A life-long book lover has made an impassioned plea to the county council urging it not to close her local library.

In November Essex County Council outlined plans to shut libraries across the county, including those in Debden, Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and North Weald.

The move to shut down Buckhurst Hill was greeted with horror by the townsfolk, with cllr Gavin Chambers attempting to list the building and pupils at St John's CofE coming out in a colourful protest.

After North Weald Parish Council discussed plans to help the community run its library at a cost of £15,000 a year, supporters of Chigwell Library began to vocalise fears a beloved facility could soon be gone.

Sharon Morris grew up in Chigwell and regularly found a tranquil refuge at the library.

She said: "Chigwell library was the only place that I could go to where I could have peace and quiet to read books and learn.

"As a child I would attend circle story-time with the other children where a librarian would read out magical stories to us in Chigwell Library.

"I qualified as a teacher because I was able to gain access to books and information in Chigwell Library."

In her older age Ms Morris has suffered with osteo-arthritis and M.E.

Rather than this curbing her library usage, she has found herself relying more and more on public facilities.

She added: "Libraries are the only place where people like me, can go when they feel able to be still and quiet.

"I currently use the library facilities where I feel safe and where it is quiet. I feel safe in the library.

"Particularly Chigwell Library. I enjoy using Chigwell library because it is easy parking and the car park is close and easily accessed to get to the main door of the building.

"The staff are always friendly helpful and will spend time with me when I struggle to do stuff on the computer. It is very quiet and no one disturbs me when I want to be alone."

For Ms Morris, the fight to keep Epping Forest's libraries open is not just a personal one.

"If you take away the libraries you take away the community and if you take away the community you take away humanity," she continued.

"Then everything that makes us human ceases to exist.

"Libraries also give jobs to people and help them earn a living to support themselves their families and the community at large.

"How will they survive if you close down the libraries?"

A consultation into the planned closures runs until February 20.