Heathfield closes with a “wake”

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Camden – £1.6m (25%) budget cut, legal challenge being prepared.
Doncaster – Second consultaton on closures recommended
Northumberland – 5% budget cut, more “volunteer involvement”.
Richmond – Heathfield Library closed, £400k made from its sale promised for new library which was never built.  Library is in poorest area of borough.
Suffolk – one more under threat (Sudbury), article suggests 29 (out of 44) already known to be under threat is just the first “phase”.
West Sussex – big increase in library charges

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Camden – library cuts survey could be challenged in the High Court – Camden New Journal
Conwy – Llanfairfechan campaigners get glimmer of hope – North Wales Weekly
Croydon – One, two, three… Croydon Library stats! – That Woman’s Blog [consultation responses will not be evaluated by authority, possibly at all.  Results will be released to public one week before decision made]
Doncaster – Cabinet to discuss library service review “We messed up, now libaries must pay” – Save Doncaster Libraries [further consultation recommended, with its costs – enough to keep one of the libraries open for a year – to be taken from the libraries budget]
Flintshire – Chief Exec talks about plans for future – Flintshire Chronicle
Flintshire – Fight for Halkyn Library almost won – Flintshire Chronicle [will reduce to one half-day per week]
Isle of Wight – Friends of the Isle of Wight library service – Ventnor Blog
Isle of Wight – Davina Fiore’s legal advice on libraries revealed – Ventnor Blog [it is laughably short]
Lambeth – Read and Shout Festival – Drowned in Sound
Leeds – libraries closure decision “after election” – Guardian
Northern Ireland – Big turnout needed at meeting – Dromore Leader
Northumberland – Village library runs on community spirit – Financial Times
Richmond – Campaigners organise wake to mark Heathfield library’s last chapter – Local Guardian
Somerset – Hope for mobile library campaigners – This is the West Country
Suffolk – Sudbury council vows to safeguard library – EADT
Sutton – Sutton council bosses go to Downing Street to cut red tape – Sutton Guardian “stripping back this red tape will make a real difference to frontline services like highways, street cleaning, libraries and care homes.”

National News
Adopt a library authority, says Newton – BookSeller [Bloomsbury Chief Exec asks publishers to adopt a library authority each and plan events there etc]
All in this together? Not according to our local councils – TelegraphSuffolk is closing libraries, has sacked lollipop ladies and cancelled children’s travel cards. Meanwhile, Freedom of Information requests reveal that Andrea Hill, Suffolk’s chief executive, who is paid £218,592 a year, spent £14,188 of public money on a leadership adviser” [no mention of bankers in article]
Cuts are inspiring innovation – Spectator [like (A) greatly reducing funding to a library in the most deprived area of Wandsworth and (B) publishers volunteering to work in Kensington & Chelsea]
Government puts legal protection for libraries up for review – Guardian
Let’s not fall out over e-book lending – BookSeller [publisher talks about libraries]
Library bodies warn publishers off “retrenchment” over ebook lending – BookSeller
Private Eye on LSSI – Alan Gibbons

517 libraries (456 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK

Tough times, kneejerk measures? The eight ways to cut

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of historically high cuts in government spending, the speed of their imposition on local government budgets at the end of last year unavoidably meant that it was going to be difficult to ensure that reductions were in the best places.  The department ultimately responsible for libraries, the DCMS itself, has been found guilty of cutting too quickly without taking time to think of the consequences. Cuts of such depth and speed are a problem for all the authorities listed below and so it is interesting to read an  American Libraries magazine article on the eight ways to cut library spending. For too many councils, the cuts detailed in this blog are due to lack of time or for ideological reasons.  Those who are closing libraries for ideological reasons are not my subject in this posting. Those who have cut too much in haste will discover all too well that they will repent at leisure.
Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Wigan – 6 out of 18 libraries under threat (previously reported as up to 15 therefore 9 taken off grand total)
Worcestershire – Warndon, not (as previously stated) Wardle, is under threat

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Barnsley – closure date for Priory library -Star
Bolton – Author backs campaign to keep libraries open – Bolton News
Buckinghamshire – Jessica steps up bid to save libraries – Bucks Advertiser (Jessica is 9 and has just met with the council’s head of Culture as well as organising a petition with 900 names to save her local libraries)
Croydon – Setting the Scene – That Woman’s Blog
Isle of Wight – Council responds on libraries legal action – Ventnor Blog (The comments section is always worth reading on the Ventnor Blog)
Leeds – Campaign group fights to save Leeds library [Rawdon] from cuts – Guardian Leeds
North Somerset – Tories too hasty, say opponents on council – This is Bristol (£9.7m upgrade to Council HQ, library would move into it
Suffolk – Campaign to save Lowestoft library gathers pace (Oulton Broad) – EDP24
Suffolk – Library users set to make a stand – Bury Free Press “Duncan Macpherson, Stowmarket town councillor, will be leading the group in a human chain around the library to protest against possible library cuts.”
Suffolk – Public tell county council bosses to cut their pay – EADT (100 at council meeting, 1 attended last year)
Warwickshire – Fight to save [Dunchurch] village library from chop – Rugby Observer

Wigan – Hands off! 1000 petition to save Standish – Wigan Today

National News
Calls to read before buring clearly came too early for the go-ahead DCMS – Logalgov

Read and Shout 2011 – The Fly
Top ten reasons to be a librarian – Amercan Libraries
Tough times and eight ways to deal with them – American Libraries “When conscientious librarians try to absorb budget cuts without any fuss or disruption, they provide a disservice to their community”
We’re for you, not against you – a librarian’s take on ebook lending – Publisher’s Weekly (USA)  “Libraries are one of the last true commons in modern life, celebrating and championing the right to read and freedom of access to information. Stewardship of the written record is integral to our mission. Libraries don’t have a financial stake in the publishing business so much as society has a cultural stake in the future of libraries.”
516 libraries (455 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK

Saving a bleeding man by cutting out his heart.

To save money by reducing library services and resources is like trying to save a bleeding man by cutting out his heart. Or — if we could reach it — his soul.” (Pico Lyer, LA Times)

The Government has denied that statutory protection for libraries is under threat despite the most vital protecting pieces of legislation being still clearly on a Government website marked for review.  These statutory duties are called “burdens” on the same page.  Until the documents are taken off the site, they are still under review and everyone who cares should put in their views to help save libraries.   

