Final bids have been submitted to county hall to save three Hyndburn libraries threatened with the axe.
Groups have produced individual plans to Lancashire County Council (LCC) that they hope will secure the future of Clayton-le-Moors, Rishton and Oswaldtwistle libraries.
The Oswaldtwistle Community Lamp Group plans to reinvent the Carnegie building as a hybrid library which will divide between being a lending library and a ‘book cycle’ - effectively a donation-led book shop.
Chris Brindle, from the organisation, said: “Part of the library will be a book shop essentially and people can take three items a day and give a donation for those books. And people eventually bring them back and they start all over again.
“If we are successful we are going to set up a charity. What will hope is that the management will be overseen by the charity and will have volunteers running the day to day operation for us.
“It’s a good strong bid. An awful lot of man hours have gone into this. Closing the libraries is ludicrous. We put forward the best possible case we can.”
Campaigners in Rishton have outlined plans to move the children’s centre into the library building and want LCC to continue to meet maintenance costs.
Teacher Emma Clark, who has been at the forefront of working to keep the library open, said: “We’re suggesting that the building is taken over by the children’s centre relocating there, which we believe would put the children’s centre in a much more prominent high street position closer to the areas of greatest need. We feel that this move would also be the catalyst for a much greater level of volunteering which would benefit both the children’s centre co-located alongside a reduced library service.
“We feel that this is a much stronger option than what is currently proposed by LCC because of the massive risk of having a boarded up vandalised building in the centre of Rishton which would put the whole high street at risk.”
Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said that a number of options have been put forward for Clayton-le-Moors, but that the preferred option is to create a satellite library from within the civic building.
He said: “The issue is to try and keep running the library in some form.
“The favoured option is to keep a provision of the library service at the Civic centre because that way you don’t have to rely on so many volunteers.
“What we expect is because it’s been a very short-timescale on this consultation once the business plan has been submitted it will be considered and there will be further dialogue with the council.
“I would expect there will be more discussions about keeping those libraries where people have come forward with a plan.”
The report outlining LCC’s property strategy will be presented to the cabinet on September 8.