A REVERED author has joined a host of celebrities and campaigners backing protests opposing plans to axe more than 40 libraries in Essex ahead of a march this weekend.

Acclaimed children’s writer Dame Jacqueline Wilson, 73, who is most famous for penning the famous Tracey Beaker books, has come out in support of the fight against Essex County Council’s proposed closure of 60 per cent of the county’s libraries.

Wilson’s support comes in the form of a recently released photograph that shows the veteran writer, who has published more than 100 books, posing with a placard which reads ‘Save Essex Libraries’.

The novelist’s call-to-arms arrives just days after comedian and fellow children’s author David Walliams also challenged the cuts.

It is also less than a week before campaigners make their voices heard during a march on Chelmsford’s County Hall.

Organiser Andy Abbott said: “It is great to get the backing of such big names, who have also contributed much to children’s literature.

“These people know just how important libraries are.

“We are now looking to make our family friendly protest on Saturday the biggest the county has seen in decades, to send the message loud and clear.

“Essex says no to this act of cultural vandalism. The Carnival for Libraries will be both a protest and a celebration of the role libraries play in our culture.”

READ MORE: A third of the county's libraries could shut, saving £2million

Essex County Council drew up a proposal to close many of the county’s libraries following what is says is a severe decline in how many books are being used in a now predominantly digital age.

The past ten years is said to have seen book loans drop by 52 per cent and claims the number of Essex residents regularly visiting their local library has also diminished, with less than one in five actively using their library on a consistent basis.

A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “No decisions about any libraries have been made yet.

“The purpose of the consultation was to find out what people think of our proposals.

“Over 21,000 responses to the official consultation were received, expressing a mix of views.

“We need to take time to consider these fully before making any decisions.”

READ MORE: David Walliams backs campaign to save Essex's libraries