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Flintshire – confirmed 1 (of 2) mobiles closed (£40k cut)
Isle of Wight – legal challenge placed
Lincolnshire – “library services will be cut back”
Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Calderdale – what our budget plans mean – Halifax Courier
Flintshire – major changes planned for mobile libraries – Leader
Isle of Wight – Legal challenge to library closures – Isle of Wight Radio
Isle of Wight – “Unlawful” decision challenge – Ventnor Blog “Latest word in Niton is that library users will be asked for a £10 “voluntary” annual subscription”
Isle of Wight – Legal threat to libraries’ closure – IWCP
Lincolnshire – Primary school turns old classroom into “first-class community library” – This is Lincolnshire
Manchester – Have your say on libraries facing the axe – Manchester Evening News
North Somerset – Weston-Super-Mare Library to move to town hall – BBC
Northern Ireland – Big turnout needed at Gilford meeting – Dromore Leader
Northern Ireland – Libraries NI needs to keep vital Killyleagh facility – Belfast Telegraph
Staffordshire – Free Wi-Fi introduced at libraries – Lichfield Blog
Suffolk – 28 hour read-in to save smallest library (Debenham) – Wordblog “A wall of books will also be built to defend the library.”
Suffolk – Anoher village campaigns to save library (Capel St Mary) – Wordblog (1200 have signed in village population 2900)
Warwickshire – Save Bulkington Library petition signed by more than 3000 – Coventry Telegraph

National News
American Library Association attacks HC e-lending policy – BookSeller
Bestselling author Joanne Trollope slams library cuts on visit to Welwyn Garden City – Welwyn Hatfield Times ““It is important to save people’s health, but libraries save people’s sanity” ”
Call out Cutswatch hotline – don’t suffer in silence – Mirror “Is your Sure Start centre under fire? Is your library earmarked for closure?”
Government threat to universal library service – Mirror “The move comes despite Arts Minister Ed Vaizey promising last month that the Act was guaranteed and would not be reviewed.”
DCMS not achieving value for money – M&H “some recent cost-cutting decisions have been made based on “insufficient financial information and analysis”, as exemplified by the decisions to merge and close some arm’s-length bodies, such as the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.”
DCMS not value for money – Guardian “The over riding picture that the report paints is of a department – and therefore ministers – making decisions, often in a salami-slicing way, without being fully aware of the financial consequences.”
Government denies library statutory protection is under threat – BookSeller
How Britain became a self-service nation – Independent “In 2009, Leicestershire County Council introduced automatic checkouts in 16 of its libraries, aimed at saving tens of thousands of pounds, but also leading to 19 redundancies. “Lots of staff feared for their jobs because of cuts,” one library assistant said at the time, “but no one dreamt they would be replaced by a machine.”
Lauren Smith, Doncaster and UK library campaigner, “Mover and Shaker” – Voices for the Library
Library-saving machine Lauren Smith, 2011 Mover and Shaker nominee – Library Journal (USA)
Publisher limits shelf-life of ebooks – Wall Street Journal (USA)
Voluntary Sector Cuts – Cuts Map “So who’s going to run the libraries?” (tweet by Lauren Smith, ibid)

Two ways to save libraries

(1) The Government has launched a consultation that could lead to the removal of all statutory protection for public libraries in the UK.  Please see this link on the subject and also a sample letter. If this legal shield goes, expect to see the total of public libraries under threat reaching 1000 or more by February 2012. No public library will be truly safe.

(2) While this legal protection still stands, challenges are being launched to protect libraries. Please see this link for how you can send evidence to help.

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Flintshire – confirmed 1 (of 2) mobiles closed (£40k cut)
Isle of Wight – legal challenge placed
Lincolnshire – “library services will be cut back”
Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Flintshire – major changes planned for mobile libraries – Leader
Isle of Wight – Legal challenge to library closures – Isle of Wight Radio
Isle of Wight – “Unlawful” decision challenge – Ventnor Blog “Latest word in Niton is that library users will be asked for a £10 “voluntary” annual subscription”
Isle of Wight – Legal threat to libraries’ closure – IWCP
Lincolnshire – Primary school turns old classroom into “first-class community library” – This is Lincolnshire
Manchester – Have your say on libraries facing the axe – Manchester Evening News
North Somerset – Weston-Super-Mare Library to move to town hall – BBC
Northern Ireland – Big turnout needed at Gilford meeting – Dromore Leader
Northern Ireland – Libraries NI n
Staffordshire – Free Wi-Fi introduced at libraries – Lichfield Blog
Suffolk – 28 hour read-in to save smallest library (Debenham) – Wordblog “A wall of books will also be built to defend the library.”
Warwickshire – Save Bulkington Library petition signed by more than 3000 – Coventry Telegraph

National News
American Library Association attacks HC e-lending policy – BookSeller

Bestselling author Joanne Trollope slams library cuts on visit to Welwyn Garden City – Welwyn Hatfield Times ““It is important to save people’s health, but libraries save people’s sanity” ”
Call out Cutswatch hotline – don’t suffer in silence – Mirror “Is your Sure Start centre under fire? Is your library earmarked for closure?”
Government threat to universal library service – Mirror “The move comes despite Arts Minister Ed Vaizey promising last month that the Act was guaranteed and would not be reviewed.”
DCMS not achieving value for money – M&H “some recent cost-cutting decisions have been made based on “insufficient financial information and analysis”, as exemplified by the decisions to merge and close some arm’s-length bodies, such as the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.”
Government denies library statutory protection is under threat – BookSeller
Lauren Smith, Doncaster and UK library campaigner, “Mover and Shaker” – Voices for the Library
Library-saving machine Lauren Smith, 2011 Mover and Shaker nominee – Library Journal (USA)


525 libraries (464 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK
Information on 176 authorities listed out of 206 in UK, 135 of those are on record as (at least) considering closing libraries or making significant cuts (list below news), 59 on record as not closing libraries in 2011/2 (list at bottom)
Legal challenges are being prepared/under way in Brent, Gloucestershire, Isle of Wight, Lewisham and Somerset.  In addition, a judical review has been called about the Culture Secretary’s failure to comply with his legal duties at a national level.  Your help is needed to gather as much evidence as possible, from anywhere in the country, to demonstrate councils are breaching their legal duty – please email after reading this blog post from Voices For The Library.

