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Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Friday, 26 November 2010
Summertown library users react to the cuts
Roy Howarth
Roy Howarth said closing the library would be 'insane'

Funding for nearly half of Oxfordshire's council-run libraries could be removed under plans to cut budgets.

The Conservative-run council said it hoped volunteers would step in to run the services under Prime Minister David Cameron's "Big Society" plans.

A pot of money will be available for local communities to bid for.

This will allow them to take responsibility for any library that the council is going to stop funding.

A spokesman said decisions about ownership of buildings and other specific details would have to be sorted out on a case by case basis, if the community decided they wanted to step in.

News of the changes was badly received at the Summertown library which is amongst those in line to lose funding.

Fellowship student Kevin felt budget cuts would affect his family.

"We don't have a car and this is the only library within walking distance to bring down for our children and we come once a week so we'll be very sad when it's closed," he said.

A regular user, Robert, was more philosophical about the news.

"It's not unsurprising. It's kind of being anticipated," he said.

Kevin and his family use the library every week

"For me personally I use it rather a lot and it would be a great shame to lose it, but it's sort of the thing you wouldn't half expect."

Roy Howarth, chairman of the library's Friends of the Turrill Sculpture Garden said the loss of the library would mean the garden's closure.

"This is a community centre, it's not just a library. It would be insanity," he said.

"I didn't think this government would be as mad and insensitive to do something like that to this.

"It presents several stunning exhibitions a year. The library itself covers all ranges from those just born to old people who are reading the computers."



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