LIBRARY campaigners have joined forces to fight Kirklees Council cuts.
Officials plan to remove paid staff from seven village centres and replace them with volunteers.
Kirklees Save Our Services (KSOS) is organising opposition to the plan, which would affect libraries in Slaithwaite, Golcar, Lepton, Honley, Denby Dale, Shepley and Kirkheaton.
The group has called a public meeting on May 17 ahead of a planned protest at Huddersfield Town Hall.
KSOS secretary Bradley Chambers said: “The plan by the council is no less ludicrous than it sounds. It would be completely unsustainable.
“To suggest that trained and highly-skilled professional paid library staff can be readily replaced by volunteers is an insult.
“Libraries offer infinitely more than simply a place to borrow books. Modern libraries are places of research, for people to access computers and the internet, lending facilities for audio visual materials and venues for local groups to meet.
“They also form a reliable community resource, much needed in smaller towns and villages.
“Yet Kirklees has a £12m underspend even after having made substantial cuts and savings. This cut is completely unnecessary.”
KSOS will meet at 7pm on Thursday, May 17 at the Albert Hotel. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group plans to protest at the next monthly council meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall from 4.30pm on May 23.
KSOS’s campaign is backed by Save Slaithwaite Library, whose members were collecting signatures against the council’s plan on Monday.
June Jones, of Save Slaithwaite Library, said: “We believe that the proposal to replace professional library staff with volunteers is not sustainable and is likely to lead to library closures.
“Since January, a few hundred names have been collected on a paper petition in the shops and on an online petition.
“We are calling on all those involved in the seven library campaigns, members of the public, and librarians throughout to lobby Kirklees on May 23. Please bring your voices, banners, placards and petitions.”