Archive for January, 2011

Save your libraries on February 5th

407 libraries plus 53 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
- plus two – Blackpool - Boundary and Mereside libraries to go.
- plus one – Bolton – previously listed as “up to 8″, new report suggests 9.
- plus three – North Ayrshire – now have figure of 3 libraries to close, previously listed as “some”. (S)
Summary
Save Our Libraries Day is on Saturday 5th FebruaryLet your friends know.  One of the big things about libraries are that they are impartial so let your enemies know too.  A list of events and what to do are here and here and here.  Gloucestershire are doing rather a lot. The time taken for suggested actions range from two minutes to half an hour.  There are many suggestions online that the simplest thing to show one’s support is to simply use your library on that day. The day was the brainchild of Alan Gibbons who is to be given all credit and also, in my opinion, should be made the new children’s laureate.  Perhaps he could share the honour with Philip Pullman.
There have been many reports of Lib Dem councillors (or Conservative ones) protesting against library cuts.  However, there are reports today of people both strongly linked with the government also doing so.  Not just a Dorset Lib Dem MP  has come on board (although her support is most welcome) – no, the Children and Families Minister Sarah Teather has spoken against library cuts (even apparently promoting “direct action”) and the government’s digital champion, Martha Lane Fox has tweeted in favour of libraries.  However, the continuing absence of the minister responsible for libraries, Ed Vaizey, from meaningful action is raising eyebrows and has led to suggestions he may be flouting his legal duty to intervene.  The Independent even draws similarites between him (and, to be fair, the rest of his ministry) and Pontius Pilate.

One could think one would get past being shocked but … North Ayrshire are to be congratulated.  A report says they paid a consultant £100k to decide, amongst other things, that Kilwinning Library should be shut (running cost = £79k).

News (full list of library closures starts below links, (S) shows item added on Sunday)

Camden – Council to ask bankers for 5% of their bonuses, first beneficiary libraries – Daily Telegraph