List of cuts by authority (click on name of authority for link to relevant report)
NB. From 2012, the MLA will be abolished – the Arts Council will take over its role for libraries with a budget of £3m rather than £13mThe Book Trust has also had its funding halved (from £13m 2010 to £6m in 2012). Therefore, libraries start 2012 with more than £10m less, regardless of any further cuts. There are 151 authorities in England, 206 in the UK.  Please note that this blog depends on published news reports and council bulletins for information and does not claim to be comprehensive.
  1. Aberdeen – 8 (out of 16)
  2. Aberdeenshire – some, (brief mention here seems to suggest all but this very unlikely)
  3. Anglesey – 4 libraries earmarked for closure have apparently been (temporarily) saved
  4. Angus – 4 libraries closed this year (April) to be possibly replaced by a mobile.  More info here
  5. Argyll and Bute – 3 libraries and mobile library.
  6. Barnet – some – public consultation here
  7. Barnsley – 3 (confirmed) (combine 11 surviving libraries with “customer centres”)
  8. Bedfordshire – 1 mobile to go
  9. Bexley – 3 and 1 mobile (3 from a list of 5 will go, plus one mobile) (this is the five) (£1m – 16% cut) (merge with Bromley?) (5 could be unpaid)
  10. Birmingham – 39 (three libraries lose hours so Tower Hill can remain open) (school library service to close)(all branch libraries under review, £200m super library being built)
  11. Blackburn with Darwen – 1 mobile (reduced opening hours) cut, opening hours reduced, bookfund cut.
  12. Blackpool – 2
  13. Bolton9(out of 15)(£400 to £500k) (consultation 12 weeks from 1/3/11)
  14. Bradford – 5 (Confirmed 5 to close – £70k)
  15. Brent – 6 (out of 12) (6 confirmed as closing) (talking to private company LSSI)(legal challenge)
  16. Bridgend 3 (may not be able to reach Welsh Assembly library standard) (opening hour cuts at most)
  17. Bristol – (£200k cut from staffing, self-service, “alternative provision) (£90k cut off bookfund of £700k)
  18. Bromley (link is on page 7) – 8 (out of 15) (KAB talking books cut) (Penge and Anerley libraries merged)
  19. Buckinghamshire – up to 14 to close or be staffed by volunteers (extra time given to look for volunteers) (this article says 11)(£688k cut)
  20. Bury – 1 (1 other reduced hours) – Manchester Evening News (libraries to be transferred to trust/private company/charity) (housebound service closed)
  21. Caerphilly – (“rationalised”)
  22. Calderdale – (£250k cut, opening hours and bookfund cut – previously reported as £350k cut inc.12 jobs, £200k stock)
  23. Cambridgeshire13 (36% cut in funding, £445k in 2012£3.2m by 2016, closures down from previously reported 19) (mobile services already “slashed”) (£1.1m cut) (school library service closed)
  24. Camden 5 plus one mobile library (£2 million cut)
  25. Cardiff – (no closures, cuts to be considerd on 4/3/11)
  26. Carmarthenshire5 in 2011, 18 in 2012 therefore 23. (improvements in Llanelli and Carmarthen)
  27. Central Bedfordshire – one mobile library to go
  28. Ceredigion – (£1m “relocation” of Aberystwyth, £100k to be spent on Cardigan)
  29. City of London – (15.9% cut to Libraries/Archives/Art Dept budget, cuts to London Metropolitan Archives opening hours.  Source = LAGAG update email ) (cuts in Guildhall and City Business Libraries hours)
  30. Conwy – 7 (out of 12) (review under way)
  31. Cornwall – 2011 cuts confirmed – (£1.5m cut, 90 hours lost, merge with Registrars/One Stop Shops)
  32. Coventry – (opening hours cut, more fees)
  33. Croydon – Up to 6 (public gets to choose which), (£690k saving) (council will decide in July 2011)
  34. Cumbria – (review under way, no closures yet, 3 of 6 mobile libraries closed in 2010) 
  35. Darlington – some (£250k from budget of £1m) off budget (consultation may take one year)
  36. Denbighshire – (Rhyl has reopened after £300,000 refurbishment; no closure or merger plans, although ‘this may be reviewed”)
  37. Derbyshire – (Opening hours to be cut)
  38. Devon (may have reduced opening hours, less mobile stops, no new Exeter Library – suggests mobile library service has improved).  BBC article confirms no closures. (“brutal” cuts to Exeter Record Office). 
  39. Doncaster14 (out of 26) safeguarded for one year but still under threat  (may also be taken out of council control) (over 50% cut in funding)
  40. Dorset– up to 20 (out of 34) to close or be given to community groups  (£143k off bookfund).  Dorset is the sole council to receive an actual increase in funding for 2010/11. (£800k cut for libraries)(council confirms £800k cut but gives three months extra time for consultation)(apparently, only choice on consultation is for the community to take them over)
  41. Dumfries and Galloway -(£256k cut via staffing and other)
  42. Dundee – (to transfer to the same trust as swimming pools/basketball)
  43. Durham – some (£1.5m cut by 2015) (decision on closures delayed until 2012)
  44. Ealing 3
  45. East Sussex – (£313k cut) (less books bought)
  46. Edinburgh – (£550k cut)(possible cut in mobiles)
  47. Enfield – Up to 3 out of 16 libraries under threat (£1.5m cut over four years) 
  48. Essex – 2011 confirmed  (extensive opening hours cuts to 54 of 73 branches, 21 jobs to go) (no cuts to mobiles)
  49. Falkirk – (transferred to Trust)
  50. Flintshire3 confirmed (8.3.11, 2 libraries reprieved) as closing one mobile confirmed (£40k cut)
  51. Gateshead – some (school library service, music library, AIRS talking newspaper under threat)
  52. Gloucestershire –  confirmed 10 branches and 6 mobiles to close or be run by volunteers. 8 libraries open 12 hours per week rather than previously proposed 3.5, £10k to community groups who take over a library [previously, up to 18 and 6 mobiles  – 10 to close or go to volunteers. 7 to close if they don’t find a partner (43% total cut in funding). (Cinderford saved) (revised proposals here)  A further 11 reduced to 3.5 days a week. 100 library jobs to go say UNISON, 40 FTE to go says council, inc 36 managers cut to 9, 3.5 FTE librarian posts cut (to 10)] (legal challenge)
  53. Greenwich1 (Greenwich council has reserve of £133m – the highest in the country)(could be turned into a Trust) (school library service closed)
  54. Hammersmith and Fulham – 2 (to be run by volunteers) and 1 mobile (record office to have £70k cut from £88k, volunteers, presumably no professional archivists, reduced hours) (£310k cut)
  55. Hampshire – 13 mobiles confirmed as cut (now 365 stops rather than 1200) (£600k cut, 58 FTE jobs to go) (and mobile libraries cut within two miles of each branch, this report says 18FTE to go)(libraries merged with IT/property etc) Source of number of mobiles is UNISON Hampshire, No extra overtime or weekend pay
