Conwy and Northants threaten 15 closures

332 libraries plus 22 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
Being the list below represents around a third of  authorities in the UK, the final figure could be from 800 to 1000.

The figures have changed because:
Plus 7 – Conwy may close 7 out of 12.
Plus 8 – Northamptonshire  has announced 8 possible closures (out of 38) plus 2 mobiles

Mr Pickles is quoted today as saying: “Before we see libraries cut and all these kinds of things, I want to see councils merge their back office functions ….I would like to see them sharing chief executives, their legal department, their accounts department, their payroll, their IT, their planning, their education support functions.  And when they have done all that, if they feel they have to close libraries, they should talk to me again.”

Buckinghamshire – Volunteer run libraries, computers paid for by council – Bucks Free Press
Conwy – 7 (out of 12) under threat – BBC
Dundee – libraries to become a Trust – Press and Journal
Gloucestershire – more consultation dates announced – Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries
Lewisham – protests at cuts – BBC
Liverpool – “libraries will shut” says Leader – Liverpool Confidential
Northamptonshire – 8 (out of 38) under threat – Northampton Chronicle. Full details here
Wandsworth – 100 demo to protest at closure of York Gardens Library – Local Guardian

Eric Pickles wants libraries cut only as last resort – Birmingham Mail and also Yorkshire Post
Religious groups may take over libraries – Open Democracy
Cuts to libraries disproportionate to council cuts – BookSeller
Sit-in at Vodaphone shop planned to protest at library closures – LWFABF (NB: no advocacy of illegal action is in any way implied by the posting of this item).
What price a book? – LoveYourPolitics
Cuts to council budgets – interactive map – Guardian
What do the public want from libraries? – MLA

Croydon to close half of libraries, Staffordshire close none.

317 libraries plus 20 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed (List below “News”)
The figures have changed because:
– plus six – Croydon has announced it is closing 6 out of its 12 libraries. This is on top of the local studies library already reported.

Libraries were mentioned on most national media (television and radio) today as the core central funding for each council was announces.  Libraries were repeatedly cited as examples of services to be cut.  The Times has the headline “Apocalypse Now” and chose to use a library as a main photograph.

Staffordshire joins the tiny club (Hillingdon and Wirral are the two other members I am aware of – anyone know any other council in this category?) of councils which have gone on record saying they will not close any libraries.


Buckinghamshire – Campaign to save South Petherton – This Is The West Country
Buckinghamshire – library closures not illegal – Bucks Free Press
Cambridgeshire – a case of staff levels being “frozen”? – Cambridge News
Croydon – 6 libraries (out of 12)  to close – Croydon Guardian
Doncaster – Petition to go to Hunt – Doncaster Star
Gloucestershire – council leader slow-hand-clapped by 500 at public meeting – Friends of Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – Joanna Trollope supports libraries, council spokesman says cuts unavoidable – BBC
Gloucestershire – details of consultation times and dates – Friends of Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – 2000 sign petition to save Bishop’s Cleeve library –  This is Gloucestershire
Hampshire – culture/libraries boss takes voluntary redundancy – Basingstoke Gazette. In his time, he had questioned buying fiction for libraries as “most people buy books”.
Oxfordshire – campaigns to fight “savage” library closures – Henley Standard
Staffordshire – all 43 branches are safe – Lichfield Blog. Council statement here
Walthamstow – St James Street Library RIP – Youtube (old video, but interesting)
Walthamstow – Campaign for Lea Bridge – Youtube (old video, but interesting)
Wigan – defence of libraries begins – Wigan Today
Worcesteshire – libraries not a priority – Worcester News
Libraries must still be run by librarians says LGA – Public Service
‘Apocalypse now’ for Libraries, Social Care and Bin Collections – Times (Behind a paywall – article has a big picture of a library as an example).
USA – libraries meet the needs of users in recession – NJ.Com
Jeremy Hunt in favour of volunteers in libraries, does not mention them replacing staff – Guardian
“Take to the barricades” – Alan Gibbons
Poorest areas will take the biggest cuts – Guardian
Front-line cuts such as to libraries are chosen instead of “vested interests” in councils – Telegraph
KPMG say libraries are soft targets for cuts – Reuters

