408 libraries (332 buildings and 76 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4612 in the UK, complete list below. Librarian professional body CILIP forecasts 600 libraries under threat (inc. 20% of English libraries).  The Public Libraries News figure is obtained from counting up all reports about public libraries in the media each day.


  • Bestselling children’s author opens school bus library – Streatham Guardian. “Mr Morpurgo has since penned a story inspired by the library bus, which will be made into a short animation for the London 2012 Olympics. The bus has also been shortlisted for a design award by the School Libraries Association. The winner will be announced in October.” 
  • Margaret Atwood fights library closures, crashes petition serverToronto News.   “Literary icon Margaret Atwood has joined the fight against a consultant’s proposed cuts to Toronto’s library system, marshalling her 225,200 Twitter followers and crashing a server hosting a petition. At 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Atwood retweeted this from @sonalogy: “Toronto’s libraries are under threat of privatization. Tell city council to keep them public now.”.  The author has retweeted message several times.
  • Summer Reading Challenge news – Alan Gibbons.  “In a huge combined effort to encourage every child to enjoy reading, the public library network today launched The Summer Reading Challenge with an event at the House of Commons. Speakers included Nick Gibb, Minister for Schools, and author Michael Rosen. Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad announced that the Challenge will be part of the London 2012 Festival.  Guests gathered to show their support for libraries’ contribution to literacy included some of the nation’s best loved authors along with MPs, councillors, publishing industry figures, librarians and library campaigners.”
  • Wright Stuff Extra with Gabby LoganChannel Five. 26:00 to 32:00  “Today we speak to Phillipa Jackson, who is campaigning to keep Chalk Farm library (Camden) open, as well as Isabella, a 12-year-old user who visits the library regularly. Kirsty then takes to the streets to see what the general public think about libraries, and whether the possible closure would affect them.”… “It’s our community, it’s an essential service..”.  Lauren Smith talks to Gabby Logan.  Gabby says “Lots of us are outraged that libraries are closing” and advocates increasing use. 


Norfolk – New reduced opening hours announced for each library.  
Sandwell – Volunteers will be used to replace paid staff, working in core hours.  Consultation begins.  “The document does not spell out how many volunteers would be taken on or how many jobs would be shed.”.

Local News

  • Barnet – Schoolgirl to tell Barnet Council to save Friern Barnet Library – Times series.   “How does taking away our library increase reading, literacy and learning opportunities for children in Friern Barnet? Why do the children of Friern Barnet not matter?”
  • Brent – Libraries latest: day 3 in Court 2I spy in Queen’s Park.  “The Brent Six are Innocent” was best slogan.  “Seven secret criteria” had been used to assess business plans for alternatives.  Magistrate appeared “not to be in sympathy” with equalities impact legislation argument.  “The Judge indicated that it was very unlikely that he would be able to give his full judgment until October”.  See also  Brent judicial review, day threeBookSeller.  Judgment may be given in August.  Defence says alternative plans for libraries “unrealistic”.  Also Brent library campaigners hopeful over closures ruling BBC “We’ve done all we can. We’re hopeful.”.  Please also see Concerns over Brent campaigners volunteer librariesVoices for the Library.  The Brent legal challenge appears, at least partly, to be advocating the taking over of libraries by volunteers which seems to go against statements by Philip Pullman and Alan Bennett.  ” The outcome of this judicial review could have serious implications for other campaigners who are not campaigning for volunteer run libraries, including those whose judicial reviews (such as Gloucestershire and Somerset) are due to be heard.”

“Though the verdict won’t come for a few weeks, we have achieved something worth celebrating. We took the council to court, with some of the best lawyers in the country and achieved national attention for our worthy cause”
  • Bromley – Bromlet and Bexley to share library servicesNews Shopper.   “The council also said compulsory redundancies might not be necessary as staff had taken voluntary redundancy.”
  • Coventry – Mobile library replaced with new building – BBC.   “”Here in Coventry we have pledged not to reduce opening hours in our libraries and here the local community will be able to enjoy a brand new facility which replaces the mobile service local residents have had to use for years.”
  • Doncaster – Cllr Kevin Rodgers warns mayor about judicial reviewSave Doncaster Libraries.   ““We don’t want to see the council being taken to court, because financially like all councils around the country, we don’t have great vast amounts of resources and we can’t really afford to be fighting a court case when we could just sensibly review the decision.”.  See also Put plan to close libraries on hold – Star. 
  • Dorset – Library decision: Dorset supporters vow to continue fightingDorset Echo.  Branches may be taken on by volunteers. Legal action also a possibility.  See also Outrage as nine of Dorset’s libraries shut by a single vote – Daily Echo.  ““We are led to the conclusion that the underlying reason for this relentless drive to get shot of libraries is because the managers in Dorset believe that only big is beautiful.
  • “They just don’t like small libraries yet, as you have seen this morning, the people that use them do.”…  Councillor said ““I’m not going to vote for closing the libraries, I’m going to vote for keeping the libraries open, all be it in a different way.” Interesting (and numerous) comments.
  • Isle of Wight – Library injunction dropped by judicial review continues – Ventnor Blog.   Injunction dropped as council has given undertaking not to make “irrevocable” actions until review takes place – “the assurance was given to a High Court Judge, so it would, as I understand it be contempt of court should the assurance be broken”.  Staff have been made redundant but the thought is that they, or others, can be taken back on. 
  • Lambeth – Library strike called off for now – Guardian series.   “Unison said strike action has been suspended because of “concessions from management” which should avoid compulsory redundancies within the service. It said, however, that strike action would be reinstated if a final agreement could not be reached.”
  • Lewisham – Council services to be farmed out?South London Press.  “council has already handed over control of four libraries to charities and not-for-profit groups. Social care, more libraries, business advice services, property management, leisure and parks could be next.”
  • Norfolk – New library opening hours announced after consultation – Evening News 24. New reduced opening hours announced.
  • North Yorkshire – Villagers form “two pronged attack” to save libraryAdvertiser.  “More than 100 residents of Great Ayton attended a public meeting on Wednesday night in the Parochial Hall, called by the Save Great Ayton Library Group (SGALG).” Split amongst residents between those wishing to oppose withdrawal of council funding and those wishing to run the library as volunteers.  Both camps agreed to encourage completion of survey.
  • North Yorkshire – Call for extended libraries deadline rejected – Yorkshire Post.  Deadline to extend closures to help volunteers run them fails but ““The county council has set up a team of experts to help our communities to keep their libraries going,” he said. We are being extremely proactive. We are not setting communities up to fail but helping them get to where they want to be.”
  • Sandwell – Libraries cost-cutting plan goes out to consultationHalesowen News.  Massive cuts to libraries is now under consultation.  “The Library Innovation and Evaluation Plan states that voluntary staff would be used to deliver core services for the first time”
  • Somerset – Injunction granted to postpone Somerset library cutsThis is the West Country.   “Watchet campaigner John Irven said: “I am amazed and want to thank all the people of Somerset who have stepped forward to meet this initial demand. We have received pledges from more than 100 individuals together with many Somerset Library Friends Groups as well as support from our near neighbours in Dorset.”.  See also Library campaigners joining forces to fight council chiefs.  “Somerset’s legal challengers were told they would have to raise the amount of legal bond they put up, payable if they lose the case, from £5,000 to £11,000, and that their injunction did not apply to the mobile library service, with which the county council can now continue its plans.”
  • Surrey – Threatened Surrey libraries’ opening hours face changes – BBC.  “The county council has begun talks with communities in 11 areas where it wants to devolve day-to-day management of libraries it says are less well used.”  Suggestions from groups include parcel-collection services.