The fight to save one of Cardiff's oldest public buildings from demolition is being taken to the Welsh Assembly Government.
The building was one of the earliest libraries to be built in the city
A developer has submitted two bids to Cardiff council to turn the 106-year-old building, which used to be Grangetown library, into flats.
The higher bid is to demolish it but the council wants assembly government permission to accept the lower bid, which is to convert the building.
Residents want it kept for public use.
The late Victorian building was left empty after the library moved to a new home in September.
Cardiff council said at its last executive meeting that a bid was accepted from the highest tender.
A spokesman said: "This tenderer made two bids - the highest bid was for demolition and the second highest bid was for conversion of the building into flats.
"Cardiff council wants to accept the second, lower bid as this would retain the building.
"As it wishes to accept a bid below the highest offer the council needs the consent of the Welsh assembly to do so and a submission to them is currently being prepared."
But this has not satisfied local residents, who still want to keep the building in Redlaver Street for community use.
Yun Yun Herbert who lives nearby said: "We started a campaign to save the building to make sure no one knocked it down.
"And although the council are trying to stop that happening, it seems it will be turned into flats.
'All my life'
"So although the building will be saved, we are going to lose the public space."
An application to turn the building into a community centre was put forward by a Buddhist group but it was not accepted.
Ms Herbert added: "It is such a shame to lose such a building for the public."
Eileen Breslin from the Grangetown Historical Society is among those campaigning to save the building for public use.
"It is such a beautiful building is should be for the community," she said.
"I have lived here all my life in this house overlooking the old library and it means so much to a lot of people.
"We want it as a community building, not as flats," she added.