Croydon – Meeting on planned library closures (of all the cuts proposed, this has provoked the most uproar) – This is Croydon Today
Hounslow – residents invited to read-in protest – Brentford & Hounslow Chronicle
Lincolnshire – mobile routes cut – Spalding Today (I have not included this as a cut as it appears to be normal management of under-used routes, unless anyone knows differently). 
North Yorkshire – Campaign now – Darlington and Stockton Times
North Yorkshire – closures are unfair – Darlington and Stockton Times
North Yorkshire – Residents rally in bid to save libraries – Craven Herald and Pioneer (S)
Somerset – Residents reject library cuts – ITV West Country 28 January (3:20 to 5:40)
Somerset – Big Issue founder John Bird against the closures – John Bird (not available online)
Surrey – Council leaves £21 million unspent - Will Forster, Lib Dem councillor
Swindon – no library to close – Swindon Advertiser
Wiltshire – volunteers asked to staff Ludgershall, librarians wiped, self-service installed – Andover Advertiser
160 years of progress unravelled - Labour List (Lisa Nandy)
“Burn down the libraries” – Conrad Landin (S)
Closures are not Victorian, they’re pre-Victorian – Progressives (Nick Thomas-Symonds)
Great library revolt continues - Fifteen days without a head (Dave Cousins)
Homeless against library closures – Doorway
Libraries are awesome – Wil Wheaton (S)
Libraries for beginners – Did you ever stop and think? (S)
Save libraries posters – Phil Bradley
List of cuts by authority (click on name of authority for link to relevant report)
NB. From 2012, the MLA will be abolished - the Arts Council will take over its role for libraries with a budget of £3m rather than £13m.  Therefore, libraries start 2012 with £10m less, regardless of any further cuts.
Aberdeenshire – some, (brief mention here seems to suggest all but this very unlikely)
Anglesey4
Angus - 4 libraries closed this year (April) to be possibly replaced by a mobile.  More info here
Argyll and Bute – 3 libraries and mobile library.
Barnet – some – public consultation here
Barnsley – up to 8
Bedfordshire – 1 mobile to go
Bexley – 3 (3 from a list of 5 will go, plus one mobile)
Birmingham – 39 (three libraries lose hours so Tower Hill can remain open) (school library service to close)
Blackburn with Darwen – (reduced opening hours)
Blackpool – 2
Bolton – 9
Brent - 6 (out of 12)
Bromley – (KAB talking books cut)
Buckinghamshire – up to 14 to close or be staffed by volunteers (this article says 11)(£688k cut)
Bury – 1 (1 other reduced hours) – Manchester Evening News
Calderdale – Some? (£350k cut inc.12 jobs, £200k stock)
Cambridgeshire13 (36% cut in funding, closures down from previously reported 19) (mobile services already “slashed”) (£1.1m cut) (school library service closed)
Camden - several plus one mobile library (£2 million cut)
Central Bedfordshire – one mobile library to go
Conwy – 7 (out of 12)
Cornwall – (23% cut, 102 hours opening lost)
Croydon – Up to 6 (public gets to choose which), (£619k saving)
Derbyshire - (Opening hours to be cut)
Doncaster12, (may also be taken out of council control) (over 50% cut in funding)
Dorset - up to 20 (out of 34) to close or be given to community groups  (£143k off bookfund).  Dorset is the sole council to receive an actual increase in funding for 2010/11. (£800k cut for libraries)
Dumfries – 7
Durham – some (£1.4m cut)(or is it £1.5m?)
East Sussex – (£313k cut) (less books bought)
Falkirk – (transferred to Trust)
Flintshire – 5 and at least one mobile
Gateshead - some (school library service, music library, AIRS talking newspaper under threat)
Gloucestershire - Up to 18 and 6 mobiles  – 11 to close or go to volunteers. 7 to close if they don’t find a partner (43% total cut in funding).  A further 11 reduced to 3.5 days a week. 100 library jobs to go say UNISON, 40 FTE to go says council, inc 36 managers cut to 9, 3.5 FTE librarian posts cut (to 10)
Greenwich – (could be turned into a Trust) (school library service closed)
Hammersmith and Fulham - 2 and 1 mobile (record office to charge for access) (£310k cut)
Hampshire – 13 mobiles (58 FTE jobs to go) (and mobile libraries cut within two miles of each branch, this report says 18FTE to go)(libraries merged with IT/property etc) Source of number of mobiles is UNISON Hampshire, No extra overtime or weekend pay
Haringey - (staff cuts)
Harrow – (34 FTE to go)
Hartlepool - 1 confirmed to close (another to merge with community centre, all library’s hours cut)
Herefordshire – (new Ledbury Library delayed) (no branches to close but mobile library review)
Hertfordshire – (opening hours to be cut by one third – from 2236 hours down to 1575) (mobile libraries cut) – At least one library (Borehamwood)  faces a 40% cut. (£580k cut in first year, £1.4m after)
Highland – (Wick Library to close and merge with school library) (may move to being in a Trust) (this report says no closures)
Hounslow8 (out of 11, £870,000 savings this year on top of £1 million in the last 18 months).
Hull – some (to merge with “customer service centres”)
Hounslow - 8 (£869k p.a cut – reduction in hours,12 FTE to go, 1 IT skills suite closed)
Inverclyde – some
Isle of Wight – 9 (out of 11) – most serious cuts I am aware of  (consultation ends 7 Feb)
Kent - some (volunteers to be asked to run some) (83 FTE to go as self-service comes in)- Isle of Thanet one of areas hardest hit (School library service closed)
Kingston – (50% adult bookfund cut)
Kirklees - at least 1
Lambeth – 2 mobiles (setting up a trust “which will give you a chance to run libraries”)
