A library was been forced to temporarily shut due to a staff shortage.

The Brighton and Hove City Council-run centre in Mile Oak, Portslade, did not open on Saturday, December 8 as there were not enough workers to check-in books and restack shelves.

It comes as the local authority is currently recruiting eight permanent staff plus casual workers for the city-wide library service.

Town hall bosses apologised for the inconvenience, adding that they hoped to fill the positions in the coming weeks.

Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “We would like to apologise that Mile Oak branch library is closed.

“Unscheduled closures in the library service are kept to an absolute minimum – the closure at Mile Oak is an unfortunate exception.

“The vacancy situation will be resolved early in the New Year when we hope to have filled all the advertised posts in the library service.”

Well used

Ward councillor Bob Carden said: “It’s a well-used library so if people can’t change their books on a Saturday, which is a busy day.

“Why has there been a mass-exodus from the library service?”

Dawn Barnett, who represents nearby Hangleton and Knoll ward, said she had been warned last week that Hangleton Library could close for a day.

However, bosses managed to find enough staff to keep it open.

Among the jobs listed on the council’s website include a library manager for 20 hours a week on a salary of up to £23,000 a year.

Seven library assistants are also being recruited on annual salaries of between £15,725 and £16,830.

The application form notes that library workers may be asked to work at any library in the city if required, “sometimes at short notice”.

Mile Oak library, which is temporarily located at Portslade Sports Centre due to a refurbishment, will reopen as usual on Monday.

Anyone wanting to renew their books can call 0303 123 0035 or visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/libraries.

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