CHILDREN stepped up their protests against proposals to cut funding for Oxford libraries ahead of today’s crunch county council budget meeting.

In Old Marston, 10-year-old Rowan Todd, of Horseman Close, wrote a letter to council leader Keith Mitchell begging him to keep open her favourite library.

The St Nicholas Primary School pupil visits the Oxford Road branch at least twice a week.

She said: “If they close it, I wouldn’t be able to get any books. I read every day, and I’ve read all the books on the shelves at home.”

More than 100 children and parents turned up to an event organised by the Save Old Marston Library Group on Friday where illustrator Korky Paul held a reading.

In Summertown, parents and children held a library ‘love-in ‘to save their branch, including a live performance by singer-songwriter Nick Cope.

Mother-of-two Emmeline Skinner, 36, of Thorncliffe Road, said about 200 people of all ages turned out to make hearts to show their love of libraries.

She said: “We had a really good turnout. We made a giant Valentine’s card with about 300 different hearts on it, each one made by a child.”

Dr Skinner said youngsters from local nurseries and schools had made the hearts throughout the week before the event, as well as on the day.

Dr Skinner added: “There was a huge level of support, far more people than we expected. Everyone wanted to get involved.

“The children were really passionate about it. A lot came up dressed as their favourite book character.

“There was also face painting and street art. It was a very happy day – it was meant to be a celebration rather than a protest.”

And yesterday the group handed over their huge Valentine’s Day card to county council bosses, telling them why they loved their library.

Dr Skinner, who said four generations of her family had used Summertown library, said: “Everyone was very passionate about it.”