OLD Town Library supporters turned up in force to hand a petition to the mayor.

The facility has been under threat for a year because Swindon Council is considering if the nearby Central Library could cater for Old Town residents instead.

But campaigners are not giving up, as 1,335 people have signed a second petition to keep it open.

Resident Kate Romans said: “It is difficult for old people to get down town to the big library. It is not always convenient.

“I have lived in Old Town for over 45 years and my children all used the library. Old Town is now full of eatiing and drinking venues.

“The heart has gone out of Old Town. Once upon a time you could buy anything there.”

Campaigners turned up carrying placards declaring their support for the library.

Shirley Burnham, of the Friends of Old Town Library, handed over the petition to Swindon’s mayor Steve Wakefield yesterday.

She said: “We are supporting the community of Old Town – this is not just about the library although the library is very important.”

Usage of the library went up last year but Swindon Council is still not convinced it warrants the running costs.

Swindon Council director of housing and leisure Bernie Brannon said: “We would like to have a library on every corner.

“But hard decisions have to be made between libraries and social care.”

South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove is supporting the campaigners. She said: “Old Town Library offers a wonderful service to local people of all ages who may otherwise miss out on literary classics, the new Harry Potter book or the chance to surf the web for the first time.

“To ensure that the library is able to continue to be at the heart of the Old Town community we need qualified professionals running it.”

Old Town resident Harry Bromley said: “The library has been an asset for more than 40 years.”

Last February Shirley Burnham handed in a petition to the council and the library was granted a reprieve to remain open until April 2009.

Deputy leader Fionuala Foley (Con, Old Town and Lawns) has recently suggested a scheme that would see the library staffed by volunteers.