Lancashire - 2 mobile libaries (plus 16% staffing cut)
Leeds – Up to 20 (out of 52) - council says 20 closures are not about cuts but to make service viable.
Leicestershire – NB This information is under doubt.  I have received a call saying this article relates to Leicester.  Article, though, seems to be indicate it is Leicestershire.  No libraries are down for closure according to his article, although they could all/some be transferred to a trust or privatised (merge of lending/reference- 14 FTE jobs lost). 
Lewisham – 5
Liverpoolsome
Milton Keynes – 2
Newport - 7
Norfolk – (£1.5m over 3 yrs proposed cut inc opening hours cut, staffing cut, bookfund cut, less mobile visits)
Northern Ireland – 10
Northamptonshire – 8 out of 38 may close, 2 mobile libraries to end. Cuts to management and support also.
Northumberland – some
North Ayrshire -
North Lanarkshire - 1 (closed March 2010)
North Norfolk – some (c. £1m reduction)
North Somerset – 1 closed, 2 proposed, volunteers may run libraries. Weston Mercury update
North Yorkshire24 (out of 42) to close or be staffed by volunteers, 9 mobiles to go off road, surviving libraries could have funding cut to share out with any community-run libraries established. (£1.1m cut)
Nottinghamshire – (opening hours halved, 80 FTE jobs to go, 50% off bookfund, 1 library already closed.
Oldham – (increase in volunteers, merging, cuts)
Oxfordshire – 20 – list of those under threat here, Oxford Central hours extended to 7 days per week 
Redbridge - 5 out of 12 may close, another may relocate.
Renfrewshire - 1 (1 library to move into smaller sites in community centres)
Richmond – 1 (£351k cut) (service may be privatised)
Rochdale1 (some library managers to to go in first phase of cuts)
Rutland – (6 libraries to have reduced hours, staff cut)
Salford – some
Sandwell – some
Sefton – 3
Sheffield – (30% cut expected)
Shropshire – 2 and 3 mobiles(reference library to merge with central library)
Somerset 11 (out of 34) will be offered to community groups over 2 years. 4 (out of 6) mobile libraries will also go.  25% cut in funding. Full (revised) plans here. Rethink on mobiles may happen – article here.
Southampton – 2
Southend - some
Southwarkshire – (school libray service closed)
Stoke – 2 and 1 mobile library, (ends RNIB service)
Suffolk – 29 (out of 44) – (consultation here)
Surrey11 and 5 mobiles
Sutton – (school library service to close)
Swansea - some
Thanet – some
Thurrock – (RNIB subscription ends)
Tower Hamlets – (staff made to reapply for their own jobs -23 library staff replaced)
Trafford – (mobile library to be staffed by volunteers)
Wakefieldat least 2 , new central library but local closures
Walsall – 6 (30 FTE). More details here .  Count cut from 8 to 6 due to article here
Walthamstow – some
Wandsworth – 1 (mention in Guardian here) plus reduction in hours in others.
Warrington – 2 and 1 mobile library confirmed . More info here. Journals stopped also, £25k off staff. £10k off reference.
West Dunbartonshire – 3 (some staff losses too)
West Sussex - Some (5 FTE lost, some librarians pay reduced to library assistant)
Westminster – (Marylebone may never reopen)
Wigan - Up to 15 out of 17  (£1.1m cut off £4m budget)
Wiltshire – 10 (plus reductions in hours in all but one of the others) (26 FTE posts have gone in Dec 2010  inc. 9 out of 13 community librarians)(cuts include a £940k library opened Dec 2010)(self-service in all)
Worcestershire – some (Pershore library to move out of town centre) , contact centres may combine with libraries

Authorities which have announced there will be no library closures (2011 financial year)
Anglesey – 4 libraries earmarked for closure have apparently been (temporarily) saved
Brighton
Barking and Dagenham
Cornwall – (one stop shops moving into them, book supply being done differently to save money, no guarantee for 2012) (23% cut in library budget, 102 hours p.w. cut)
Devon (may have reduced opening hours, less mobile stops, no new Exeter Library - although this article suggests mobile library service has improved).  BBC article confirms no closures. (“brutal” cuts to Exeter Record Office)
Essex
Hillingdon
Hull (number of libraries actually increasing here)
Lincolnshire
Merton – (£118k cut – 2 libraries will have reduced hours but reprieved from threatened closure)Moray – (may move to being in a Trust, another article here)

Newcastle
Norfolk – (no closures but staffing cut, bookfund cut, opening hours cut, less mobile visits)
Poole
Trafford – (but mobile library staff will be replaced by volunteers)
Windsor and Maidenhead
Wirral 

180 new libraries in South Korea, Dr Beeching in the UK

401 libraries plus 53 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
News
180 new libraries are being built in South Korea as part of a government campaign to promote reading.  This is especially fascinating as South Korea is a very high technology country (with higher internet usage than most places in Western Europe). Clearly it thinks there is a place for public libraries in the future.  While opportunities to read are being cut here (news today suggests school library services will be hit hard too), South Korea is going down a different road.  Perhaps we can send them some of our bricks?
I have seen the second mention of Dr Beeching and the railways in relation to the library cuts. In other news, the £4 billion spent on the now (literally) scrapped Nimrod spy-planes would have kept the entire UK public library service funded for nearly four years.

