A proposal from Fife Cultural Trust, who operate most of Fife Council’s libraries, would see 16 llibraries - including Abbeyview, Crossgates and Townhill - close in a bid to deliver savings required by the council.

Also under review are opening hours and mobile library routes, and standardising the range of services offered across the library network.

Communities affected by the proposals are invited to take part in a 12-week consultation process, featuring public drop-in events and an invitation to all community councils to meet the Fife Cultural Trust face to face.

Information and a questionnaire has been posted to more than 3000 service users affected by the proposed changes, while more than 24,000 active library users have been linked to the online questionnaire.

Council leader David Ross said, “We know that this service is important to people and we also know that people understand the severe budget cuts that all public services are facing. This 12-week consultation is a chance for anyone with an interest in library services to have their say."

Laurie Piper, head of external relations for Fife Cultural Trust, added, “Library services represent the largest element of the trust’s service provision. We invest over two thirds of the management fee we receive from Fife Council into running libraries, with all library services delivered free of charge to Fife’s communities.

“Our proposals have been developed as a result of a trust-wide review of all the services we provide. They are based on a number of factors, including the state of the building, access to alternative libraries and also how customers have actually used the library over the last seven years.

“We are committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Fife’s library service despite the financial challenges we are facing, and to create a modern, responsive library service that is accessible for customers across Fife.” The public drop-in events began earlier this week and will take place in Crossgates on Monday 17th August from 2-4pm, Abbeyview on Wednesday 19th August from 10am-12pm, Townhill and Abbeyview on Monday 24th August from 10am-12pm and 2-4pm respectively, and Townhill on Thursday 27th August from 2-4pm.