Gloucestershire – Joanna Trollope supports libraries, council spokesman says cuts unavoidable – BBC
Gloucestershire – details of consultation times and dates – Friends of Gloucestershire
Walthamstow – St James Street Library RIP – Youtube (old video, but interesting)
Walthamstow – Campaign for Lea Bridge – Youtube (old video, but interesting)

Jeremy Hunt in favour of volunteers in libraries, does not mention them replacing staff – Guardian
“Take to the barricades” – Alan Gibbons

Aberdeenshire – some
Angus – 4 libraries closed this year (April) to be possibly replaced by a mobile
Argyll and Bute – 3 libraries and mobile library.
Barking and Dagenham – 5
Barnet – some – public consultation here
Barnsley – up to 8
Bedfordshire – 1 mobile to go
Birmingham – 40
Bolton – Up to 8
Brent – 6 (out of 12)
Bristol – some may be staffed by volunteers
Buckinghamshire – up to 14 to close or be staffed by volunteers
Cambridgeshire – some
Camden – several plus one mobile library (£2 million cut)
Central Bedfordshire – one mobile library to go
Cornwall – up to 23
Croydon – 1 (local studies)
Devon – (mobile stops cut)
Doncaster – 13, (may also be taken out of council control)
Dorset – up to 20 (out of 34) to close or be given to community groups
Dumfries – 7
Flintshire – 5 and at least one mobile
Gloucestershire – Up to 25 and 6 mobiles  – 11 to close or go to volunteers. 7 to close if they don’t find a partner.  A further 11 reduced to 3.5 hours a week (this is just a small figure I include them under “closed”), 6 mobile libraries to go. 
Hampshire – (58 FTE jobs to go) (and mobile library review)(libraries merged with IT/property etc)
Harrow – (34 FTE to go)
Hartlepool – 1 confirmed to close (another to merge with community centre, all library’s hours cut)
Hertfordshire – (opening hours to be cut by one third – from 2236 hours down to 1575) – At least one library (Borehamwood)  faces a 40% cut
Highland – (Wick Library to close and merge with school library)
Hounslow – (12 FTE to go, 1 IT skills suite closed)
Isle of Wight – up to 10 (out of 11)
Kirklees – at least 1
Leeds – Up to 20 (out of 52)
Leicestershire – all libraries could be privatised, put to trust or shared (merge of lending/reference- 14 FTE jobs lost)
Lewisham – 5
Milton Keynes – 2
Newport – 7
Northumberland – some 
North Norfolk – some (c. £1m reduction)
North Somerset – 1 closed, 2 proposed. Weston Mercury update
North Yorkshire – 24 to close or be staffed by volunteers, 9 mobiles to go off road.
Nottingham – (80 FTE jobs to go, 75% off bookfund, 30 libraries have less opening hours)
Oldham – (increase in volunteers, merging, cuts)
Oxfordshire – 20 – list of those under threat here
Redbridge – 5 out of 12 may close, another may relocate.
Renfrewshire – (2 libraries to move into smaller sites in community centres)
Richmond – 1
Rochdale – (some library managers to to go in first phase of cuts)
Sefton – 3
Sheffield – (30% cut expected)
Shropshire – 1 (reference library to merge with central library)
Somerset – several. 7 libraries have reduced opening hours until decision made/jobs freeze.
Stoke – 2 and 1 mobile library, (ends RNIB service)
Suffolk – up to 2
Tower Hamlets – (staff made to reapply for their own jobs -23 library staff replaced)
Wakefield – “several”
Walsall – at least 8 (30 FTE). More details here 
Wandsworth – 1 plus reduction in hours in others
Warrington – 2 and 1 mobile library
West Sussex Some (5 FTE lost, some librarians pay reduced to library assistant)
Wigan – Up to 15 out of 17  (£1.1m cut off £4m budget)
Wiltshire – (26 FTE posts to go inc. 9 out of 13 community librarians)

800 to 1000 libraries may be under threat.

311 libraries plus 20 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed.

