521 libraries (461 buildings and 60 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control (List below) out of 4517 in the UK (CILIP figures)
I have needed to make a change to the statistics.  The situation is too murky for “closed” to adequately descibe what is happening to libraries that will no longer be under council control.  For example, the Isle of Wight confirmed this evening that five libraries will be “volunteer led”.  It would be inaccurate to call these “closed” but also wrong to call them unthreatened.

– Brent – council apparently confirms 6 library closures (“apparently” because consultation ending March 4th)
– Calderdale – review to cut £250k inc hours and bookfund cuts
– Croydon – six libraries under threat will remain open until July while “the council looks at ways of keeping them open”.
– Isle of Wight – confirmed 5 libraries to be “volunteer led”, taken out of authority control with option to bid for money for stock, ICT etc.
– Surrey – Consultation before closing – of one month for 5 mobiles, six months for 11 branches


Summary
“Campaign for the Book, the pro-library campaign body run by author Alan Gibbons, has launched a judicial review case through solicitors, arguing that the culture secretary has failed to comply with his legal duty to superintend local authorities in their provision of proper library services to their residents.” (Guardian).  This adds on to legal challenges being mounted (or likely to be) in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Lewisham.

Ed Vaizey has spoken in Parliament on libraries, stating that he is a champion for libraries, there is no plan to modify the 1964 Act and that volunteers should complement librarians, not replace them.  He also states that authorities should be “strategic” in their approach to library provision, sharing building with other services but closing libraries if they are no longer needed.  It all sounds very rosy and disturbingly at variance to the dismantling of the library service that is taking place in many authorities up and down the country.
Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive

Brent – 6 libraries “look likely to close” as amendments to save them voted down – Harrow Times
Brent – council sounds the death knell for Brent libraries – Harrow Observer
Brent – video of protests at meeting – Harrow Observer
Calderdale – libraries shake-up to save £250k – Evening Courier
Cheshire West and Chester – Save Our Libraries – Facebook
Croydon – ray of hope for libraries – This is Local London

Gloucestershire – Stroud councillor lambasted over comments on Hitler clip – Stroud News & Journal
Isle of Wight – coverage of cabinet meeting – Ventnor Blog “DCMS has asked IWC to be used as a case study for community engagement” 5 libraries to be “volunteer led”
Suffolk – US firm LSSI interested in running Suffolk’s libraries – EADT “There is also another organisation that has been in touch”
Suffolk – Protest groups join forces over Suffolk library cuts – EADT (Petition here)
Surrey – Go-ahead for consultation on Surrey library changes – BBC
Walsall – Adjournment debate on Wirral Libraries in Parliament – They Work For You

National News
Ed Vaizey, in Parliament, with the rose-tinted glasses – They Work For You (compare with this article)
Establishing an annual National Libraries Day – Alan Gibbons
Fury over “stupid” restrictions to library ebook loans – Guardian (call for boycott of HarperCollins)
HarperCollins hit by several types of stupid sick – Phil Bradley “I simply cannot begin to describe what a stupid, backward looking and retrograde step I think this is.”
HarperCollins rouses gang of angry librarians – TechEye (USA)
Library campaigners mount legal challneges to closures – Guardian
Library eBook Revolution, Begin – Librarian in Black
March news – Reading Agency “We are particularly concerned about communities losing the expert staff who support reading…We are urging MPs who haven’t already done so to talk to councils about their responsibilities under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.”
Minister confirms vital role of professional staff (CILIP) – Alan Gibbons
More legal challenges launched over library closures – BookSeller
New legal challenge over library closures – Campaign for the Book “The Culture Minister should not be able ignore the implications of the 1964 … Act”.
Optimistic Pickles’ 40% back office savings would only be 3.6% of total budget – Guardian