Hammersmith and Fulham – Charge for accessing local history is shocking – Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle

Hertfordshire – cuts in hours – Watford Observer
Somerset – no happy ending for Highbridge Library - Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News
Suffollk – Save Leiston Library – Save Leiston Library

180 new public libraries in South Korea – Korea Herald (South Korea)
Campaigns to save libraries more successful than the Big Society – Financial Times (behind paywall but free to register for 30 days)
Value of libraries – I Love Franklin Ave (USA)

Surrey big cuts, Hounslow £5m in 2009, Glos suggests charging

401 libraries plus 53 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
- plus 11 branches and 5 mobiles – Surrey - library service to be reduced to “core” and community-run branches.
News
More information on Hounslow’s cuts has come out.  This borough is worth looking at closely as it is the only authority to have its libraries run by a private company. Over £5m was given to Laing in 2009 by Hounslow Council to improve its libraries, many of which are now earmarked for closure. It does not appear that the company is penalising the council for, presumably, breaking the terms of its contract.

Surrey has announced cuts very similar to those that have caused such furore in Somerset, Gloucestershire and (increasingly) Dorset.  The comment by the deputy leader that he does not see libraries in physical buildings in the future seems, at the moment, more like reading the headlines than fortune-telling.

A Gloucestershire councillor has suggested users can be charged for using a community-run library.  This is the first time I am aware of that this has been publicly raised. 
Somerset – Hope for Libraries – ITV Regional News (2 minutes)
Swindon – no libraries to close, paid staff needed in branches – volunteer library has seen usage decline, only one child taking part in summer reading scheme – Swindon Advertiser
CILIP asks all to take a stand as 94 out of 115 authorities report cuts – Morning Star
Read-Ins planned throughout country – Coalition of resistance
So what’s in a library? – ITV Regional News

Somerset revised proposals revealed, 2 hour long Westminster libraries debate

390 libraries plus 48 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
Somerset – minus 7 - Somerset have cut the number of threatened libraries from an initial 20 to 11 (2 reprieves have already been counted previously), with the funding found from reducing services in the other branches.
News
A 2 hour long debate in Westminster Hall featured many MPs speaking on behalf of libraries.  Ed Vaizey guaranteed the 1964 Act (but did not mention its interpretation is being severely challenged) and stressed that a “strategic vision” was necessary, not least in merging some of the functions of at least a few of the 151 separate library authorities.  He also stressed that volunteers should be there to support librarians and not to replace them, although this seemed to go against the tone of the Conservative MPs taking part in the debate and also what appears to be happening in many authorities (such as Glos or Wiltshire).
In other news, the London Evening Standard reports that the Government has dropped the proposal to guarantee free public access to the internet via libraries, despite previous support by Ed Vaizey. Similarly, the proposal to ensure all babies get library cards has also been dropped. 

Dorset – Whose library is it anyway? – Friends of Old Town Library
Northamptonshire – two weeks to save libraries – Northants Evening Telegraph
Mar Dixon Mashup Challenge – Voices For The Library

Gloucestershire cuts libraries while putting £1m into reserves; Somerset – another reprieved, more to follow?

397 libraries plus 48 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
-minus 1 – Dulverton Library (Somerset) reprieved
News
Tomorrow is a big Westminster day for libraries -  there’s a debate in Westminster Hall about the future of  libraries in the morning.  Later on in the day, Voices For The Library report that Ed Vaizey is having a meeting on the Big Society and Libraries which seems (from the agenda) to be focused mainly on how to transfer endangered ones to volunteers.  We find out also tomorrow what Somerset’s new proposals are for their library service – it seems two Somerset libraries have been reprieved already and it seems likely more will be, although details are not yet officially clear as to where the money will be found.

Getting back to today, more details on Gloucestershire suggest that there will be almost no qualified librarians or managers left (25 managers to go, 3.5 librarians meaning only 10 left) to cope with a service cut by 11 libraries. Campaigners claim Gloucestershire is putting £1m into its reserves at the same time as cutting frontline services.  This is going to not going to please the Government who have advised raiding reserves to help pay for the cuts, not adding to them.  More details on North Yorkshire suggest that the surviving 18 “core” libraries (out of 42) could have their funding cut to help support any community-run libraries that are established. 


Gloucestershire – Robin Ince supports campaign “Libraries are for everyone. Excessive bonuses and Cayman Island tax havens are not.” FoGL
Northamptonshire – residents bid for library survival – “They are cutting off a lifeline to a lot of people, people live for their books” – Evening Telegraph
Oxfordshire – protesters in song – Henley Standard TV
Wakefield – save both out libraries – Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express

“Dave’s keen on the Big Society — so he should ring-fence libraries.” – Daily Mail / Janet Street-Porter

Library Day in the Life – Voices for the Library 
Like Father Like Son – Finnish Library Service (Youtube)
Long Live Libraries - White Elephant Stall

10 under threat in Wiltshire – Reprieves in Doncaster, Somerset and Merton

398 libraries plus 48 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
- plus 10 – Wiltshire -plus cuts in opening hours in all but one other.
- plus 2 mobiles - Lambeth
- minus 6 – Cambridgeshire – 13 libraries under threat is 6 less than previously suggested 19.
- plus 4 – Anglesey
- minus 2 – Doncaster - 2 libraries removed from the list, 12 still under threat.
- plus 1 mobile -  Bexley – 3 (from a pool of 5) out of 12 will go, plus 1 mobile.  Previous count did not include the mobile.
- minus 1 – Somerset – Wiveliscombe has been announced as reprieved.
- minus 2 – Merton – 2 reprieved but instead have reduction in hours
NB I had inadvertently (for about 10 hours) added Swindon to the list of closing authorities – these cuts were actually done by Wiltshire.  Thank you to Shirley Burnham for pointing this out so quickly.