  56. Haringey – (staff cuts)
  57. Harrow – (34 FTE to go)(self-service machines to increase)
  58. Hartlepool2 (out of 7) to close (another to merge with community centre, all library’s hours cut)
  59. Herefordshire – (new Ledbury Library delayed) (no branches to close but mobile library review)
  60. Hertfordshire5 mobiles (2011 Confirmed – opening hours to be cut by one third – from 2236 hours down to 1575) (mobile libraries cut)(records office hours cut) – At least one library (Borehamwood)  faces a 40% cut. (£580k cut in first year, £1.4m after – plus a further £275k from mobiles and £131k in records office/HQ library mean total cut of over £1.8m)) (cuts confirmed) (some mobile stops saved)
  61. Highland – (Wick Library to close and merge with school library) (Libraries to be run by an ALO – “Arms Length Organisation” to avoid tax) (this report says no closures) (suggestion that professional staff are being lost – a source is needed).
  62. Hounslow – initial plan to close 8 cancelled after public consultation, £300k cut in bookfund, some libraries may still be at risk as cuts “postponed”.
  63. Inverclyde – some
  64. Isle of Wight – 5 (confirmed) (out of 11) (£100k offered as temporary extra) (four libraries will remain open at 21 hours per week rather than previously mentioned 10 hours) (full proposals here – 2/3/11) (Legal challenge)
  65. Islington – some (consultation to be launched on £430k cut/7.5% in 2011/12)
  66. Kent some (volunteers to be asked to run some) (83 FTE to go as self-service comes in)- Isle of Thanet one of areas hardest hit (School library service closed)
  67. Kingston – (50% adult bookfund cut)
  68. Lambeth4 branches (out of 11) and 2 mobiles (setting up a trust “which will give you a chance to run libraries”)(“@walkyouhome: EVERY librarian in Lambeth has been told they are having their post deleted. Only assistants and admin staff remain” on twitter 9.3.11 confirmed 13.3.11)
  69. Lancashire – 2 mobile libaries (plus 16% staffing cut)
  70. Leeds – Up to 20 (out of 52) – council says 20 closures are not about cuts but to make service viable.
  71. Leicestershire – NB This information is under doubt.  I have received a call saying this article relates to Leicester.  Article, though, seems to be indicate it is Leicestershire.  No libraries are down for closure according to his article, although they could all/some be transferred to a trust or privatised (merge of lending/reference- 14 FTE jobs lost).
  72. Leicestershire – (£250k cut in bookfund and hours)
  73. LewishamConfirmed 2011/2 5 (41% cut – £800k) (legal challenge)
  74. Lincolnshire – (“services will be cut back”)
  75. Liverpoolsome (£500k / 28% may be closures / cuts in opening hours)
  76. Manchester5 (may also be 4, may be 6 – see link)  (plus no libraries open on Friday or Saturday)(£394k cut) (end of homework clubs) (council has reserve of £109m)
  77. Merthyr Tydfil – some
  78. Merton – (cuts in opening hours at West Barnes and Colliers Wood, £81k cut)
  79. Milton Keynes – 2 (Feb 2011 – closures delayed for 12 months)
  80. Moray – some – (previously marked as no public libraries closing but council has appealed for volunteer groups to run them, may move to being in a Trust, another article here).
  81. Newcastle – (12 jobs lost, £245k cut) (8 libraries to be semi-staffed “library express”)
  82. Newport – 7 (“No closure plans; considering how to ensure “21st Century provision”)
  83. Norfolk – (£1.5m over 3 yrs proposed cut inc opening hours cut, staffing cut, bookfund cut, less mobile visits)
  84. Northern Ireland– 20 (cut in bookfund, 15 to 25% cut in hours, recruitment freeze, removal of buildings budget (denials up to 30 could close)
  85. Northamptonshire – Up to 8 libraries originally under threat,. Libraries given a reprieve but still apparently under longer term threat. (Cuts to management and support).
  86. Northumberland – some
  87. North Lanarkshire – 1 (closed March 2010)
  88. North Lincolnshire – (£15k opening hour cut, £30k Bookfund cut)
  89. North Norfolk – some (c. £1m reduction)
  90. North Somerset – 1 closed, 2 proposed, volunteers may run libraries. Weston Mercury update
  91. North Yorkshire24 (out of 42) to close or be staffed by volunteers, 9 mobiles to go off road, surviving libraries could have funding cut to share out with any community-run libraries established. (£2.3m cut from £7.5m total)(£650k to keep libraries open a bit more, inc. from bookfund)(consultation ended)
  92. Nottingham – 1 (3 libraries to close, 2 new ones to open) (computer use to be charged)(1 library closed)
  93. Nottinghamshire – (22 out of 28 libraries to have their opening hours cut, 80 FTE jobs to go, 50% off bookfund, 1 library already closed.
  94. Oldham – (increase in volunteers, merging, cuts)
  95. Oxfordshire – (£300k extra found – strong rumours libraries to be “saved”) (apparently confirmed 2011 but subject to review in Summer) 20 – (£2m)  list of those under threat here, Oxford Central hours extended to 7 days per week . also, Record Office cuts. (private company LSSI interested in taking over libraries)
  96. Peterborough – (8 out of 10 libraries cutting hours, most by one third, £250k cut from £1.9m)
  97. Plymouth – some – £370k cut 2011 £480k 2012 £620k 2013 – 9 FTE (10%) cut to staffing, reduction to opening hour, increased computer charging, less security.  No closures 2011 but 5 claimed as under threat for future years – Stoke, Southway, Ernesettle, Eggbuckland and West Park
  98. Powys – (cuts, decision in March)
  99. Redbridge – 5 out of 12 may close, another may relocate (£2.3m cut). Goodmayes saved.
  100. Renfrewshire 1 (1 library to move into smaller sites in community centres)
  101. Richmond – 1 (£351k cut) (service may be privatised) Heathfield due to close in March.
  102. Rochdale1 (some library managers to to go in first phase of cuts, bookfund cut by two-thirds)
  103. Rutland – (6 libraries to have reduced hours, staff cut)
  104. Salford3 – some libraries to move to sports centres or provide space for community groups (2 to have reduced hours)
  105. Sefton – 3 (consultation here) (or is it “just” an opening hours cut?)
  106. Sheffield – (30% cut expected, £2.5m) (no closures, opening hours reduced) (33 FTE, mobile reduction)
  107. Shropshire – 2 and 3 mobiles(reference library to merge with central library) (may move to Trust, volunteer or privately managed)
  108. Slough – (put library services out to tender, Essex will help run service)
