517 libraries (443 buildings and 74 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4517 in the UK.  See link on right for full tally by authority.

Comment

The Independent notes that “”Please keep the noise down” isn’t an ideal protest chant. Then again, perhaps libraries aren’t quite as quiet as we all thought.”.  One can speak and enjoy oneself in all the best libraries I know.  Raising the anger of the people who use libraries has never been considered a high-risk occupation.  Unless, that is, one is a councillor and the elections are looking.  Have a look at the CILIP and Voices for the Library campaigns to confirm this. Rumours of a deathly silent ninja librarians militant wing remain, however, despite some video evidence that includes some swearing, unconfirmed.

News

Fantastic Bounce and Rhyme – Voices for the Library. Special half hour sessions for babies with singing, finger rhymes and lullabies moves a mum to tears.
How Libraries shaped my motherhood – Offbeat Mama (USA)

 

National Libraries Week 2011 begins with John Grisham as Honorary Chair – Examiner (USA) “The American Library Association has sponsored National Library Week since it was first established in 1958. The event aims at promoting the use of libraries and increasing public support for their offerings”
Shhhh, 2011 London Word Festival is back with a library theme … Independent.
Tell us once - Idea.  Government/local government initiative where a bereavement is communicated to one service (e.g. libraries) which then informs all other services.


Changes
Durham - Barnard’s Castle library may be closed in 2012, along with other branch and mobile libraries.  Bookfund cut this year, with some reductions in opening hours proposed.
Leicestershire - Online questionnaire consulting on cuts to libraries 11 April to 20 June. Council aims to close libraries at least busy times rather than closing some entirely.  38 libraries may reduce from 20 hours per week to 13 hours per week. Summary of proposals.

News by authority
Cumbria – Fight to save your librariesTimes & Star.  Residents say threatened libraries are well used with one doing mums & tot group, reading club, coffee mornings, craft fair. Long journeys to open libraries.  Council promoting 400 (sic) book “library link”. “Declining” usage figures for threatened libraries cover period of major flooding which council admits “distorted the pattern”.  Despite this, two of the threatened libraries saw uage increasing in this period.  See Alan Gibbons’ comments on Cumbria cutting hours.
Durham – Library “hub” may be created in village hall - Teesdale Mercury“Book point” in Mickleton village hall proposed where one could ask for book online or by phone, as a three-month trial following on from the Future Libraries Programme.
Ealing – Ealing residents express anger over proposed library closures - Ealing Times. 120 attended meeting.  Councillor seemed interested only in volunteers rather than the council continuing to run library.

“We have been told we are asking overly specific questions at parish council meetings, been dealt with with contempt when we made our statement after submitting our 15,000 signature strong petition at a full council meeting. We were placed on the agenda AFTER the council voted in the library plans when they had promised to take our comments into consideration – (to this day the council refuse to provide an explanation for this).  ALL of the Conservatives voted in the plans despite fierce opposition from their constituents……..the list goes on. “ Gloucestershire – Library users being frozen out of negotiations on the future of their own libraries - FoGL

FoGL – Concerned

Gloucestershire – I call this disgraceful behaviourAlan GibbonsLeader of Council refuses to talk to any pro-library campaigner while judicial review is under way, regardless of if they are connected with it or not.
Gloucestershire – FoGL meet with DCMS officials over concerns around GCC’s library plans - FoGL. Campaign group has one hour meeting with DCMS.
Leicestershire – County wants feedback on cuts to libraries and museums – BBC.
Leicestershire – Have your say on library and museum hours – inLoughborough
Sheffield – Libraries Uncut – Library Workers for a Brighter Future. A “People’s Library” will be opening in the town on 30th April.
Somerset – Staplehay phone box becomes a library - Somerset County Gazette. Parish council sets up informal book exchange.  ““At a time when county libraries are reducing their hours of access to the public, we have a new facility that will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Suffolk – Thurston: Village unveils bid to save library from axe - EADT. Parish council may cover costs with library staffed by volunteers.