Freezing conditions didn't dampen spirits for campaigners fighting to save Friern Barnet Library on Saturday.

Around 200 people joined a community walk from the old Town Hall site to the library, in Friern Barnet Road, where an event was held to raise awareness of its threatened closure.

Young and old came out and braved the elements and held heart-shaped banners emblazoned with the message, "I Love My Local Library".

The event, which began at 2pm, coincided with National Libraries Day, and was organised in reaction to Barnet Council’s proposal to close the library and move it to the artsdepot, in Tally Ho, North Finchley, nearly two miles away. The plans are due to be discussed at a council meeting on Wednesday.

Tamar Andrusier, schools and community officer for Save Friern Barnet Library Group, said the event was “meaningful to the whole community”. She added: "With all these wonderful books on offer, the library really is a window to the world."

The event included a speech by Barnet author Shereen Pandit, who read extracts of her work and discussed how reading and libraries were vital for future generations.

Boyd Tonkin, literary editor at The Independent, also spoke about how important the library was to him while growing up.

Mrs Andrusier said: "Boyd is proof of how special the library is. He would take out as many books as he could at a time as a child, and look at him now, he is a successful editor."

Frances Briers, 41, who was also at the library on Saturday, said his speech was “fantastic”. She added: "It moved me to tears. Barnet Council didn't recognise National Libraries Day at all, which I think is quite sad.”

Group founder Maureen Ivens said: “When I heard of the closure I saw red. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Martin Russo, communications officer for Save Friern Barnet Library Group, added: “Saturday surpassed all expectation, especially considering how cold it was, so I felt genuine surprise when I saw the amount of people present.

"We only hope Barnet respect and act in accordance with the strength of feeling to keep our library open."

Speaking about Wednesday's council meeting, Mr Russo said: "We are hoping for a positive outcome where we can have some assurances that our library will continue to be valued and enjoyed by the community."

The group has attracted many supporters from around the borough, including Age UK, the Dyslexia Association, the Girl Guides Association and many local schools.

Ken Livingstone has also sent a message to the group, in which he said: "It is always a tragedy when the heart of a local community is ripped out, and so I am delighted to send your campaign a message of support."