451 libraries (383 buildings and 68 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4517 in the UK – see tally by local authority link on right for the full picture.

Changes to tally

Camden – 25% cut, 40% cut in opening hours.  Libraries still under threat but may not close outright.  King’s Cross may be rebuilt in new Town hall complex, Crowndale Centre library may move to new Camden High Street site, Regent’s Park may become study centre with new library built instead, Local Studies Archive may close.  Decision in early June.
Croydon - Decision to close six libraries postponed until 2012. 23 library jobs lost April 2011. Another 26 likely to go in order to make £700k saving. 
Norfolk – 10% cut in hours in all libraries proposed
Sheffield – 3 (out of 4) mobiles to be closed, 33 library staff to be made redundant, reduced opening hours, £1.4m cut

News

Are volunteers happy to run libraries?Voices for the Library.   Councils asking communities to run libraries is the equivalent of blackmailing them.  The fact communities are willing to consider running them shows how important they are and how they should continue to be funded.
Can they sell the libraries?New Law Journal.  Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 may prevent some library closures. 
Coalition government is “anti-book”Politics.  BookSeller shows government’s record on libraries, schools and literacy speaks volumes. 
Costing public library useVoices for the Library.  Family has added up cost of all of the books it has borrowed from public libraries – £150 per month.
Council outsourcing plans “will take time to implement”Odgers Berndtson.  U-turn in Suffolk suggests divesting libraries and other services may take five to ten years, rather than two.

The report, Council spending: making it clear, shows some of the biggest cuts across the country will take place in education funding – down 11.4% – and cultural services, including libraries, which will be reduced by 10.2%. Environmental spending will fall by 3.72%.” Council spending cuts hitting North more than SouthPublicFinance. 

Great to have a net champion, but let’s see more backing for a reading champion - Alan Gibbons.  In 2000 the international reading rankings (PISA) placed the UK in seventh position. We have now soared…to 25th.”
Libraries are in crisis, but literary culture is thrivingGuardian.   Reading groups doing well despite decline of libraries and may be in a small way a replacement for them.
Library cuts hit staff and users: time for action against the cutsSocialist. Less staff and more work means less service.
Red tape review threat to servicesGuardian.   “The only frontline services that the website states will be protected are libraries and child protection.”
Support your library, CWA tells authorsBookSeller.  “The Crime Writers Association (CWA) is asking each of its members to do at least three events a year for their local library as part of a campaign to support the public library service in the face of widespread cutbacks.”
Torture legal aid case is a triumph of the rule of lawGuardian.   The right for legal aid for “pure public interest cases” upheld in court. Witholding legal aid “the perfect cover for decision-makers to eliminate bothersome services such as legal aid, or aspects of the state that don’t fit within their own agendas such as libraries”
Volunteering plans “too ambitious” says Volunteering England policy managerThirdSector.   Worries (see comments) that “right to challenge” under Localism Bill would not be exercised by community groups but rather by private companies.
Which local politician is the most incompetent in terms of the public library service?Twtpoll. Mark Hawthorne (leader of Gloucestershire) storms home with 60% of the vote.

News by authority

Barnet – Save Our Friern Barnet Library

Barnet – Campaigners plan a picnic protest while councillors are “hobnobbing”Barnet Today.  Protesters suspect council AGM will be celebratory banquet.  ““It seems they haven’t registered the fact they have made more than 100 people redundant, libraries are merging, the Church Farmhouse Museum has closed, Barnet Museum is fighting to stay open and lots of people are very concerned about privatisation.”
Bradford – Mobile library to visit Denholme, Wrose, Heaton, Addingham and Wilsden libraries - Advertiser.  As an alternative to the branch libraries closing in each one in June.


Brent – Save Our Six LibrariesBrent SOS Libraries.

Brent – £5 donations needed for library legal actionHarrow Observer.   Brent SOS Libraries set up to represent all threatened libraries.  £30,000 needed for judicial review, with Bindmans LLP acting on their behalf. Also covered by the BookSeller.
Brent – Mayor-making in Brent disrupted by anti-library cuts protestersHarrow Observer.  Councillors shocked that protesters upset “non-political” meeting, claim Lib Dem plot.
Cambridgeshire – £36,000 to keep libary safeCambridge News.  Councillor says this much money would keep local library open, local observer says “I do understand the county’s position but I think they haven’t really got a clear idea about where the funding and provision for this library is going to come from.”
Camden – “Friends” groups are poised to rescue threatened libraries from shutdowns - Camden New Journal.   2500 out of 6000 responders to survey said would consider volunteering to save threatened libraries.
Croydon – Campaigner’s book buying to mark Norbury Library’s 80th anniversaryCroydon Guardian.   80 books will be bought to give to library as part of Save Norbury Library’s street party.

