THANK you for highlighting the threat to library services in the county (On borrowed time, August 6).

For Herefordshire Council to talk about closing libraries in two of our largest market towns defies belief.

These are purpose-built libraries, were opened only about 20 years ago, and are busy and well used.

Libraries are not just book stores: they have computers for public use (not everyone has a home computer), children’s story times and activities, book clubs, poetry readings, talks and exhibitions, plus community information, and now house the council’s customer services.

Leominster Library also houses the registrar’s office. I don’t know of any other facility which provides such a wide range of services.

To suggest that Hereford Library becomes the only ‘professional’ library and the ‘central hub’ for the county is absurd. Of course it is the busiest library: Hereford is by far the largest population, but its library was built about 150 years ago and is not fit for purpose as it is – let alone its role in the future.

It is dark, cramped and has structural problems that need constant attention.

When I came to the county 40 years ago there was talk of the need for a new library – that need has not gone away.

How Hereford Library would cope with increased demand I cannot imagine. And the market towns also have a right to “a comprehensive, efficient and effective service”, as the 1964 Libraries Act states.

The public library system, set up in this country more than 150 years ago, should be, like the health service and universal education, a source of national pride.

It is a source of information, education and pleasure to millions of people. It has rightly been called “the poor man’s university”.

I understand the financial constraints forced upon this council by central government, but I ask councillors not to destroy a service which has served this county’s citizens so well, and on which so many people depend.

PETER HOLLIDAY Buckfield Road, Leominster