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Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Monday, 17 January 2011
Anglesey campaigners celebrate as four libraries saved

Bangor library
Bangor Library hosts an event with Derek Brockway this week

Campaigners are celebrating after four Anglesey libraries under threat of closure won a reprieve.

The county council had identified Rhosneigr, Moelfre, Cemaes and Newborough libraries as candidates for closure in a cost-cutting package.

But John Rees Thomas, head of the county's library services, confirmed that a recommendation not to close the libraries has been put forward to public consultation.

However, he said if this was rejected then the libraries' future may have to be re-evaluated.

After months of campaigning, Mandi Abrahams of the Friends of Rhosneigr Library is delighted with the news.

"Our building was most at risk because they could have raised capital by selling it," said Mandi.

Her group put forward a number of ideas on how to make the most of the library's facilities.

Those who threaten any library service with cutbacks and closures are the most mindless of demons
Prof David Crystal

"We said we were geographically perfectly placed to serve the whole of the south west of the island," she said.

A trial run of basing tourist information volunteers at the library proved very popular.

As a further boost, liguistics expert and author Prof David Crystal from Holyhead accepted the presidency of Friends of Rhosneigr Library and is giving a talk there on 17 January.

Prof Crystal says: "A library is a refuge, a second home, a leisure centre, a discovery channel, an advice bureau.

"It is a place where you can sit and draw the shelves around you like a warm cloak. Those who threaten any library service with cutbacks and closures are the most mindless of demons."

Deputy Welsh Assembly leader and Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones with some of Rhosneigr's library staff
Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones visited Rhosneigr in December 2010

In neighbouring Gwynedd there are no plans to close libraries and their role is being celebrated in the Welsh Assembly-sponsored Welsh libraries festival.

On Saturday, 22 January, BBC Wales weatherman, Derek Brockway, will be in Bangor library from 10am to 1pm, reading from his new children's book, answering questions and learning how to rap.

"I've been set a challenge to try something new at different libraries across Wales," he said.

"At Bangor I'll be learning to rap with Ed Holden - depending how I get on I might try it out on my weather forecast!

"It just goes to show that libraries offer much more than books and cater for all types of hobbies and interests."

Meanwhile, Conwy County Borough Council are still consulting over plans to close seven libraries.




SEE ALSO
Reprieve for two public pools
11 Jan 11 |  Wales
Council plans to close libraries
14 Dec 10 |  North West Wales
Madam Wen exhibition in Rhosneigr
18 Aug 10 |  Arts & Culture

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