YOUNG people across Swindon are being asked to get creative to show how much they love their local libraries.

The Save Swindon’s Libraries campaign, set up earlier this year in opposition to the planned cuts to the library service, is launching a poetry and poster competition.

Sarah Church, Chairman of the campaign, said: “The Save Swindon’s Libraries campaign has engaged the imagination of Swindon residents.

“The issue was among the top election topics at the recent Borough Council elections and the campaigners have now been invited as key stakeholders to input to the draft strategy due to be presented to the Cabinet and Council in the next few months.

“The campaign is looking now to younger library users to get creative and write a poem or design a poster under the theme Love My Library.”

Entries into the competition will be split into the following age groups - three to five year olds, six to eight year olds and nine to twelve year olds.

Posters and poems can be dropped off at various locations around Swindon including Los Gatos Tapas Bar in Old Town, Swindon Restore on Whitbourne Avenue, The Shop in Cavendish Square in Parks, and the foyer of St Paul’s Church in Covingham.

The closing date for entries is midday on Friday, July 29 with the winners set to be announced on July 30.

Sarah added: “The campaign would love to see how much young library users really value their local branch libraries, and their local library staff too.

“The threat to services through the 60 per cent budget cut falls primarily on branch libraries and library staff.

“It is these elements of the service that provide a lifeline to the less mobile members of the population who may struggle to access libraries further away from home.

“The current service is one of the best in the country; Council plans to cut services are a backward step.”

The campaign has been vocal in opposing the notion that volunteers can satisfactorily replace paid staff in the libraries, an option raised repeatedly by councillors.

They argue that if communities are asked to step in to replace council management of services, then there will essentially be a postcode lottery with library users in some areas suffering from a sub-par service.

In addition to being facilities for individuals, some libraries are also used by schools and other community groups.

These groups are also being encouraged to get involved by spreading the word and encouraging their youngsters to submit entries to the poster and poetry competition.

Groups that are interested in taking part should contact or check the campaign's Facebook and Twitter pages.