“The loss of highly qualified staff must have an impact. We have lost both staff numbers and qualified librarians at our library. The staff we have are wonderful but now work under such pressure as we seem to have dropped to only two staff on duty at any one time, and only one during breaks. We have a qualified librarian only one day a month now. Yes Sara, we have noticed!”  Comment below Croydon – Under threat Croydon library’s given 12 month reprieveCroydon Guardian.  Massive public response means libraries to kept open but 47 staff are in the process of being lost. Also reported in the BookSeller.

Cumbria – Campaigners fight to save Seaton LibraryTimes & Star.  Petition started by residential home manager – “She said that about 20 of the residents in the home, which is opposite the library, regularly used it. They said it meant everything to them.”.
Dorset – As Lib campaign: Library concessions “don’t go far enough” – Bridport News.  Divested libraries will have access to council network and some staff but will need a lot of volunteers.
Dorset – Ad Lib urges Dorset Council to spend less on library booksDorset Echo.  Campaigners say service holds more books than it has shelves to put them on.  Council leader responds in same newspaper with Council chief says good stock turnover is essential to library users
Gloucestershire – Mobile library services across the county are being withdrawnHartpury residents are enraged by a letter from council leader Mark Hawthorne saying it would be cheaper for the council to buy books from Amazon and give them to Hartpury residents, than continue to run the mobile library service.”.  “Virtual” library service for the needy to be offered instead.
Isle of Wight – Minister calls council in over library plansVentnorBlog.  Ed Vaizey calls in council to present their plans to DCMS officials.
Lambeth – This is not just about balancing the booksSouth London Press.   Council looks at usage of each branch.  Commission to look at libraries invited public responses.
Leeds – Axe falls on 15 Leeds librariesYorkshire Evening Post.  Closed libraries will be “freed up assets” and allow 100,000 more hours of computer use, 41 more hours open and no permanent staff losses.
Leeds – Under threat library crisis talksYorkshire Evening Post.  Friends of Rawdon Library say “We know that libraries are evolving, but we want evolution not closure.”  

“Ever since these proposals were first mooted, the people of both Scholes and Shadwell united in their determination to oppose the closures. The level of engagement from local residents on this issue has been nothing short of staggering and this clearly has had a huge bearing on the outcome of the consultation.” Leeds – Scholes and Shadwell libraries saved from the axeWetherby News.   Howeverm Shadwell likely to cease being council controlled in 2012.

Lewisham – Eco Computer Systems owner Darren Taylor vows to make Lewisham libraries betterNews Shopper.   One full-time librarian in each branch plus volunteers.  New Cross may be closed – New Cross Community Library Campaign group formed.
Norfolk – Norfolk libraries’ opening hours cut plannedBBC.  10% cut is an option in consultation.
Northamptonshire – Group formed to fight closure of a Northampton LibraryNorthampton Chronicle.  Friend of St James’ Library group to be formed to fight potential closure of “least-used” library.
Northern Ireland – Libraries closure decision delayedMid-Ulster Mail.  Decision to be made in September.
North Yorkshire – Budget cuts deal could be lifeline for North Yorkshire librariesCraven Herald & Pioneer.  Massive response to public consultation means councillors will re-examine proposals to cut 24 libraries. Budget cut will still need to happen at same scale – cuts could be more evenly spread out. “I expect North Yorkshire was rather taken by surprise at how much feeling there was about the libraries.” says campaigner.  Decision next week.  More info on Public outcry could save libraries from the axeGazette & Herald.  
North Yorkshire – Library cuts idea rejectedPress.  Liberal councillor suggested spreading cuts more evenly throughout authority.  Voted down.
Oxfordshire – Summertown campaigners “prepared to buy library”Oxford Times.  Friends of Summertown Library are in the process of turning into a registered charity.  £7k already raised – group starting feasibility study to rebuild expanded library on same site.
Sheffield – Library vans hit by cutsSheffield Telegraph. 3 out of 4 mobile libraries and 33 staff to be axed, opening hours to be cut. Consultation is “nothing of the sort” says user.
Somerset – Library to have its opening hours cut - This is Somerset.  Frome’s hours to be cut in October. 
Somerset – Porlock extraordinary meeting to discuss cutsSomerset County Gazette.   Parish gains £7k from rates from library building, may lose library, visitor information centre, museum and recreation ground.
Somerset – Mixed news for Highbridge and Burnham’s librariesThis is the West Country.   7.5 hours less opening for Burnham, Highbridge to be “divested”
Somerset – Opening hours at Burnham On Sea library to be cut by 20%Burnham on Sea.com.  7.6 hours less per week during least busy times.
Somerset – Proposals for librariesView Online.   Lists cuts in hours in individual libraries and increased offer for volunteers taking over libraries.
Suffolk – New council leader Mark Bee pledges to work with communities over libraries - Evening Star.  Some closures but on the other hand not many and new libraries could be created. However, no clear news yet and campaigners still worried.
Warwickshire – Library may move to stay afloat – Redditch Standard.  Studley Library may relocate as High Street library closes.  Locals want council-run public library but will run volunteer one if it closes, “strength of public feeling” means council looking at alternative venues and funding.