  109. Somerset–  2011 Confirmed – 11 (out of 34) (£1.35m cut) will be closed/offered to community groups over 2 years. 4 (out of 6) mobile libraries will also go.  25% cut in funding. Full (revised) plans here (20% cut in opening hours). Rethink on mobiles may happen – article here. Public will be asked for “voluntary contributions”. (legal challenge)
  110. South Tyneside – (libraries could move into a Trust)
  111. Southampton – 2 (charges increase)
  112. Southend – some
  113. Southwark – (school libray service closed)
  114. Stoke – 2 and 1 mobile library, (ends RNIB service)
  115. Suffolkconfirmed 2011 £350k this year, 29 (out of 44) to be “divested” 2012/13 – (three month consultation here until April 30, £2m cut 30% ) (Private firm LSSI in talks to take over all libraries) (petition here)
  116. Surrey –  11 and 5 mobiles (£1m cut)(confirmed 1/3/11 council overrules scrutiny committee, 6 months for local groups to organise to run them) (Feb 2011 -delayed while consultation takes place1/3/11 scrutiny committee argued for longer consultation) 
  117. Sutton1 mobile library and some branches (9.3.11 “main” libraries will be kept open) (£935k off £6m p.a. budget) (school library service to close)
  118. Swansea – some
  119. Thanet – some
  120. Thurrock – Confirmed 2011 £350k cut, staffing reduction (20% cut in hours if work more than 15 hours), all to close on Mondays. 
  121. Tower Hamlets – (staff made to reapply for their own jobs -23 library staff replaced)
  122. Trafford – (mobile library to be staffed by volunteers)
  123. Vale of Glamorganmobile library reduction considered
  124. Wakefieldat least 2 ,(libraries may be run by church/charities) new central library but local closures.
  125. Walsall – some (previous article had called them safe but under review, may close in 2012)
  126. Waltham Forest – some
  127. Wandsworth – (York Gardens – description of council proposals here, library stays open but with cuts in service and staffingdecision not well-liked) mention in Guardian here plus reduction in hours in others. Council papers here.
  128. Warrington – (2011 Confimed)  2 and 1 mobile library confirmed . More info here. Journals stopped also, £25k off staff. £10k off reference.
  129. Warwickshire – 16 (out of 34) (council agenda here, 30%, £2m cut from £7.4m budget over three years) – official report from council here, (£2m already cuts since 2006, staffing already cut by 63 FTE 24%), Statistics of usage/cost in table/chart form,   special county map of closures here.
  130. West Berkshire (£200k cut).
  131. West Dunbartonshire – 3 (some staff losses too)
  132. West Sussex Some (5 FTE lost, some librarians pay reduced to library assistant)(job losses) (new library opens)Western Isles – (cuts in opening hours by one day per week and during Summer)
  133. Westminster – 1 (St James’s Library to close) (Marylebone may never reopen)
  134. Wigan– Up to 15 out of 17  (£1.1m cut off £4m budget)
  135. Wiltshire – 10 (plus reductions in hours in all but one of the others, more cuts next year) (26 FTE posts have gone in Dec 2010  inc. 9 out of 13 community librarians)(cuts include a £940k library opened Dec 2010)(self-service in all)
  136. Worcestershire – at least 4 (St John’s, Wardle, Pershore and Broadway) (£1m plus cut) (Pershore library to move out of town centre) , contact centres may combine with libraries
  137. York – (libraries to be “hit”)
Authorities which have announced there will be no library closures (2011 financial year) NB unlisted cuts may be going ahead but not known about by this blog (info from published news and council reports)
  1. Anglesey
  2. Brighton.
  3. Barking and Dagenham 
  4. Blaenau Gwent 
  5. Cardiff 
  6. Cheshire West and Chester.  
  7. Cornwall – (90 hours cut, £1.5m cut, one stop shops/Registrars merging into them, book supply being done differently to save money, no guarantee for 2012) (23% cut in library budget, 102 hours p.w. cut). 
  8. Coventry (but less opening hours, fees to rise).
  9. Derby.
  10. Devon (may have reduced opening hours, less mobile stops, no new Exeter Library – suggests mobile library service has improved).  BBC article confirms no closures. (“brutal” cuts to Exeter Record Office).  
  11. Dumfries & Galloway (£256k staff/pther cuts)
  12. Edinburgh (£550 cut) (pledge to keep open is for the lifetime of the administration)
  13. Essex(but other cuts – see list above).
  14. Glasgow – no closures (or cuts to opening hour cuts to bookfund)
  15. Gwynedd.  
  16. Halton “Despite the economic climate we are continuing to invest in our libraries”
  17. Haringey .
  18. Harrow (some increase in hours, more self-service but less staff).  
  19. Highland (but other cuts – see list above). 
  20. Hillingdon
  21. Hull (number of libraries actually increasing here).
  22. Kirklees.  
  23. Lancashire (but staffing cuts)  
  24. Leicestershire (but opening hours and bookfund cut – £250k). 
  25. Lincolnshire (but “library services cut back”)
  26. Medway.  
  27. Merton – (£118k cut – 2 libraries will have reduced hours but reprieved from threatened closure). 
  28. Monmouthshire
  29. Neath Port Talbot  
  30. Newcastle
  31. Norfolk – no closures but staffing cut, bookfund cut, opening hours cut, less mobile visits). 
  32. North Ayrshire.
  33. North Lincolnshire.  
  34. North Tyneside  
  35. North East Lincolnshire
  36. Northumberland:
  37. Nottinghamshire  – no plans to close any branches but massive reductions in opening hours. 
  38. Oldham  
  39. Pembrokeshire
  40. Plymouth(opening hours to reduce, managers to go)(but major cuts, closures possible 2012/3)
  41. Poole. 
  42. Portsmouth (opening new library). 
  43. Rhondda Cynon Taff:
  44. Rochdale:
  45. Sandwell:
  46. Slough (3 new libraries opening, opening hours up 20%, contract out service)  
  47. Southampton. 
  48. Staffordshire (free internet access also retained, using libraries as meeting places, wifi introduced).  ““While libraries around the country are closing, Staffordshire is committed to protecting and innovating the service to meet people’s needs. It’s very clear that libraries are a priority for the people of Staffordshire.”
  49. Sheffield (cuts in opening hours).  
  50. Slough (3 new libraries opening here, usage significantly up). 
  51. Swindon.
  52. Torfaen (but one closed April 2010)  
  53. Tower Hamlets,
  54. Thurrock (but other cuts) 
  55. Trafford – (but mobile library staff will be replaced by volunteers). 
  56. West Berkshire (£200k cut).
  57. Windsor and Maidenhead. 
  58. Wirral (plus £1 million investment inc ebooks, wifi, info screens)
  59. Wrexham  (libraries increasing)