Being the list below of individual authorities represents around one-third of those in the UK, that could mean perhaps 800 to 1000 libraries could be under threat when all budget proposals are announced*.  Tim Coates today announced he was in “despair” at this news. CILIP have been active behind the scenes and have promised action in the next week to publicise the plight of public libraries. Ed Vaizey, the minister responsible for libraries has written this week to each council to remind them that libraries are a statutory service. 

Most councils decide their budgets for 2011/12 in February so, if you too are concerned by a proposed cut in funding for libraries in your authority, there is not much time left to let your councillor/MP/Minister know.

*Thanks to Desmond Clarke for pointing this out.

Birmingham – Tower Hill library may close, protests begin – Walsall Advertiser
Doncaster – reaction to the cuts – Save Doncaster Libraries
Dorset – Public consultation on closure of 20 (out of 34) libraries – Dorset Echo
Gloucestershire – campaign to save Matson Library – This is Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – local council meetings fail to sell the message of closures – Friends of Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – deathblow to libraries? – Ruscombe Green
Gloucestershire – messages of support for libraries, inc. video – Friends of Gloucestershire
Highland – Wick Library to close, new one in school outside of town centre – John O’Groats Journal
Leicestershire – privatisation for libraries and/or co-location – Lutterworth Mail
Leicestershire – Concern at cuts – BBC
North Yorkshire – Gargrave and Grassington could be community-run, only big towns to have a library – Craven Herald and Pioneer
Oxfordshire – the news on libraries is awful so how bad will cuts be for other services? – Oxford Mail
Oxfordshire – more cuts to be announced (goodbye Oxford Literary Festival?) – BBC
Oxfordshire – Campaigners, including MP and Phllip Pullman, protest at cuts – Oxford Mail
Sandwell – doing well – Halesownen News (yippee!)
Wandsworth – your chance to take part in consultation – Wandsworth Council
Warrington – Phone Box as Library – Warrington Guardian
West Sussex – Cuts to libraries to be discussed next week – Argus.  This article suggests at least some libraries will be either closed or given to volunteers – Chichester Observer.
Wigan – did you know our library is in danger of closing? – Standish Talk

MLA “It’s not the libraries that matter” Future Libraries Programme Newsletter – MLA
Tim Coates despairs – Good Library Blog
Reading Agency shows power of youth volunteering in libraries – Alan Gibbons
Arts Council (soon to be responsible for libraries) under fire – London Evening Standard
Plea for councillors not to cave into “middle class lobbyists” in favour of libraries – Public Finance
Councils to be told how much their funding will be cut early next week – Daily Telegraph – libraries mentioned several times in article as amongst those services most likely to close.
Eric Pickles seems more concerned about Winterval than the cuts – Guardian
Localism Bill – closed library? community groups may get first right of refusal on the building – BBC
Choose a library for the Guardian to look at and, possibly, save – Guardian – A significant proportion of the comments after the article are in favour of closing libraries.
Kate Mosse in defence of libraries – Guardian

Dismantling of library system continues – Doncaster/Dorset/Cambs etc

311 libraries plus 20 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed. 

The figure has gone up by 10 librraies and 1 mobile since yesterday. This is because:

– Minus 3 – Cornwall looks to be 23 under pressure rather than 26 previously calculated.
– Plus 1 mobile – Flintshire previous figure was 5 libraries, at least one mobile added as under threat
– Plus 3 – Dorset – Previous figure was 17, BBC report 20 could go.
– Plus 10 – Doncaster – previous figure was 3, Alan Gibbons suggests rumours it is 13.

Cambridgeshire – some libraries to close as part of £161m cuts – Cambridge News
Cornwall – 23 (out of 32)  to close, inc poss Newquay – This is Cornwall
Doncaster – rumours that 13 libraries may close – Alan Gibbons
Doncaster – disconcerting news from the MP – Save Doncaster Libraries
Dorset – halving of libraries as 900 jobs go – Dorset Echo
Dorset – 20 libraries could go – BBC
Flintshire – more on the cuts – Flintshire Chronicle
Hampshire – Libraries merge with other services – Get Hampshire 
Leicestershire – Libraries could be privatised, put in trusts or shared – Harborough Mail
Lewisham – local groups urged to run 5 libraries or they will close – East London Times
North Yorkshire – 125 forms to save libraries so far in newspaper campaign – Scarborough Evening News
Torbay – £200k could be cut from libraries – This is South Devon

MLA – Arts Council “pleased” to take over but with 25% off – Guardian.  Also in BookSeller and BBC
Kate Mosse on Libraries – BookSeller

Dorset could close up to 17; Flintshire 5; Suffolk 2 – Figure now over 300

301 libraries plus 19 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed.

