OPENING hours in libraries in Blackburn and Darwen are to be scaled back to ward off closures.

Council bosses have unveiled the proposals, which will come into force on May 3, following a 25 per cent cut to the libraries budget.

Under the changes, Blackburn’s main central library will now shut on Sunday, and Darwen LIbrary on Tuesdays.

Earlier closing hours will also be introduced across the borough.

But a move to reduce the stocks of magazines and newspapers, which has prompted a string of complaints, could be reviewed.

The council intends to cut £500,000 from its £2million libraries budget over the next three years, and jobs have been lost in the service.

The reduction in hours means no libraries will be closed in the borough. Lancashire County Council said none of the libraries it controls, which are outside Blackburn and Darwen, would close.

Blackburn with Darwen’s changes come after a public consultation period.

Coun Damian Talbot, executive member for leisure and culture, said: “The general view from the consultation was that people were prepared to accept reduced hours rather than closures.

“There were public meetings, which were very attended, at all the branches.

"Any additional savings we make through the reduced hours will be put back into the book fund.

“I think this is the best solution we could have possibly hoped for in the circumstances.”

Users of each library, which are also in Livesey, Mill Hill and Roman Road, have also been asked to set up ‘friends’ groups’ to help with the running of the service.

Blackburn Library

Monday 9.30am – 7pm
Tuesday 9.30am – 5pm
Wednesday 9.30am – 7pm
Thursday 9.30am – 5pm
Friday 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday 9.30am – 5pm
Sunday Closed.

Darwen Library

Monday 10am – 7pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10am – 5pm
Thursday 1pm – 5pm
Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 4pm.

Livesey Library

Monday 1.30pm – 7pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10am – 12.30pm, 1.30pm – 5pm
Thursday 1.30pm – 5pm
Friday 1.30pm – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 12.30pm.

Mill Hill Library

Monday 10am – 12.30pm, 1.30pm – 5pm
Tuesday 10am – 12.30pm, 1.30pm – 7pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10am – 12.30pm
Friday 10am – 12.30pm
Saturday 10am – 12.30pm.