Keep them close, don’t watch them close

I like this clever phrase from the Living Streets website, which has chosen libraries as the first in its series of neighbourhood heroes.

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Manchester – (Hulme added to closure list)  – Rack House, Barlow Moor, Clayton, East City to close.  Miles Platting and Hulme will close after “alternative provision has been found”I am of two minds as to whether this counts as 4 or 6 but, until certain, have gone for middle ground with the grand total.
Monmouthshire – all to stay open
Shropshire – considering Trust/Volunteer/Charity/Private management

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Brent – latest campaign update – Save Kensal Rise Library
Dorset – Michael Partington to play charity concert to save Puddletown’s library – Dorset Echo ““The opportunity to make these discoveries and profit mentally and spiritually from reading should not be considered a luxury but a fundamental right that every member of any community should be afforded.”
Isle of Wight – Political unrest explodes across island – Spoof
Manchester – Have your say on libraries facing the axe – Manchester Evening News
Manchester – Libraries consultation – Manchester council
Monmouthshire – 2.9% tax rise; all Libraries to remain open – Free Press

Shropshire – “Radical changes” will help Shropshire Council save £70m – Shropshire Star ““The library services are a good example and social enterprise and working with community groups. You might even get a partnership which includes the private sector.”
Suffolk – Don’t close Bungay Library – Luke Wright (inc. poem “The misspelled writing’s on the wall
they’ll sell the land for shopping malls, an ash of Dewey Decimals, it makes good business sense”)
Suffolk – Save Bungay Library – SustainableBungay
Suffolk – Villagers protest at Capel St. Mary’s library closure plans – 1200 signatures so far  – EADT
Warwickshire – Saving Bulkington Library – 3000 signatures collected so far – What’s In Kenilworth
Wiltshire – vote to decide fate of Aldbourne Library – This is Wiltshire

National News
It’s now or never for library leadership – BookSeller
Keep them close, don’t watch them close – Living Streets
Keys to success in managing service change (event) – Local Government Group Come and join like-minded library practitioners and frontline managers, looking at delivery change.”
LGA hails innovative new library services – Public Sector Executive – [Lambeth is included in this – the same authority that seems to be innovatively sacking all its qualified librarians]
Letter to my MP – Girl in the Moon
Libraries remain relevant in digital age – Star (Malaysia) ““The Library has but one criterion for admission: curiosity.”
Library saviours or council spindoctors? – Scribble City Central
New models for library services in changing times (event) – Local Government Group
Prevent the abolition of the duty to protect libraries – Posterous
Protect the legal duty to provide public libraries – Girl in the Moon
Public libraries’ legal protection under threat – CILIP
Threat to 1964 Act’s protection of libraries – BookSeller
(The) Time for libraries is NOW – Walk You Home

Dunkirk Time for Libraries

It’s confirmed that Lambeth are sacking all their professionally qualified staff, the US private company LSSI is keen on slamming librarians, Tim Coates (a man who I often agree with more than is common amongst my fellows) accuses professionally qualified staff as effectively being responsible for the closing of libraries.   Just in this blog today, evidence of poor professional conduct can be seen by a recent email by the chief officer of Leeds librariesTechnology is seemingly working against us and the Government does not appear to understand what we do. This, combined with the historically high level of cuts and closures detailed in this blog mean that in many ways there has never been a worse time to be a librarian in the UK.

However, there has never been a better time either.  A Barnet campaigner has said that this is Dunkirk time for libraries.  I believe that it is.  It is the time when all who love their libraries should concentrate on the big picture of saving libraries and not fight over the details.  It’s also an exciting time when new technology and new ways of working mean there are more opportunities, if we recognise them as such, as ever before.  The public has never shown such widespread devotion to the public library as now.  Tens, hundreds of thousands, will not stand for the loss of one the cornerstones of our way of life. To paraphrase Churchil just a little – we will fight them by the enquries desk and in the foyer, on the streets and by petition, in the law courts and in the council chamber.  We will never surrender. This could be our finest hour.

Two ways to save libraries

The Government has launched a consultation that could lead to the removal of all statutory protection for public libraries in the UK.  Please see this link on the subject and also a sample letter. If this legal shield goes, expect to see the total of public libraries under threat reaching 1000 or more by February 2012. No public library will be truly safe.

While this legal protection still stands, challenges are being launched to protect libraries. Please see this link for how you can send evidence to help.

(S) shows article added on Sunday.

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Bristol – £200k cut  by “alternative provision”, self-service, “flexible working”; plus £90k cut from £700k bookfund.
Highland – Libraries to move into an “arms-length organisation” (ALO)
Lambeth – confirmed every professional librarian will be sacked (S)
Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Barnet – Save Barnet’s Libraries 19th March Library Love in – Barnet Eye
Bristol – UK Uncut will turn a bank into a library on19th March – UK Uncut
Cambridgeshire – Countywide petition launched – Gopetition (S)
Doncaster – ICT costs: tell us the whole story – Save Doncaster Libraries
Hampshire – Fewer mobile library visits – Hampshire Chronicle “Three new volunteer co-ordinator posts are to be created.”
Harrow – Budget passed – Harrow Times ““We want to stimulate a far reaching community discussion on the issues which concern them, such as, libraries, children’s centres, and sports provision where there will be significant opportunities and challenges. There will also be many other difficult decisions we will need to make.”
Highland – Council hands over leisure services inc libraries to “arms-length” firm – Press & Journal
Highland – Libraries move to ALO – Council website
Lambeth – Save Our Libraries music festival sells out in 40 seconds – This is Local London (S)
Leeds – Library boss email gaffe – Yorkshire Evening Post “Oh I like it. Keep the pressure on the poor sods. Wind ’em up”
Norfolk – Is the future of Norfolk’s Libraries an all-singing all-dancing one? – EDP (No talks or wish for talks in Norfolk)(S)
North Yorkshire – Playwright Alan Bennett speaks out in support of Craven libraries – Craven Herald & Pioneer
Oxfordshire – Youth schemes look for supporters – Oxford Mail  “intense competition” for £600k council Big Society money
Somerset – Residents in save your mobile library plea – Weston Mercury
Stoke on Trent – “Please don’t shut our libraries” – This is Staffordshire “”I can tell that closing Fenton Library will have a devastating effect as it is such a valuable resource for the children. “They can go in there for a quiet place to do their work and to see it go will be such a big loss.” says headteacher
Suffolk – Save the date Saturday 2nd April – Rosehill Readers
Suffolk – Call for more feedback over libraries – EADT “The consultation continues until April 30 – and after then the council will draw up proposals for divesting the service.” (presumably regardless of what those consulted actually say)(S)
Worcestershire – No deal on plan to move Pershore library service – Worcester News (S)
National News
Beaten on libraries, Government looks to change the law – Inside Croydon
Big Society, Egyptian style – Observer (S)The things that knit societies together – libraries, leisure centres, transport services, after-school clubs, day centres for the elderly – will all be sacrificed as local government budgets are slashed.”
Boycott HarperCollins – USA Today
Can libraries survive in the digital world? – BBC Click (article plus 9 minute video)
Danny Alexander – Labour councils should be ashamed of keeping reserves while cutting services – Telegraph [presumably Conservative and Lib Dems doing exactly the same thing need not be ashamed]

Libraries may lose their legal protection

The Government is, in a remarkably unpublicised and buried fashion, “consulting” on withdrawing statutory protection from public libraries. The webpage asks for responses about hundreds of things and hides the effective repealing of the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act within them. There is no way (since the national protests in January and February) that Messrs Pickles, Hunt and Vaizey do not realise that  thousands of people would protest if they knew about this but they even call the library legislation a “burden”. 

