414 libraries (325 buildings and 89 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4612 in the UK, complete list below.  The librarian professional body CILIP forecasts 600 libraries could be 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.

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News

Because that’s the problem, Mr Cameron. The 1,500 books that have been donated to St Mary’s will languish on the shelves unread, or disappear entirely, if nobody is being paid to look after them. Yes, I said “paid.” Volunteers come and go. Who is going to find the money for a database so the school actually knows where those books are, and when a class in Y3 is doing the Ancient Romans next term you can find the right resources for them? You can get a purpose-built package , but it’ll cost you a more than a grand to install and several hundred pounds a year to run. And believe me, you’d need a lot of volunteers to do the equivalent on 6 x 4 index cards. I know, I’ve tried.” Story of a rather silly man Miranda’s Island.

 

 
  • Sex Pistols artist takes Brent library protest to USLondon Evening Standard.   “Jamie Reid is educating art lovers in Los Angeles about Kensal Rise library, closed by Brent council. He has designed prints with the slogans “Education is a birthright!” and “Free the books/ books for free/ save Kensal Rise library” and put them on display during the Moods of Norway art exhibition at the Paul Stolper Gallery in LA. He has also donated 200 of the limited-edition prints to protesters in Kensal Rise, who plan to sell them to raise money for the campaign.”
  • We are cutting ours, go use theirs: They are cutting those as well – Question Everything.   Oxfordshire library campaigner notices Gloucestershire is telling is users affected by cuts to use bordering Oxfordshire libraries – but those libraries are being cut as well.  Oh dear.
“So according to GCC 30% of the library service from Wychwood and Burford covers the residents of Gloucestershire. But wait, we are being cut too! Burford and Wychwood are having the staffing cut by 50% and the volunteers are going to have to cover this and lots of the other duties of the paid staff. We are also no longer statutory so presumably the 1964 act which states provide a service to those who live, work and study doesn’t apply.”

Changes

Local News


“Coun Reynolds told the Express that this was a dark day for democracy in the borough, and fears this is a great loss for the community of Aberbargoed. He said: “The library is now going to close, which means our community will be without its own library. We will continue to fight it, as will the people of Aberbargoed. “These buildings are what make a community and they are slowly being taken away. “The revenue the council will save from the closure is only £5,500 a year, which I find disgraceful. The decision is absolutely disgraceful. Are the people of Aberbargoed not worth even £5,500 a year?” Caerphilly – Library closure “a dark day for democracy” – Wales Online.  

  • Conwy – Campaigners to meet with council over future of Penrhyn Bay library – North Wales Weekly News.  Penrhyn Bay Library Users Group (PLUG) examining possibility of running its library.  “If we can’t come up with a model that works, that has to be appreciated as well. But I’m confident we have a strong enough community to support that.”.
  • Croydon/Lambeth – Letters respond to “gaff-prone Eddy” tell the truth and remind campaigners – Save Croydon Libraries Campaign.  Croydon councillors attacked for library closures.
  • Durham – Council wants to transfer sport and leisure services to a charitable trust – Civil Society.  “The council has to make spending cuts of £145.8m in the next five years and hopes it can save money by putting the services into a charitable trust known as a non-profit distributing organisation (NPDO). It predicts it could save more than £865,000 in national non-domestic rates in the financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 because the new organisation would be eligible for a discount of 80 per cent. An NPDO would be exempt from VAT on fees and charges at sport, leisure and cultural facilities and libraries. It would also be able to apply for funding from bodies such as Sport England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.”.  Libraries would be one of the first services to be transferred.  
    • Anxious wait over job cuts at libraries Northern Echo.   “Labour-run Durham County Council wants to cut opening hours at all but one of its libraries – some by more than half – before outsourcing their management to a nonprofit- making trust. Last night, the council said 250 staff, in the equivalent of 134 full-time posts, could be affected, but it was too early to say how many jobs would be lost.”.
    • Cutbacks to Durham library serviceBookSeller.   
  • Halton – Award-winning author, Helen Walsh, visits Widnes Library as part of National Library Day – Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News.  “An award-winning yet highly-controversial author will be visiting Widnes Library as part of National Libraries Day next month. Helen Walsh, who was born in Warrington, has a reputation for writing what other authors are afraid to say. She will be guest of honour at the annual event, which is being held on Thursday, February 2.”
  • Hampshire – Plans altered for library opening changes – Hampshire Chronicle.   5500 responses to cuts proposals.  £4.7m [sic] cuts for libraries, inc. £446k cuts to opening hours.
“An exciting and unique two year opportunity to join our innovative management team and lead our offer of consultancy and services to other local authorities. In Northamptonshire, we are ahead of the curve with libraries as prosperity centres, cutting edge engagement with 27 established Friends groups and over 450 volunteers – and there’s another 570 who want to offer time. With our innovative Library Plus offer, you will lead the achievement of commissioned services, shaping and delivering the offer. Northamptonshire – Principle Librarian: Transformation – Lisjobnet. 

  • North Yorkshire – New appeal over cuts in library opening times – Yorkshire Post.   Council asks volunteers to come forward to avoid cuts to libraries.  “With the consultation coming to a close at the end of this month, the county council says it is now “challenging” volunteers to help libraries keep open for longer.”
  • Northern Ireland – Extra funds see revised Northern Ireland plan – BBC.   Extra £2.4m found to reduce expected cuts.  “Lurgan library was to have lost 13.5 hours but instead it will gain 3.5. Glengormley was to have lost 17 hours but will now not have any change. However, Fintona and Newtownstewart will still be reduced from 23 to 18 hours.”.  See also comments by Alan Gibbons.
  • Suffolk – New libraries body appoints first member of staff – EADT.   “Alison Wheeler, who has worked in the libraries industry for nearly 33 years, will become Suffolk’s Libraries IPS’ general manager next month. She is currently Suffolk County Council’s head of service development for information, advice and library services.”.
  • Surrey – Protestors ready to take library fight to High Court – Get Surrey.  ““We fear the dismantling of these libraries will be the beginning of a period of managed decline for local communities. We just can’t let this happen.” Surrey County Council now has three weeks to serve its evidence to the High Court. SLAM will then seek an injunction preventing the council making any further progress towards implementing the community partnered libraries scheme prior to the judicial review.”
  • Warwickshire – New opening hours of 16 Warwickshire libraries decided – BBC.  9000 responses to choosing between two sets of opening hours for each branch.  “In October 2011, the council said 16 other libraries would only remain open if run by community groups.”