A LIBRARIAN who lost her job as a result of council cuts is to stand as a candidate for the Greater London Assembly (GLA).

Nancy Taaffe worked at Wood Street Library in Wood Street, Walthamstow, until January last year when, she claims, the library was closed for two days a week and 24 staff lost their jobs.

But she is now set to stand as a candidate for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in May’s elections for the GLA to challenge cuts to a variety of public services and push for all the closed libraries to be re-opened.

She said: “We intend to campaign for the reopening of all services and the reinstatement of all staff who lost their jobs.

“J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, described our libraries as the NHS for the mind, reflecting the widespread belief in this precious institution for working class people.

“This government could potentially preside over 500 library closures with the main parties rubber stamping these cuts at local level in our town hall.”

Harrow Green library in Leytonstone and South Chingford library in Hall Lane, Chingford, were closed last despite popular campaigns against the move.

Ms Taaffe, who is also the co-ordinator for Waltham Forest Anti Cuts Union, compiled book orders for elderly and disabled people who were housebound when she worked at the library.

As well as opposing the library cuts, in 2007 Ms Taaffe was at the forefront of a successful campaign to prevent the council ending its provision of school meals.

She has also stood as a parliamentary candidate for Walthamstow in 2010 for TUSC and in 2005 under the Socialist Alternative banner, polling just 727 votes.

The council says it has had to make difficult decisions following an unprecedented fall in government funding.

It insists its shake-up of the library service will improve efficiency levels.

The GLA and London mayoral elections take place on Thursday May 3.

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter