Book lovers are being urged to support a campaign to save Chigwell Library closing.

The Hainault Road facility is one of many libraries listed by Essex County Council to be closed, including Debden, Chipping Ongar and Buckhurst Hill.

Jacquie MacLeod, vice chairman and treasurer of Chigwell Residents Association, who has been leading the campaign, described the library as “The heart of the community”.

“It’s always so busy, she said. “Our library is used more than the others in bigger towns listed to stay open.”

A photoshoot showcasing banners and leaflets will be held next Saturday, February 9 at noon, providing further information and a chance to sign the petition.

Ms MacLeod is also inviting residents to voice their ideas for a community hub, should the library be converted.

“It’s not just about the books, people use it for job hunting, interviews and access the photocopy and scanning machines.” Ms MacLeod added.

“It will make elderly residents in particular very isolated, many children come here as well to do their homework. If you took that away they will not see a friendly face.”

The county council's non-aligned group of councillors, who last month put down a no-confidence motion in the library closure policy of the administration at Chelmsford, are now putting down an amendment to the council's budget to divert more than a third of a million the council spends on private health insurance for its senior officers to support libraries instead.

Group leader Cllr Chris Pond said: "I do not understand why the county council continues with this outdated and unnecessary perk, when it is intending to close the vital public education function of libraries in Debden, Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and North Weald.

"I cannot understand how the Conservative councillors for these areas can possibly oppose the amendment."

Cllr Pond said he would not be at the Budget meeting, as it is the opening day of the Local Plan examination in public, at which he'd have to be present "to try yet again to save Jessel Green from development".

Chigwell was the first library in Essex to rent out space for people to hold events from meetings to job interviews.

Should it close, the next nearest library is based in Loughton - a three-hour bus commute for residents.

Essex County Council plans to enhance e-library facilities, increase mobile library services and encourage more family memberships following the announced closures.

An official meeting to discuss Chigwell Library’s fate will be held February 15 at 7.30pm.

To sign Essex County Council and’s petition’s visit and