News
The newspapers are getting seriously behind public libraries.  The Guardian was by far the first to get on board but, in recent weeks, the Independent on Sunday has also weighed in (and here too).  The Sunday Times (no friend of public libraries in normal times) produced a long article by the creator of the Stony Stratford “Wot No Books” article (sorry, behind paywall so no link). Even the Sunday Mirror reported.. Well done to CILIP for getting a message in the Sunday Mirror.  It needs saying too that the local media have well and truly woken up to the news on their high streets – holy cow, what a load of articles about libraries listed below.

Incidentally, I should include a note on the figures being bandied around for the number of threatened libraries.  The tally this blog uses is based on the number of libraries under threat that I can trace media mentions of.  Another figure (800) is based on my tally but extrapolates from it that being the count covers around one-half of the total number of authorities, the real figure could be twice that when everything is announced.  The Mirror’s figure (around 1300) notes that the average figure of cuts is 30% and thus takes that percentage off the total number of libraries currently open in the UK.  The Independent’s figure of 600 is a mystery to me but could well be the average between my tally and that of the 800 figure.

The Stony Stratford technique of clearing libraries has clearly caught on, with Newport in the Isle of Wight facing the same tactic, this time with the added twist of the Crime section being the one deliberately cleared first.

Argyll – Rural communities will lose libraries as well as schools - For Argyll
Barking and Dagenham – libraries saved – Yellow Advertiser
Bexley – Under threat libraries revealed – News Shopper
Brent – Closing library is an attack on culture – Harrow Observer
British Library – Cuts a “disaster” for business – London Evening Standard
Bury – Shadow Minister joins battle to save libraries – Manchester Evening News
Bury – Unsworth Saved – This is Lancashire
Calderdale – £350k cut, libraries may be under threat - Halifax Courier
Cambridgeshire – 13 libraries under threat (36% cut in funding) – Cambridge News
Croydon – 320 protesters pack meeting to save Norbury, inc MP – This is Croydon Today
Croydon – Croydon libraries under threat – Croydon Guardian
Croydon – Norbury library threatened - Youtube
Doncaster – 2 branches reprieved – Save Doncaster Libraries
Dorset – Campaigners fight to save libraries – Dorset Echo
Dorset – Weymouth anger at closures – View Online
Durham – Details revealed of cuts  (£1.5m from libraries) – Durham Times
Gloucestershire – Mily’s plea not to axe library – Cotswold Journal
Gloucestershire – Voice your opinion – Stroud News and Journal
Gloucestershire – “Pathetic excuse” on library meeting – This is Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – community libraries could charge for membership and loans – FoGL
Gloucestershire – “train wreck” council meeting – FoGL
Gloucestershire – “I now feel that any “public consultations” are empty processes” – Tewkesbury Ad Mag
Gloucestershire – new consultation meetings announced – FoGL
Hampshire – no extra pay for overtime and weekend working for staff – Hampshire Chronicle
Hampshire – axe taken to mobile libraries – Salisbury Journal
Hampshire – fight is on to reverse cut to mobiles – the News
Harrogate – message of support from MP – Voices for the Library
Harrogate – Join our fight to keep libraries open – Harrogate Advertiser
Hounslow – Show your support - Hounslow Chronicle
Hounslow – Save Our Libraries, newspaper launches campaign - Hounslow Chronicle
Hounslow – council told to think again on axing libraries – Hounslow Chronicle
Hounslow – letter from councillors attacking closures – Hounslow Chronicle
Hounslow – 3 Epetitions – Hounslow Council
Hounslow – Save Our Libraries – Feltham and Hounslow
Isle of Wight – Govt Minister says councils have “no excuse” if they cut services before “fat cats” – IWCP
Isle of Wight – protestors plan “mass borrow” – BBC 
Isle of Wight – Huge crowd of protest0rs clear out Newport Library -  Isle of Wight County Press
Isle of Wight – council “brought to book” – Isle of Wight Radio
Isle of Wight – library protestors in mass borrow – BBC
Kent – Library self service won’t cost jobs, well, not at Sevenoaks – This is Kent
Lambeth – 2 mobile libraries to close – Local Guardian
Leeds – A New Chapter? Library closures not publicised – COVEN
Merton – £130k cut but 2 libraries saved from closure – Your Local Guardian
Norfolk – no closures but cut in staffing, hours, bookfund, mobile visits – EDP 24
North Yorkshire – Battle to save libraries hots up – Scarborough Evening News
Oxfordshire – “You don’t know the value of what you’re looking after” says Philip Pullman (and 100s of others) to council meeting - Oxford Mail
Oxfordshire – Councillor calls authors “a vested interest”, Pullman calls councillor “desperate” – Banbury Cake
Oxfordshire – estate has a 2.5 hour volunteer library – Oxford Mail
Oxfordshire – Libraries again (The Oxford Movement) – Book Maven
Somerset – fightback in Wiveliscombe is under way – This is the West Country
Somerset – Wiveliscombe reprieved (20% cut in funding though) – This is the West Country
Somerset – “Wivey Leaks” Good news for one library, loads more to go – Alan Gibbons
Somerset – Cheddar will become a ghost village if library is lost - Weston Mercury
Suffolk – Why can Norfolk protect its libraries but we can’t?- EADT
Suffolk – DIY Libraries – Bury Free Press
Suffolk – Libraries under threat - Suffolk Free Press
Suffolk – Chief Exec defends £220k salary while axing 29 libraries – Grapevine
Warrington – Lib Dems abstain as libraries close – Warrington Guardian
Wigan – fears for library – This is Lancashire
Wiltshire – 10 libraries under threat, all others except one will have reduced hours, £500k over 2 years saving due to these closures, more than £500k spent on self-service machines – Swindon Advertiser
Wiltshire – Plea for volunteers to run libraries - BBC (compare story with this)
Wiltshire – Pewsey and Marlborough cuts in hours (Pewsey, costin £940k only opened in Dec 2010) – This is Wiltshire
Wiltshire – closures come after £35k spent on librarian uniforms, £475k on rebranding – Independent