Mr Vaizey said barely a year ago that “it was “outrageous and offensive to everyone who ever cared about books and reading” for [ex Libraries minister] Hodge to raise the question of whether libraries should remain a statutory local authority service”.

Please see the Voices For The Library post on the subject and also a sample letter. If the statutory protection goes, expect to see the total of public libraries under threat reaching 1000 or more by February 2012. No public library will be truly safe. 

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
City of London – Cuts to opening hours at Guildhall and City Business Libraries
Ealing – three libraries under threat (previously listed as “at least two”) – West Ealing, Perivale, Hanwell
Nationally – Consultation on the repeal of the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act
South Tyneside – libraries could move into a trust
Wakefield – libraries could be run by church or charities. (council wishes to commission services only)

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Barnsley – No choice but to slash services – Yorkshire Post (surviving libraries will be joined with “customer centres”).
Barnsley – Councillors approve budget, 3 libraries close – Star
Bradford – final chapter for five libraries – Yorkshire Post
Buckinghamshire – Villagers rally together to stop Farnham Common library from closing – Maidenhead Advertiser
Camden – Force a u-turn on library closures – Camden New Journal
City of London – Hours cut in Guildhall and City Business Libraries – City of London council
Doncaster – threat to wardens and libraries fuels anger over Mayor’s savings – Yorkshire Post “Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies’s plan to close down more than half the town’s libraries was by far the most controversial element of his cost-cutting budget for the coming year.”
Dorset- Charmouth Library campaigners plan for the worst – Bridport News

Ealing – Three libraries could face their final chapter – Ealing Gazette
Gloucestershire – Council underspends on staff by £4.7m – This is Gloucestershire
Hampshire – Cuts for libraries but not for councillors – Get Hampshire
Hertfordshire – Cabinet agrees changes to library opening hours – Hertfordshire.com (the “changes” are cutting by a full one-third)
Leeds – With a bit of imagination, we could save vital services – Yorkshire Post “All 20 libraries can be kept open for £270,000 per year. We would do this by cutting back on IT across the council by £300,000″
Leeds – Efficiency argument fails to save vital services – Yorkshire Post
North Yorkshire – We wish the Government would step in and save our libraries – Voices For The Library
North Yorkshire – Huge response to libraries plan – Malton Mercury
Oxfordshire – Campaigners back library innovations – Banbury Cake
Sheffield – Under-fire Clegg intent on showing he’s the Man of Steel – Yorkshire Post – praises lack of closures in Sheffield cf Manchester ““some councils might be trying to make these really nasty cuts to blame it all on government. That’s not good enough”. (Sheffield is cutting library budget by 30%)
South Tyneside – Trust us on leisure centres says council – Shields Gazette
Suffolk – Call for more feedback over libraries review – EADT
Wakefield – Catalyst for change? – Pontefract and Castleford Express “A radical overhaul of council services could see private sector companies and volunteer groups running the district’s parks and libraries.”
Warwickshire – library usage on the increase – Rugby Observer
Warwickshire – Councillers lead fight to save Studley Library – Redditch & Alcester Standard

National News
DCMS quango cuts (inc. MLA) not properly costed – The Stage
Elderly trapped as local shops are axed – Wales Online“Unfortunately, we are being hit with a decrease in amenities, such as libraries, banks and community pubs, and an increase in fast-food outlets and betting shops, which can cause problems for local people.”
Future of public libraries – PSFK (USA) (future libraries will provide computers/tech/space too expensive for the individual) – see Alan Gibbon’s comment
Great Book Giveaway – BBC “There is already an established campaign across the UK to save libraries from closure due to local council cuts. Maybe these campaigners could talk to the organisers of World Book Night to see how their aims could be aligned. The authors and publishers who took part in, and financially benefitted from, World Book Night, due to the additional retail sales – could give that money to support the libraries. And perhaps the recipients of the million books given could make a donation as well?
HarperCollins not ruling out ebook lending limit – BookSeller (as if one kick in the teeth in one day is not enough…)
Is it time to rebuild and retool public libraries? – Make:Online (USA)
Libraries are at the heart of our neighbourhoods – Walk You Home
Library of the future opens – wi-fi, flatscreens, automated book sorting – Chicago Tribune (USA)
Living Streets is calling for Government to give communities the power to safeguard essential shops and services, including libraries …- Voices For The Library
Matt Baker asks David Cameron “How do you sleep at night?” on The One Show – Metro “‘You can ask me how I sleep at night if you like. It’s easy – I’m not closing libraries.” (says Marcus Brigstock)
Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 – Voices For The Library
Public Libraries in Yorkshire – Good Library Blog

525 libraries (464 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK
Information on 173 authorities listed out of 206 in UK, 134 of those are on record as (at least) considering closing libraries or making significant cuts (list below news), 57 on record as not closing libraries in 2011/2 (list at bottom)
Legal challenges are being prepared/under way in Brent, Gloucestershire, Lewisham and Somerset.  In addition, a judical review has been called about the Culture Secretary’s failure to comply with his legal duties at a national level.  Your help is needed to gather as much evidence as possible, from anywhere in the country, to demonstrate councils are breaching their legal duty – please email after reading this blog post from Voices For The Library.

Your help is needed

524 libraries (463 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK
Information on 173 authorities listed out of 206 in UK, 134 of those are on record as (at least) considering closing libraries or making significant cuts (list below news), 57 on record as not closing libraries in 2011/2 (list at bottom)
Legal challenges being prepared/under way in Brent, Gloucestershire, Lewisham and Somerset.  In addition, a judical review has been called about the Culture Secretary’s failure to comply with his legal duties at a national level.

Your Help Is Needed (taken from Voices For The Library)

“Voices for the Library have been asked to gather as much evidence as possible to demonstrate that local authorities are breaching their legal duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” public library service.

Campaign for the Book organiser Alan Gibbons said “I have asked Leigh Day solicitors to pursue the Campaign’s concerns over the possibility of a large scale withdrawal of funds from public libraries. I think it is vital that the Courts examine the legality of the Secretary of State’s approach on the provision of libraries in England and Wales. He has a duty to ensure that councils provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ service. I believe that he is failing in that duty.”

The Campaign for the Book is an umbrella body that attempts to raise the profile of reading for pleasure and supports libraries and librarians. Richard Stein and Rosa Curling of Leigh Day & Co Solicitors, who are acting for Campaign for the Book said “The duties under the 1964 Act require the Secretary of State to investigate and compel, if necessary, local authorities, to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service in their area. The current cuts to public libraries across the country demonstrate that he is failing to do this.”

