Gargrave and Grassington libraries could be turned over to the community as part of money-saving proposals by North Yorkshire County Council.

The authority is also looking at replacing its 10 mobile libraries with two “super-mobiles” covering the whole county.

The council is looking to slash £2 million from its library budget over the next four years.

It says larger libraries such as Skipton, Cross Hills and Settle will remain open, but smaller libraries, such as Gargrave and Grassington, could be turned over to the community to run.

Coun Chris Metcalfe, the council’s executive member for adult and community services, said it was not just about saving money.

“It’s also about providing the best service we can to the largest number of people, about adapting the libraries to meet changing demands from library users and about ensuring all our taxpayers get the best value for their money,” he said.

The county currently has 42 branch libraries, 10 mobile libraries and one super mobile library, equipped with internet access.

The council proposes concentrating its £5 million a year library budget on libraries in major centres, including Skipton, Cross Hills and Settle.

“We are convinced that an essential element of maintaining a high-quality service is to provide staffed libraries in those key towns with the best transport links,” said Coun Metcalfe.

It will be up to communities to decide whether or not to run their own library. Coun Metcalfe said community-run libraries already existed in Hawes and Hudswell.

“Initiatives like this can be of enormous value to communities,” he said.

“Not only do they allow the library to be totally responsive to local needs, but they also, at a time of great pressure on resources, ensure the continuation of highly-valued community facilities.”

Mobile libraries cost £77.50 per year per user to run, compared to £16.50 per year for a branch library.

Coun Metcalfe said: “Naturally, we appreciate that taking the mobiles off the road will be a disappointment for some communities and we regret the need to have to make such a proposal.”

But he said not only were mobiles expensive to run, they were under-used.

The council is consulting on the proposals until the end of February.

“We have looked at what we can do to be more efficient and have already saved £1 million in the past three years through initiatives such as staffing changes, a better book purchasing deal and the introduction of new technology,” said Coun Metcalfe.

“The fact is, savings of the kind that are now required simply cannot be made through efficiencies.”