WHILE I have the utmost sympathy with Rosie Barlow (Postbag, November 22) having the Britford Lane book collection and hutch stolen, I feel I must take issue with calling it a library. A library is a curated collection of books managed and supported by trained staff. A library provides a space for reading, working, studying, meeting and taking part in activities in addition to borrowing books and other media. We are extremely fortunate in Salisbury to have an excellent and thriving library. However, libraries everywhere are under threat as councils look to tighten budgets and see them as dispensable. Indeed Essex are currently carrying out a review of their libraries with a view to closing a third of them and continuing several others staffed only by volunteers. If we wish to ensure that we keep our libraries then one way is make full use of them. I can see the usefulness of little collections of books locally - we have one in Alderbury in a redundant telephone box - but perhaps we should be referring to them as 'book swaps' rather than libraries. A library is so much more!

Fiona Crowther