HUNDREDS of people joined a protest against library closures.

More than two hundred people turn up at the Galleywood Library book raid event in protest against Essex County Council plans to close libraries across the county.

Galleywood residents campaigning against the closure of the library organised the event.

Essex County Council plans to axe twenty-four libraries, a third of the total.

Campaigners say another eighteen are in danger of closing under the plans.

One of the book raid’s organisers, Galleywood resident Margaret Shea said: “The book raid is to show how important a role the library plays in residents’ lives.

“Much of society today is divided, lonely and uneasy and libraries are a safe place, where people of all races, creeds, ages and abilities can come together.”

Fellow Galleywood resident and organiser Maureen Patten added: “Once it’s gone it’s gone.

“Children are more likely to be illiterate and there will be less places for our youth to go.

“The elderly, the vulnerable and the disabled will be isolated and it will increase depression; putting more pressure on the police, health, and social services.”

“Where’s Harry Potter to make things right?”

The Galleywood book raid was organised by Galleywood Library users and being supported by SOLE, Save Our Libraries Essex.

Hundreds of library users have taken part in book raids across Essex, in towns from Hockley to Colchester.

The idea is for library users to turn up on mass and withdraw their maximum entitlement of 14 books.

The raids have been well received by users and staff, and generated much publicity and awareness.

For more information on the Galleywood book raid phone Margaret Shea on 07981 892902.