CAMPAIGNERS chanted slogans, waved banners and beeped their horns as part of a sit-in protest in a Southampton library.

Southampton City Council has announced it will cease running five library buildings and mobile services next year, sparking anger and criticism from campaigners.

Members of the Southampton People's Assembly Against Austerity sat on the floor of the Burgess Road library reading their favourite books while others were stood outside holding banners and chanting "save our library".

Group chair Glyn Oliver said he wants to see a vital community service stay exactly how it is.

He said: "As good as voluntary groups are they just do not have the skilled training of library professionals.

"My wife is a librarian and I think the work she does is incredible.

"What the government doesn't seem to understand as if these libraries are forced to close it will have a big effect on our community."

The group hopes that by getting members of the public and library visitors to sign their petitions it will raise the awareness of how vital these services are to the people of Southampton.

Fellow member of the people's assembly, Sean Cannon, said people do not take into account the part-time library visitor.

He said: "Governments and councils just look at libraries which have little foot fall based on books borrowed and Internet usage.

"What they do not think about is the passer by who asks for directions, the children's activity groups, the school trips.

"All of this will be effect if the library closes."

Labour culture chief Satvir Kaur told the Daily Echo that a review showed the city council could not justify keeping the libraries due to costs.

She said: “We can no longer afford to fund a lot of things.”