Reason for the change in figures today (from 279 libraries and 19 mobiles yesterday)
– Plus 17 – Dorset – this authority had already announced “some” branches were under threat but has now said up to half of its 34 branches are to close or taken over by community groups.
– Plus 5 – Flintshire – this is an entirely new figure.
– Minus 2 – Hartlepool – Up to 3 had been earmarked for closure but the actual cut is 1 (plus a merger with a communty centre and a reduction in hours in all branches)
– Plus 2 – Suffolk – this is a new figure – “one or two” to close.

Devon – mobile stops cut “arbitrarily” – 
Dorset – Up to 17 out of 34 libraries to close or be given away – Bournemouth Echo
Flintshire – 5 to go – Leader
Gloucestershire – Campaign group to save libraries – Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard
Gloucestershire – situation report on libraries petition – Friends of Glos Libraries
Gloucestershire – Joanna Trollope supports campaign to save libraries – Friends of Glos Libraries
Gloucestershire – Historical Society to take over Wotton-Under-Edge – Gazette
Gloucestershire – Petition to save Longlevens – This is Gloucestershire
Hartlepool – 1 closure, 1 merge, all opening hours cut – Hartlepool Mail
Lancashire – your chance to suggest cuts – Lancashire Telegraph
Leeds – “cuts like the 1930s” – Guardian
Leeds – plans to close up to 20 to go to public consultation – Guardian
Lewisham – decision to close 5 libraries delayed until January – Guardian
Northumberland – some libraries may go – Journal Live
North Somerset – “If people are prepared to jump up and down about a library then they should be prepared to help run this service too” – Weston Mercury
Suffolk – “1 or 2″ libraries to close – BBC Suffolk
Wirral – libraries are great but all are closed on Wednesday – Wirral Globe

Australia – Open Letter to Jeremy Hunt from Australian Libraries – New Technology Interest Group’s Blog
Vftl – David McMenemy Guest Blog – Voices for the Library

Shropshire closing ref library? Figure now 279 libraries under threat

279 libraries plus 19 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed.

Reasons for increases to figure.
– Plus 7 and 2 mobiles – Gloucestershire.  Figure increased due to comment from a Glos campaigner (on 6 Dec news – see below) who has kindly clarified I was using optimistic (!) figures.  Figure now 25 libraries and 6 mobiles if one includes those reduced to a pitiful 3.5 hours per week.
– Plus 8 – Figure increased by 8 as Walsall cuts noticed and included (thanks to Library Watch). Walsall are putting all their libraries under review, with the worst 8 closing.
– Plus 1 -Shropshire is considering merging it’s reference library with Shrewsbury public library – I am including this as a loss as up to 10FTE could go.

Barking and Dagenham – petition to save Chadwell Heath –
Barking and Dagenham – Facebook group to save Chadwell Heath – Facebook
Gloucestershire – protesters demand apology – Gloucestershire Echo. Comment by campaigner here. Fascinating fight in the comments with an anti-library commenter.
Hampshire – Libraries chief retires, dept to merge – BookSeller
Leicestershire – smaller libraries could be run by community groups – inLoughborough
Oxfordshire – cuts driven by ideology – Oxford Times
Shropshire – Reference Library may merge with Shrewsbury Library – Shropshire Star
Wandsworth – meeting at York Gardens – Battersea People
Wiltshire – protests at move out of town of Melksham Library – This is Wiltshire

Big Books charity in libraries – Guardian
INDIA – and we thought we had problems, over 3000 libraries closed – Times of India
US – Small is all, who runs the USA’s 9214 libraries? – American Libraries
US – Big Tent Librarianship – Library Journal

Wigan says only 2 out of 16 libraries safe: Redbridge announce 5 closures.

263 libraries plus 17 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed.

