AUTHORS have praised plans to open a new library in Southsea.
Southsea Library is set to open on July 29, in the former Woolworths store on Palmerston Road.
Authors including fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, who was born in Waterlooville, have written to Portsmouth City Council to praise the decision.
Mr Gaiman said: ‘I remember the excitement of weekly library visits in Waterlooville and Southsea, where my grandparents lived, and the thrill of each new book I’d be allowed to bring home.
‘It gave me a love of books, of learning and of libraries that has continued to this day.
‘I worry that across the UK libraries are being closed to help balance the books by people who haven’t realised a library is an investment in the future. I’m delighted Portsmouth is bucking the trend.’
A total of 26 authors, also including Bill Bryson, PD James, Andy McNab, Ruth Rendell, Salman Rushdie, and Jacqueline Wilson replied to a letter written by Dom Kippin, the city council’s literacy officer.
He said: ‘I’m delighted with the response.’