Annihilation of the UK public library system - Andrew Emmett
Books are better than computers (official) – Daily Telegraph
Bookworm has turned - Stuck On
Bring these library threats to book – Belfast Telegraph
Ed Vaizey – Custodian of Public Libraries? – CILIP
Filming in London and Somerset “Library closure is child abuse” says Alan Bennett – BookSeller blog
Full Story – The problem with Ed Vaizey’s approach – BookSeller blog
Hands off our doors to learning – Independent
Hari Kunzru defends libraries – New Statesman
How important are libraries? – My Arse
On caring for libraries “Let no one forget that. If you want to truly appreciate the value of reading, imagine it being taken away from you. Imagine a Siberia with no library”- Professor David Crystal, president of National Literacy Association
Letters – Independent
List of the Read-Ins so far – Alan Gibbons
Local Library – a beacon of civilization - Independent
National Poet of Scotland keen on defending libraries – Herald Scotland
Noisy Library – A Poem – Peter Wyton (via FoGL)
Robin Ince defends libraries – Voices for the Library
Save our libraries – borrow a book! – Dave Cousins
Third of all libraries could close – Sunday Mirror
This week in Arts Cuts – Guardian
Top 1000 titles were loaned 40m times from libraries in 2010 – BookSeller
Vaizey rebuffs Inquiry call – BookSeller
Vital for Communities – Wales Online
Volunteer libraries will be unusable – False Economy
Watch out, our libraries are living in borrowed time – Daily Telegraph
We emptied our library in protest - CBBC Newsround (TV)
Welsh libraries are booming – Wales Online
Why I love libraries – Floor to ceiling books

The Day The BBC Discovered 395 Library Closures

394 libraries plus 45 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
- minus 1 Croydon (local studies library saved)

News
This, to me, will always be the day when the BBC discovered the library closures.  Libraries were on BBC Breakfast News this morning, You and Yours (Radio Four this lunchtime) and on the 6 O’Clock News, BBC News At Ten…. The articles were not entirely what campaigners would like but I cannot remember a time when libraries were so in the public eye.  My colleague in “Voices for the Library”, Lauren Smith, did the You & Yours interview along with 11 other local radio interviews.  Ed Vaizey spoke on “You and Yours” too, although he was careful not to commit to anything at all – although it was very interesting at the end of You and Yours when he said “You have to elect councillors who believe in libraries and you have to campaign in your local area to get councillors to back their library service”.  Advocacy of the importance of advocacy campaigning straight from the mouth of the minister.

Buckinghamshire – Library chairman aids community – Amersham and Buckingham Advertiser
Buckinghamshire – Little Chalfont works, but not for all - BBC TV
Cambridgeshire – Pleas to protect libraries in poor areas from closures - Cambridge News
Cambridgeshire – library plans to go to councillors tomorrow - BBC
Croydon – local studies library saved – Croydon Guardian
Dorset – “Ad Lib” Campaign Group’s first press release – View Online
Dorset – Protests at 20 closures – Bridport News
Durham – £1.4m cut for libraries – BBC
East Sussex – less books bought – Argus
Gloucestershire – 100 library jobs to go – This is Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – 12000 petition presented to full council – FoGL
Gloucestershire -Bestselling authors including poet laureate  join battle against cuts – BBC News TV
Gloucestershire – MP says cuts not as bad as Labour make out – This is Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – 12000 petition forces council debate – BBC
Hampshire – Mobile Library should be saved - Portsmouth News
Hounslow – Anger at proposed closures – Hounslow Chronicle
Hounslow – “a sore loss” – Feltham and Hounslow Chronicle
Hounslow – take action now - BrentfordTW8
Isle of Wight – Clear the shelves at Newport library – Isle of Wight Radio
Milton Keynes – The run on Stony Stratford – The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker)
Oxfordshire – 200 at meeting to battle for Grove – Herald
Suffolk – Ruth Rendell and Anthony Horowitz condemn cuts – BookSeller
Suffolk – Every library is up for grabs, not just the two-thirds up for closure – EADT

“As stressed as U.S. libraries have been by the economic downturn, the crisis seems to pale in comparison to public libraries in Britain” – American Libraries
Computer game genius learnt all he knew at the library – BBC
Could Volunteers save libraries? – BBC News TV
Ed Vaizey on “You and Yours” about Libraries – BBC Radio 4
Libraries – Tom Conoboy’s Writing Blog
Libraries – a rant – Thescobe
Libraries are a free education – BBC1 Breakfast TV
Libraries set people free (Hari Kunzru on what libraries mean to him) – Voices for the Library
Library Closures on Jeremy Vine Show -BBC Radio 2 (30.15)
On Libraries – Bottled and Shelved
The Last Battle (Steve Ross blog) – BookSeller
Public Inquiry Campaign – Facebook
Radio Marathon (Lauren Smith of Voices For The Library) – Walk You Home
Save Our Libraries – Make Wealth History
Special Collections – towns will lose their distinctiveness and their memories - Collections in a cold climate
Why do we need a chief librarian to run two libraries? – BookSeller

(MUSIC) We love libraries - Sly and Reggie

Suffolk closing 27 bombshell, Barking save 5, Hampshire Bonfire Of The Mobiles

395 libraries plus 45 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
- minus five - Barking and Dagenham decides to keep open five previously under threat – “We value the role of libraries in our local community and recognise community feelings about them, so we have decided to rule out any closures to make budget savings in this financial year.” said a councillor.
- plus 27 – Suffolk - have announced up to 29 out of 44 could close, I had only been aware of 2 before.
- plus 13 mobiles – Hampshire – Hampshire UNISON inform me 13 mobiles will be removed.

News
It is great to see Barking and Dagenham coming off the list of those wishing to close libraries and even greater to see a vote of confidence in them from a councillor. Words With Jam have done a interesting piece on the reality of running community libraries that everyone, MPs and councillors included, should read – especially the bit about them not being able to work everywhere.

