BARNET Council says a report on the future of Britain’s libraries is “along the same lines” as its own controversial policy.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, itself scheduled to be axed by the Government, has produced advice for local authorities on running library services in the face of Government cuts.

The organisation has issued four possible options including running them with the private sector, charities and other councils and moving them to community buildings, such as churches and village halls.

It also proposes keeping library buildings but sharing them with other public services, including police and health centres, and giving library users a more active role in running libraries themselves.

Councillor Robert Rams, cabinet member for customer access and partnerships, said: “All the way through our review we have been looking at how we can enhance our service and how we can focus on improving literacy of young people in the borough.

“I am delighted that the MLA is running along the same lines and recognizes that the proposals we are making show how we can improve the service at a time of austerity.”

Plans to close three libraries, in Friern Barnet, Hampstead Garden Suburb and North Finchley, have already been approved but campaigners fighting the move were thrown a lifeline in July.

The council has given them until October 31 to come up with alternative ways of running the service more efficiently.

The authority plans to raise around £3m by selling-off the buildings and will launch new services in their place, including a library in the Artsdepot in Nether Street, North Finchley.

The book collection at Hampstead Garden Suburb would also move to The Institute, near East Finchley Tube Station, where a self-service machine would be installed.