369 libraries plus 27 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)

There is a devil of a dilemma for those who wish to save libraries after withdrawal has been cut – whether to “help out” or not.  Many authorities (such as Gloucestershire) are saying that the local library will only survive if a community group takes it over, with minimal council support. Those who love libraries may quite rightly be tempted to do so.  However, if they do before all other options are taken, then it will only encourage yet more branches to be effectively privatised in this ways.  Libraries will become just another charity shop. However, the council may well close the library anyway if groups don’t step up to the mark. The unwillingness of charities to take over wildlife preserves without full remuneration may be an argument in favour of not helping.  Call their bluff and, perhaps, the council will back down.  Or perhaps they won’t.  It’s a terrible problem and one which campaigners up and down the country are facing.  Right now.

Birmingham – libraries are the single most important resource for the disadvantaged – Birmingham Mail
Dorset – use of 250 volunteers attacked – Bournemouth Echo
Gloucestershire – 10000 views of website since August – Friends of Gloucestershire Library
Gloucestershire – UK Uncut protest in Stroud includes libraries – UK Uncut
Kent – UNISON attacks 83 FTE posts being removed, replaced by self-service – Your Canterbury

Booktust – Letter saying authors cannot protect scheme due to self-interest gets savaged in comments – Guardian
National Read In – Facebook Event
“Remember the good times? Didn’t there used to be a library there?” – Guardian
Wildlife Preserves – if community groups don’t do it for free, Government may back down – a lesson for libraries? – Independent

(USA) Libraries mission has changed – Charleston City Paper