Wigan has put out a public consultation that says only 2 of its 17 libraries are safe from closure.   It is unlikely Wigan will close all of these but it is possible so the figure stands as 15 out of 17 under threat. I had previously put the figure for Wigan as 6 so the total has increased by nine.   The London borough of Redbridge has announced five of its 12 libraries, relocating a sixth.

Gloucestershire – Lib Dems against the closures – Friends of Glos Libraries
Kent – traditional library may change forever – This is Kent
Lewisham – appeal to volunteers for  5 libraries, two more London authorities due to do the same – LocalGov
Milton Keynes – town council pr proposed closure of Stony Straford library – AboutMyArea
North Tyneside – Budget cuts mean libraries at risk – Chronicle Live
Oxfordshire – don’t close my children’s library – Henley Standard
Oxfordshire – anger growing at proposed closure of libraries – Henley Standard
Oxfordshire – Labout group against the closures – Oxford Mail
Redbridge – 6 out of 12 libraries may close – Wanstead and Woodford Guardian
Wigan – 15 out of 17 libraries under threat as public consultation begins – Wigan and Leisure Culture Trust

Professional vs. Non-Professional as Rome burns – Good Library Blog
Alan Gibbons – 1000 petition to Ed Vaizey – Guardian. See also The BookSeller
In praise of libraries – Paul on Books
Are you sick about hearing about libraries yet? – Book Maven
Can librarians protest against cuts in their own authority? – Sintoblog
For love of libraries – Sue Hyams

Fear for Cromer Library; Wigan; Senior Librarians are to blame?

249 libraries plus 17 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed

Fears for North Norfolk libraries and Sheffield are pre-emptive in nature but realistic. The campaign in Wigan gets going.  The Good Library Guide again raises controversy.

Gloucestershire – why Gloucestershire is not like Buckinghamshire – Friends of Glos Libraries
North Norfolk – fears for Cromer Library – £1m reduction – Eastern Daily Press
Sheffield – Library Workers for a Brighter Future – 30% cuts expected – Sheffield Telegraph
Wigan – don’t let us lose out library – 6 libraries to close, £1.1m cut – Wigan Today

Open Letter to Jeremy Hunt MP – JM Lockwood
Why libraries really, really matter – Philip Ardagh
Senior librarians at a national level are strongly to blame for the current state of affairs – Good Library Guide
Librarians today are nothing like in the 1970s but they’re still here, and needed – Information Today

2 libraries to close in Milton Keynes; Worries in Kirklees

249 libraries plus 17 mobiles currently under threat or recently closed

The figure has increased from 246 to 249 due to the announcement of 2 libraries in danger of closing in Milton Keynes and at least one likely to close in Kirklees.  The list has been missing Barnet from the list as its proposed “EasyCouncil” cuts were announced before this blog started – this omission has now been amended. There have been a pile of pro-library blogs coming out due to a “Campaign for the Book” campaign and all of them make heartwarming reading for librarians.  

Hampshire – mobile library service cuts/review – Portsmouth The News
Kirklees – at least 1 library under threat – Mirfield Reporter
Kirklees – 2 new mobiles on the road –  Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Milton Keynes – 2 libraries to close – Alan Gibbons
Milton Keynes – campaign already started – About My Aread
Northumberland – library review out on Monday – Morpeth Herald
Oxfordshire – library’s positive role – Oxford Times
Oxfordshire – appeal to write to Secretary of State – Friends of Old Town Library NB the same letter can be used for writing about other areas which may contravene the Act.

Why you should care about libraries – V. Kathryn Evans
Aslan waits patiently but may never be found – Joanna Canon
Libraries – old-fashioned? – Nana Kiliham
Library Emergency – the unkindest cut of all – Scribble City Central
Thoughts from a reluctant library user – Who Ate My Brain?
Libraries – nostalgia may soon be not what it used to be – An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
Why Libraries are important – Dave Cousins
Bye Bye Libraries, Bye Bye Civilization – Notes from the slushpile
Libraries – not just a place to borrow books from – A Novel Way
The names to name – fight for our libraries – Notes from the slushpile
Don’t close our libraries you bastards – Bryony Pearce