LITERATURE lovers are urging town hall chiefs to rethink changes to Bury Library, Museum and Art Gallery.

In May, a sculpture centre was put into the library in Manchester Road, despite 2,500 people signing a petition opposing it.

Now, a group called Reinstate Bury Central Library (RBCL) has formed a committee aimed at persuading Bury Council to “give us back a central library worthy of its name.”

The group’s committee met at the Two Tubs pub in Bury on Tuesday, July 8, to discuss how it would progress its campaign, and 11 people turned up.

Ian Jordan, RBCL secretary, said anecdotal evidence from council sources suggested there has been a “significant drop” in the number of books borrowed since the sculpture centre opened, indicating fewer people were visiting.

He added: “The reduction in the number of library staff does not justify the removal of two-thirds of the original stock of books, the reduction of library floor space by 63 per cent and the dismantling of the reference section.

“Insufficient seating has been provided to accommodate readers, students and schoolchildren, due to the amount of space taken up by the sculpture centre, resulting in the library having to be crammed into a totally inadequate area.”

He added: “Our overall aim is to persuade the council to properly engage with the 28,000 library users and to come up with a plan which would give us back a central library worthy of the name.”

Bury Council has previously stressed that the changes resulted in no library services being withdrawn.