A GANG of youths terrorised library staff with a torrent of abuse before attempting to set fire to the building’s roof, according to reports.

The group even ran inside Lordshill Library and attempted to set fire to the carpet with staff and visitors inside, according to one source.

It forced civic chiefs to shut the library early, in a bid to deter the “cheap-thrill-seeking” youths.

The facility was closed at 5pm on Tuesday, rather than the usual time of 7pm.

Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for communities and leisure, said the library has suffered a recent spate of anti-social behaviour.

“It has really upset me,” she said.

“I believe that libraries are a real community asset.

“We (the council) work very hard to provide that asset and keep them running for the benefit of local people.

“So it’s upsetting when teenagers who are predominantly seeking a cheap thrill ruin it for everyone else.”

The Labour councillor added that the decision to close the library was “regrettable”.

But she said that the abuse of any council employee was “unacceptable” and that safety of library staff and users was “absolutely paramount”.

She also moved to reassure residents that the authority was working closely with the police in an attempt to stamp out the anti-social behaviour.

Police have confirmed they are the investigating the incident, which they say took place between 10.20am and 10.40am.

They attended the scene after a 16-year-old boy entered the library and caused a disturbance.

The teenager was then asked by staff to leave the premises.

A police spokesperson said:“We are working with staff at the library to tackle this and have increased patrols in the area.”

A council spokesperson said: “Lordshill Library has had a number of occurrences in recent weeks where a small group of individuals have been aggressive, confrontational and caused damage to the library.

“There was one such incident on Tuesday, and there was a risk of further incidents later in the evening, so it was closed to ensure safety of staff and users.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting 44180029251.