Anglesey – joy as libraries saved – BBC
Barking and Dagenham – rules out library closures -AboutMyArea
Brent – “toughest battle yet” to save Barham – Harrow Observer (library recently refurbished at cost of £200k)
Bury – Lead singer of Elbow wants “place to dream” kept open – Bury Times
Bury – 300 protest at closure – Socialist Worker
Devon – Confirmation no libraries to close – BBC
Edinburgh – new Drumbrae Library – Guardian
Gloucestershire – UNISON says “deeply deserving” cuts may be illegal – FoGL
Gloucestershire – 12000 petition causes debate, and confusion, in council – FoGL
Gloucestershire – 10 things you may not know about Glos libraries – FoGL
Gloucestershire – Hucclecote protest – This is Gloucestershire
Isle of Wight – Islanders take to the streets to save libraries, 300 at Sandown, video of Cowes – Isle of Wight County Press
Isle of Wight – cuts worst in country – Isle of Wight County Press (yes, linking to a quote from myself)
Lewisham – Day of protest - News Shopper
Milton Keynes – MP welcomes closure of library as “imaginative, locally based” opportunity for the community – About My Area
North Yorkshire – May close all mobile libraries – Yorkshire Post
North Yorkshire – closure of libraries is “greater community involvement” - Darlington and Stockton Times
Oxfordshire – Meeting to discuss closure of Chinnor – ThameNews
Oxfordshire – 200 protest at Sonning Common – Henley Standard
Oxfordshire – Berinsfield forms action group to save library – Oxford Times
Somerset – Michael Eavis supports campaign - Guardian
Somerset – Quango boss angers campaigners – This is Somerset
Suffolk – 29 libraries facing the axe – EADT - council consultation is here
Suffolk – protests already starting, more to come – EADT
Wakefield – new central library being built, smaller libraries under threat – Yorkshire Evening Post
Warrington – “we have some tough times ahead of us” – Warrington Council
Warrington – Great Sankey, Grappenhall and the mobile to close – This is Cheshire
Westminster – Marylebone Library may never reopen – London Evening Standard. Depressing Pictures here
Worcestershire – contact centres could combine with libraries – Worcester News

Alan Gibbons calls for public debate on libraries – BookSeller
BookSeller launches site to fight library closures - BookSelle.  Facebook Site here
Campaign grows at 375 library closures – Independent (one of the depressing things about doing this blog is that that number so often gets updated, upwards).
Ed Miliband supports libraries – Gulf News
Ed Miliband – the campaign for libraries must be our campaign – Alan Gibbons
Julia Donaldson slams library closures – BookSeller
Gruffalo author supports campaign – VTFL
Libraries are for everyone – MLA
More library campaigns, “Evaizive” – BookSeller
Public Service Inquiry Campaign on Facebook “We want 100,000 on this group”
The reality of running a community library - Words with jam
Twitter supports libraries worldwide – Guardian

List of cuts by authority (click on name of authority for link to relevant report)
Aberdeenshire – some, (brief mention here seems to suggest all but this very unlikely)
Angus - 4 libraries closed this year (April) to be possibly replaced by a mobile.  More info here
Argyll and Bute – 3 libraries and mobile library.
Barnet – some – public consultation here
Barnsley – up to 8
Bedfordshire – 1 mobile to go
Bexley – 3
Birmingham – 39 (three libraries lose hours so Tower Hill can remain open)
Blackburn with Darwen – (reduced opening hours)
Bolton – Up to 8
Brent - 6 (out of 12)
Bromley – (KAB talking books cut)
Buckinghamshire – up to 14 to close or be staffed by volunteers (this article says 11)
Bury – 1 (1 other reduced hours) – Manchester Evening News
Cambridgeshire19 (mobile services already “slashed”) (£1.1m cut)
Camden - several plus one mobile library (£2 million cut)
Central Bedfordshire – one mobile library to go
Conwy – 7 (out of 12)
Croydon – Up to 6 (public gets to choose which) plus 1 local studies
Doncaster – 14, (may also be taken out of council control)
Dorset - up to 20 (out of 34) to close or be given to community groups  (£143k off bookfund).  Dorset is the sole council to receive an actual increase in funding for 2010/11.
Dumfries – 7
Durham – some
East Sussex – (£313k cut)
Falkirk – (transferred to Trust)
Flintshire – 5 and at least one mobile
Gateshead - some (school library service, music library, AIRS talking newspaper under threat)
Gloucestershire - Up to 18 and 6 mobiles  – 11 to close or go to volunteers. 7 to close if they don’t find a partner.  A further 11 reduced to 3.5 days a week (this is such a small figure I include them under “closed”), 6 mobile libraries to go.
Greenwich – (could be turned into a Trust)
Hammersmith and Fulham - 2 and 1 mobile
Hampshire – 13 mobiles (58 FTE jobs to go) (and mobile libraries cut within two miles of each branch, this report says 18FTE to go)(libraries merged with IT/property etc) Source of number of mobiles is UNISON Hampshire
Haringey - (staff cuts)
Harrow – (34 FTE to go)
Hartlepool - 1 confirmed to close (another to merge with community centre, all library’s hours cut)
Herefordshire – (new Ledbury Library delayed)
Hertfordshire – (opening hours to be cut by one third – from 2236 hours down to 1575) – At least one library (Borehamwood)  faces a 40% cut
Highland – (Wick Library to close and merge with school library) (may move to being in a Trust)
Hounslow – 8 (out of 11, £870,000 savings this year on top of £1 million in the last 18 months).
Hull – some (to merge with “customer service centres”)
Hounslow - some (£869k p.a cut – reduction in hours,12 FTE to go, 1 IT skills suite closed)
Inverclyde – some
Isle of Wight – 9 (out of 11) – most serious cuts I am aware of  (consultation ends 7 Feb)
Kent - some (volunteers to be asked to run some) (83 FTE to go as self-service comes in)- Isle of Thanet one of areas hardest hit
Kirklees - at least 1
Lancashire - 2 mobile libaries (plus 16% staffing cut)
Leeds – Up to 20 (out of 52)
Leicestershire – all libraries could be privatised, put to trust or shared (merge of lending/reference- 14 FTE jobs lost)
Lewisham – 5
Liverpool – some
Merton – (2 libraries will have reduced hours)
Milton Keynes – 2
Newport - 7
Norfolk – (£1.2m proposed cut)
Northern Ireland – 10
Northamptonshire – 8 out of 38 may close, 2 mobile libraries to end. Cuts to management and support also.
Northumberland – some
North Ayrshire - some 
North Lanarkshire - 1 (closed March 2010)
North Norfolk – some (c. £1m reduction)
North Somerset – 1 closed, 2 proposed, volunteers may run libraries. Weston Mercury update
North Yorkshire – 24 (out of 53) to close or be staffed by volunteers, 9 mobiles to go off road.
Nottingham – (80 FTE jobs to go, 75% off bookfund, 30 libraries have less opening hours – down to less than 10 hours per week) , 1 library already closed.
Oldham – (increase in volunteers, merging, cuts)
Oxfordshire – 20 – list of those under threat here, Oxford Central hours extended to 7 days per week 
Redbridge - 5 out of 12 may close, another may relocate.
Renfrewshire - 1 (1 library to move into smaller sites in community centres)
Richmond – 1 (£351k cut) (service may be privatised)
Rochdale1 (some library managers to to go in first phase of cuts)
Rutland – (6 libraries to have reduced hours, staff cut)
Salford – some
Sandwell – some
Sefton – 3
Sheffield – (30% cut expected)
Shropshire – 2 and 3 mobiles(reference library to merge with central library)
Somerset -  20 (out of 34) will be offered to community groups. 4 (out of 6) mobile libraries will also go.  Ten other libraries will have a 10% reduction in hours. List of closures here .Consultation period ends on 14th Jan. Rethink on mobiles may happen – article here.
Southampton – 2
Stoke – 2 and 1 mobile library, (ends RNIB service)
Suffolk – 29 (out of 44) – (consultation here)
Swansea - some
Thanet – some
Thurrock – (RNIB subscription ends)
Tower Hamlets – (staff made to reapply for their own jobs -23 library staff replaced)
Wakefieldat least 2 , new central library but local closures
Walsall – 6 (30 FTE). More details here .  Count cut from 8 to 6 due to article here
Walthamstow – some
Wandsworth – 1 (mention in Guardian here) plus reduction in hours in others.
Warrington – 2 and 1 mobile library confirmed . More info here. Journals stopped also, £25k off staff. £10k off reference.
West Dunbartonshire – 3 (some staff losses too)
West Sussex - Some (5 FTE lost, some librarians pay reduced to library assistant)
Westminster – (Marylebone may never reopen)
Wigan - Up to 15 out of 17  (£1.1m cut off £4m budget)
Wiltshire – (26 FTE posts have gone in Dec 2010  inc. 9 out of 13 community librarians)
Worcestershire – some (Pershore library to move out of town centre) , contact centres may combine with libraries