We need as much information as possible from all over the country to show the court that the proposed closures are resulting in a less than comprehensive and efficient library service. Some examples of what information would be useful are:

  • Library reviews undertaken by the council
  • Statements from the council announcing closures
  • Minutes from Overview and Scrutiny Committees, Cabinet Meetings or Council Meetings
  • Letters from local campaign groups
  • Letters from residents
  • Information about literacy rates, deprivation statistics, demographics
  • Evidence that the council has failed to conduct an Equalities Impact Assessment or looked into local public transport networks

Please send any information to librariesact@voicesforthelibrary.org.uk – we will organise this information by library authority and send it on to Leigh Day.”

Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Islington – consultation proposal (£430k/7.5% cut on 2011/12) (type in “library” then choose “5”)

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Birmingham – Plans to demolish Central Library move closer – Birmingham Post
Bolton – 600-name petition to back fight for Astley Bridge Library – This is Lancashire
Camden – children are joined by writers, actors and politicians at Highgate Library as they fight to prevent closure – Camden New Journal
Camden – Save Camden libraries petition – Petition.co.uk
Cornwall – New library opens in phonebox – BBC
Cornwall – Redruth Library to close one day per week – Packet
Flintshire – Headteacher delighted Queensferry library saved – Flintshire Chronicle “One of the main factors which led to the library being saved was a petition of more than 1,000 names which had been co-ordinated by Queensferry councillor David Wisinger.”
Isle of Wight – Bembridge village out to rescue its library – IWCP

Legal Challenge in Brent

524 libraries (463 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK
Information on 173 authorities listed out of 206 in UK, 134 of those are on record as (at least) considering closing libraries or making significant cuts (list below news), 57 on record as not closing libraries in 2011/2 (list at bottom)
Legal challenges being prepared/under way in Brent, Gloucestershire, Lewisham and Somerset.  In addition, a judical review has been called about the Culture Secretary’s failure to comply with his legal duties.
Known changes to info on authorities/library funding/opening since last posting
Brent – Legal challenge
Enfield – Plus 3 to total – Up to 3 out of 16 libraries under threat (£1.5m cut over four years)
Glasgow – no closures (or cuts to opening hour cuts to bookfund)
– Lambeth – “every librarian in Lambeth has been told they are having their post deleted. Only assistants and admin staff remain” (via VTFL on Twitter, no other confirmation as yet)

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Bradford – Philip Davies MP accuses council of cutting library service to make a political point – Telegraph and Argus

Brent – Legal challenge over closures – Harrow Observer
Doncaster – Library comes off hit list – South Yorkshire Times (essential to read first comment after article)
Enfield – Budget cuts could lead to library closures – Enfield Independent
Glasgow – Unexpected Inspiration – Living Scotsman “In these days of butchered libraries, Glasgow stands out like a beacon”
Hounslow – Start of the American Revolution? – Alan Gibbons
North Yorkshire – Huge response to libraries consultation, [council looks to volunteers … and pubs] – Whitby Gazette
Nottinghamshire – Libraries help with finding a job – Council
Portsmouth – Why Portsmouth libraries are amazing and why Portsmouth News should leave them alone – Daily
Somerset – National library campaigner briefs councillors on how to save £1.3m with no cuts – Alan Gibbons
Southampton – Faces most serious industrious action ever – This is Hampshire
Suffolk – Referendum call over council plan to stop directly providing services [like libraries] – EADT
Surrey – Surrey libraries face uncertain future after council decision – This is Local London
Sutton – Angry protests as council cuts agreed – Sutton Guardian (“we intend to keep our main libraries open” [my italics])
Wandsworth – campaigners question plan to save York Gardens Library – Wandsworth Guardian
Wiltshire – “Chalet Girl” writer Tom Williams wrote it in Warminster Library – Warminster People

National News
Curse of the cult of the amateur – IndependentYou probably don’t think that anyone can cut out a brain tumour, but you do seem to think that anyone can run a hospital, or a library, or a school.”
Date names for day of theatre action against cuts – Guardian
Los Angelenos vote to save and improve library service – LA Weekly (USA)
Relief as government secures council tax freeze – Politics “Many of the budget savings will come in the form of cuts to back office functions like finance, human resources and informational technology, but cuts of over ten per cent have also been reported for front-line services like libraries and leisure centres”

“Comprehensive and efficient” MLA definitions; 3 confirmed to close in Flintshire

521 libraries (460 buildings and 61 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK
171 authorities listed out of 206 in UK, 133 of those are on record as (at least) considering closing libraries or making significant cuts (list below news), 56 on record as not closing libraries in 2011/2 (list at bottom)
Known changes to library funding/opening since last posting
Flintshire – 3 libraries (Bagillt, Garden City and Gwernymynudd) confirmed to close, 2 (Queensferry and Halkyn) reprieved – therefore total goes down by 2

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Cambridgeshire – Save Cambridgeshire Libraries campaign – Friends of Arbury Library
Cambridgeshire – Library Service Review papers – Cambs Council (Appendix 5 shows criteria used)
Doncaster – Wanted: Head of Libraries -Save Doncaster Libraries
Doncaster – Comprehensive and Efficient checklist from the MLA – Save Doncaster Libraries (this could be very useful for campaigners thinking of doing a legal challenge)
Flintshire – Call for rethink to keep third library in Flintshire – Leader
Gloucestershire – MPs Richard Graham and Neil Carmichael back GCC library plan despite local opposition– FoGL

Hampshire – Cuts to Hampshire’s mobile library service – Eagle Radio
Redcar and Cleveland – Moves to make Redcar Library a listed builidng – Gazette
Tower Hamlets – The Idea Story – Idea
Wiltshire – Library services could be saved (if 270 people work unpaid) – Salisbury Journal
Wirral – “Don’t get ideas” Council Leader says about Tax rebels – Wirral Globe

National News
Ebooks – durability is a feature, not a bug – Cory Doctorow in the Guardian (continued fallout from HarperCollins USA wanting to limit library ebook loans to 26)
I already know what I’m fighting for on 26 March – GuardianI’m marching because I support nurses, teachers, care assistants, Sure Start centres and libraries”
People for a library themed Ben & Jerry’s flavour – Facebook
Privatisation and the failure narrative – Thoughts of a wannabe librarian
Stop the privatisation of UK public libraries – (Blog to “alert the public” about LSSI and others)
Value of public libraries (and the measurement thereof) – Walk You Home

What have libraries done for us lately? – Agnostic, Maybe  (Monty Python on HarperCollins)
Why is being alone social defeat? – Independent (on/against World Book Night)
World Book Night – Free Books! – Economist