CAMPAIGNERS battling proposals which could see their rural library close drafted in three local authors to help the fight.

The Friends of Easingwold Library, near Thirsk, are fighting North Yorkshire County Council plans which could shut the library.

The authority could close as many as 23 of its 44 libraries to save funds in its annual budget.

The Friends of Easingwold Library joined in with the national Save Our Libraries Day on Saturday, February 5 with a Read In.

Local authors Mike Pannett, GP Taylor and Tim Hopgood took part at the Easingwold facility where they read chunks of their books.

Beverley Knights, of the Friends group, said: "This shows the strength of feeling in Easingwold to these plans.

"It would be devastating if the library shut. It’s a focal point for many people in the community and it’s one of the top 18 libraries for usage in North Yorkshire.

"The number of users has increased year on year and with problems nationally with youngsters not reading it seems self defeating to close the library.

"They are proposing a community library run by volunteers but what they are proposing is so vague."

Former North Yorkshire Police Constable Mike Pannett who has penned several books including Not On My Patch Lad is backing the campaign.

He said: "It’s important that the library stays open as somewhere like Easingwold has to have a library.

"It’s part of the community and people don’t just go for the books but also to meet up and talk.

"It’s a service which should be available and we want the council to come back to the negotiating table over this.

"It would be criminal to shut the library and there needs to be an investigation to see what can be done to keep it open."

A county council spokesman said: "We’ve no decided which libraries will close and there’s a number of options which are part of a consultation which doesn’t end until February 28.

"Until that date no decisions will be made and even those at risk now could be saved."