Authorities which have announced no library closures
Anglesey – 4 libraries earmarked for closure have apparently been (temporarily) saved
Brighton
Barking and Dagenham
Cornwall – (one stop shops moving into them, book supply being done differently to save money, no guarantee for 2012)
Devon (may have reduced opening hours, less mobile stops, no new Exeter Library - although this article suggests mobile library service has improved).  BBC article confirms no closures.
Hillingdon
Hull (number of libraries actually increasing here)
Lincolnshire
Moray – (may move to being in a Trust, another article here)
Norfolk (source is comment sent to this site)
Poole
Staffordshire
Wirral 

373 libraries plus 32 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)

News
Brent- Candidate for councillor thinks libraries closures is top concern – Harrow Times

Dorset – list of the 20 libraries that could be closed – Bournemouth Echo

BookSeller launches site to oppose library closures - BookSeller

List of cuts by authority (click on name of authority for link to relevant report)
Aberdeenshire – some, (brief mention here seems to suggest all but this very unlikely)
Angus - 4 libraries closed this year (April) to be possibly replaced by a mobile.  More info here
Argyll and Bute – 3 libraries and mobile library.
Barking and Dagenham – 5
Barnet – some – public consultation here
Barnsley – up to 8
Bedfordshire – 1 mobile to go
Bexley – 3
Birmingham – 39 (three libraries lose hours so Tower Hill can remain open)
Blackburn with Darwen – (reduced opening hours)
Bolton – Up to 8
Brent - 6 (out of 12)
Bromley – (KAB talking books cut)
Buckinghamshire – up to 14 to close or be staffed by volunteers (this article says 11)
Bury – 1 (1 other reduced hours) – Manchester Evening News
Cambridgeshire19 (mobile services already “slashed”) (£1.1m cut)
Camden - several plus one mobile library (£2 million cut)
Central Bedfordshire – one mobile library to go
Conwy – 7 (out of 12)
Croydon – Up to 6 (public gets to choose which) plus 1 local studies
Doncaster – 14, (may also be taken out of council control)
Dorset - up to 20 (out of 34) to close or be given to community groups  (£143k off bookfund).  Dorset is the sole council to receive an actual increase in funding for 2010/11.
Dumfries – 7
Durham – some
East Sussex – (£313k cut)
Falkirk – (transferred to Trust)
Flintshire – 5 and at least one mobile
Gateshead - some (school library service, music library, AIRS talking newspaper under threat)
Gloucestershire - Up to 18 and 6 mobiles  – 11 to close or go to volunteers. 7 to close if they don’t find a partner.  A further 11 reduced to 3.5 days a week (this is such a small figure I include them under “closed”), 6 mobile libraries to go.
Greenwich – (could be turned into a Trust)
Hammersmith and Fulham - 2 and 1 mobile
Hampshire – (58 FTE jobs to go) (and mobile libraries cut within two miles of each branch, this report says 18FTE to go)(libraries merged with IT/property etc)
Haringey - (staff cuts)
Harrow – (34 FTE to go)
Hartlepool - 1 confirmed to close (another to merge with community centre, all library’s hours cut)
Herefordshire – (new Ledbury Library delayed)
Hertfordshire – (opening hours to be cut by one third – from 2236 hours down to 1575) – At least one library (Borehamwood)  faces a 40% cut
Highland – (Wick Library to close and merge with school library) (may move to being in a Trust)
Hounslow – 8 (out of 11, £870,000 savings this year on top of £1 million in the last 18 months).
Hull – some (to merge with “customer service centres”)
Hounslow - some (£869k p.a cut – reduction in hours,12 FTE to go, 1 IT skills suite closed)
Inverclyde – some
Isle of Wight – 9 (out of 11) – most serious I am aware of, consultation ends 7 Feb
Kent - some (volunteers to be asked to run some) (83 FTE to go as self-service comes in)- Isle of Thanet one of areas hardest hit
Kirklees - at least 1
Lancashire - 2 mobile libaries (plus 16% staffing cut)
Leeds – Up to 20 (out of 52)
Leicestershire – all libraries could be privatised, put to trust or shared (merge of lending/reference- 14 FTE jobs lost)
Lewisham – 5
Liverpool – some
Merton – (2 libraries will have reduced hours)
Milton Keynes – 2
Newport - 7
Norfolk – (£1.2m proposed cut)
Northern Ireland – 10
Northamptonshire – 8 out of 38 may close, 2 mobile libraries to end. Cuts to management and support also.
Northumberland – some
North Ayrshire - some 
North Lanarkshire - 1 (closed March 2010)
North Norfolk – some (c. £1m reduction)
North Somerset – 1 closed, 2 proposed, volunteers may run libraries. Weston Mercury update
North Yorkshire – 24 (out of 53) to close or be staffed by volunteers, 9 mobiles to go off road.
Nottingham – (80 FTE jobs to go, 75% off bookfund, 30 libraries have less opening hours – down to less than 10 hours per week) , 1 library already closed.
Oldham – (increase in volunteers, merging, cuts)
Oxfordshire – 20 – list of those under threat here, Oxford Central hours extended to 7 days per week 
Redbridge - 5 out of 12 may close, another may relocate.
Renfrewshire - 1 (1 library to move into smaller sites in community centres)
Richmond – 1 (£351k cut) (service may be privatised)
Rochdale1 (some library managers to to go in first phase of cuts)
Rutland – (6 libraries to have reduced hours, staff cut)
Salford – some
Sandwell – some
Sefton – 3
Sheffield – (30% cut expected)
Shropshire – 2 and 3 mobiles(reference library to merge with central library)
Somerset -  20 (out of 34) will be offered to community groups. 4 (out of 6) mobile libraries will also go.  Ten other libraries will have a 10% reduction in hours. List of closures here .Consultation period ends on 14th Jan. Rethink on mobiles may happen – article here.
Southampton – 2
Stoke – 2 and 1 mobile library, (ends RNIB service)
Suffolk – up to 2 – (one appears to Woodbridge)
Swansea - some
Thanet – some
Thurrock – (RNIB subscription ends)
Tower Hamlets – (staff made to reapply for their own jobs -23 library staff replaced)
Wakefieldat least 2
Walsall – 6 (30 FTE). More details here .  Count cut from 8 to 6 due to article here
Walthamstow – some
Wandsworth – 1 (mention in Guardian here) plus reduction in hours in others.
Warrington – 2 and 1 mobile library. More info here. Journals stopped also, £25k off staff. £10k off reference.
West Dunbartonshire – 3 (some staff losses too)
West Sussex - Some (5 FTE lost, some librarians pay reduced to library assistant)
Wigan - Up to 15 out of 17  (£1.1m cut off £4m budget)
Wiltshire – (26 FTE posts have gone in Dec 2010  inc. 9 out of 13 community librarians)
Worcestershire – some (Pershore library to move out of town centre)

Authorities which have announced no library closures
Anglesey – 4 libraries earmarked for closure have apparently been (temporarily) saved
Brighton
Cornwall – (one stop shops moving into them, book supply being done differently to save money, no guarantee for 2012)
Devon (may have reduced opening hours, less mobile stops, no new Exeter Library - although this article suggests mobile library service has improved)
Hillingdon
Hull (number of libraries actually increasing here)
Lincolnshire
Moray – (may move to being in a Trust, another article here)
Poole
Staffordshire
Wirral 

Sunday update – More reaction to “white and middle class” comment – Stony Stratford Goes Global

373 libraries plus 32 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)

News
Following on from the Daily Mail’s attack on Roy Clare yesterday, the Guardian reports that the shadow Culture Minister has asked the Government to condemn his remarks that libraries are for the white middle classes.  He is also criticized in the leading article in the Independent and almost universally in all the comments attached to all the articles mentioned.  This is what library campaigners think of his comments.

In addition, I am also starting to see widespread impatience at Ed Vaizey’s somewhat hand’s off approach to closures.  There is even a new word – “Evaizive” – for the stock answers emanating from his office to all protesting emails/letters.

#savelibraries was a top trending topic worldwide on Twitter today – for those unaware of the joy of tweeting, I should explain that this is a major achievement and shows the importance of libraries amongst those who are very au fait with computers and who do not want them preserved in aspic.

Gloucestershire – Horrible Histories illustrator supports campaign and provides cartoon – FoGL
Gloucestershire – Campaigners smash 5000 petition target – Wilts and Glos Standard
Milton Keynes – People power empties threatened library – ABC (Australia)
Milton Keynes – “It just went mad” Emptying the Shelves at Stony – Independent
Milton Keynes – Pictures, insider description and more links on Stony campaign – About My Area
Somerset – baying crowd at meeting to save Shepton Mallet Library – Shepton Mallet People
Somerset – Glastonbury “protest festival” – BookSeller
Suffolk – Save Leiston Library 
Worcestershire – trying to keep Pershore Library at the heart of the community – Worcester News

Books for all, not just the wealthy – leading article in the Independent
Keep on campaigning, we’ve not won anything yet - Alan Gibbons
Overdue! The fight to save our libraries begins - Independent
#savelibraries – Use Libraries and Learn Stuff
Privileged and Middle Class? Not Us? – Lauren Smith via Alan Gibbons
Public libraries should get more, not less, funding – Scruffian
Save the libraries … and then what? – Charlotte Gore
Shadow Culture Minister asks government to condemn Roy Clare’s remarks – Guardian
Your free local public library – Laughing Garreteer