REDUNDANCIES and reduced opening hours at Upper Norwood Library are being blamed on funding cuts imposed by Croydon Council.
Croydon has relinquished control of the library to Lambeth Council after pulling the plug on a longstanding joint operation agreement.
At the same time, Croydon's funding has been reduced from £180,000 to £75,000 a year, a fact campaigners are blaming for five staff, including chief librarian Bradley Millington, taking voluntary redundancy. The library is also now only open three days a week, rather than five.
Robert Gibson, a spokesman for the Upper Norwood Library campaign, urged residents to continue to support the library despite the cuts.
But he said: "I happened to be outside the library on the first day of reduced opening and I saw a mum and her daughter, a grandfather and his grandson and three different aged blokes all walk up to the door and then turn away.
"It made me feel very sad."
Councillor Tim Pollard, the Croydon cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, maintains that: "With a total operating budget of £280,000, Upper Norwood will be one of the best funded community libraries in the country."