consultation has just finished.

Rachel Hickman, secretary of the Friends of Cobbett Road Library, said : "I hope the council will finally agree to look at some different options without closing them or handing them to the community.

"It shows the strength of feeling."

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