VIDEO - No hushing library demo

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There was no silencing protestors as they took their fight to keep Sheffield libraries open to the city centre.

The Big Shhhush event saw campaigners from across the city come together to show their opposition to the city council’s proposals to axe funding for 16 public libraries, leaving just 11 ‘hub’ facilities.

Gemma Short, centre, with protestors outside Central Library at the Big Shhhush event

Gemma Short, centre, with protestors outside Central Library at the Big Shhhush event

They gathered on the steps of Central Library to encourage people to join the Sheffield Campaign Against Library Privatisation.

Patrick Black, a campaign leader, said: “The people of Sheffield are not responsible for the financial crisis which has got the government into debt, but we are paying for it with our public services.

“We want residents to stand up and fight if they want to save their libraries. Once they are closed, they are closed. They will not be re-opened when more money comes along.

“The idea of getting people to run them on a voluntary basis will not work. What next, are they going to ask us to volunteer to empty the bins?”

Father-of-one Matt Kik, aged 35, of the Save Totley Library group, said: “Since having my daughter we go every one or two days and it has opened my eyes to how much it is used.

“It is through taking her there that I have joined a creative writing group and seen all the other groups and classes which meet there. It’s about a lot more than books.”

Almost 200 youngsters and parents gathered at Walkley Library before the protest to create placards bearing messages from children about the importance of the venue.

One read ‘It is where I learned to love reading’.

Teacher Gemma Short, aged 25, of Walkley, said: “The children sat and made these. We had around 180 there and eight people even joined the library on the day.”