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Monday, 7 March 2011

Private USA firm LSSI wants 15% of all UK libraries in five years

523 libraries (462 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
– none

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Dorset – library staff (in branches about to be closed) recognised for outstanding customer service – Dorset Echo
Dorset – library cuts “aren’t legal” – Daily Echo (AdLib campaigner says council plans would not stand up to legal challenge)
Leeds – World Book Night – Leeds Reads
Gloucestershire – campaigners crucify books in Matson library cuts protest – This is Glos
Oxfordshire – Innovative idea to save libraries – Bicester Advertiser (examines success of Hillingdon) ““About 25 per cent of people will always use libraries whatever state they are in. About 25 per cent will never use them. What we have done is hit the 50 per cent that might use them.” (same article is advertised on full front page in Oxford Mail)

Oxfordshire – Campaigners fighting to save Oxfordshire libraries from closures reject offer of “Big Society” funds – Herald Series (only 3 groups have expressed an interest, omni-present LSSI also interested)
Suffolk – “fantastic response to plea for libraries ideas” – Bury Free Press (1300 responses inc LSSI)
National News
Ancient law risks derailing councils’ plans to sell public assets – (if library is 19th Century, law may mean that it cannot be sold off if it ceases being used as a library, law upheld in 2005)
Big society: Tory detox or ideological smokescreen – Caledonian Mercury “closed libraries are now offered to communities to run on a voluntary basis – as if a public library service was an amateur activity on a par with craft classes, and should be allowed to prosper solely on the vine of local enthusiasm.”
British libraries soon to be taken over by US company? – (re: LSSI want to take over 15% of UK libraries by 2016, introduce coffee, events and more formal dress code)
Council leaders claim reserves at risk due to rising fuel prices – Local Government Chronicle (councils need reserves for petrol, can’t use them for saving libraries?)
Day in the life of a Brooklyn Librarian – Save NYC Libraries (USA)
Lead article on libraries – Inside Out London (BBC 1:13 to 10.30 ) (inc John Bird, founder of Big Issue examines volunteer-run libraries, Tower Hamlets Ideas Stores, Ed Vaizey likes both and says of legal challenges “we’ve not got to that stage yet”)
Shhh! The noisy US revolution coming to British Libraries – Independent (examines LSSI’s plans – read comments as well)
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
  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?) ()
  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)
  16. Bridgend 3 (may not be able to reach Welsh Assembly library standard) (opening hour cuts at most)
  17. Bromley (link is on page 7) – 8 (out of 15) (KAB talking books cut) (Penge and Anerley libraries merged)
  18. Buckinghamshire – up to 14 to close or be staffed by volunteers (extra time given to look for volunteers) (this article says 11)(£688k cut)
  19. Bury – 1 (1 other reduced hours) – Manchester Evening News (libraries to be transferred to trust/private company/charity) (housebound service closed)
  20. Caerphilly – (“rationalised”)
  21. Calderdale – (£250k cut, opening hours and bookfund cut – previously reported as £350k cut inc.12 jobs, £200k stock)
  22. 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)
  23. Camden 5 plus one mobile library (£2 million cut)
  24. Cardiff – (no closures, cuts to be considerd on 4/3/11)
  25. Carmarthenshire5 in 2011, 18 in 2012 therefore 23. (improvements in Llanelli and Carmarthen)
  26. Central Bedfordshire – one mobile library to go
  27. Ceredigion – (£1m “relocation” of Aberystwyth, £100k to be spent on Cardigan)
  28. City of London – (15.9% cut to Libraries/Archives/Art Dept budget, cuts to London Metropolitan Archives opening hours.  Source = LAGAG update email )
  29. Conwy – 7 (out of 12) (review under way)
  30. Cornwall – 2011 cuts confirmed – (£1.5m cut, 90 hours lost, merge with Registrars/One Stop Shops)
  31. Coventry – (opening hours cut, more fees)
  32. Croydon – Up to 6 (public gets to choose which), (£690k saving) (council will decide in July 2011)
  33. Cumbria – (review under way, no closures yet, 3 of 6 mobile libraries closed in 2010) 
  34. Darlington – some (£250k from budget of £1m) off budget (consultation may take one year)
  35. Denbighshire – (Rhyl has reopened after £300,000 refurbishment; no closure or merger plans, although ‘this may be reviewed”)
  36. Derbyshire – (Opening hours to be cut)
  37. 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). 
  38. Doncaster14 safeguarded for one year (the other 12 are safe) (may also be taken out of council control) (over 50% cut in funding)
  39. 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)
  40. Dumfries and Galloway -(£256k cut via staffing and other)
  41. Dundee – (to transfer to the same trust as swimming pools/basketball)
  42. Durham – some (£1.5m cut by 2015) (decision on closures delayed until 2012)
  43. Ealing At least 2 possibly more
  44. East Sussex – (£313k cut) (less books bought)
  45. Edinburgh – (£550k cut)(possible cut in mobiles)
  46. Essex – 2011 confirmed  (s to 54 of 73 branches, 21 jobs to go) (no cuts to mobiles)
  47. Falkirk – (transferred to Trust)
  48. Flintshire – 5 and at least one mobile
  49. Gateshead – some (school library service, music library, AIRS talking newspaper under threat)
  50. 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)]
  51. Greenwich1 (could be turned into a Trust) (school library service closed)
  52. 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)
  53. Hampshire – 13 mobiles (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
  54. Haringey – (staff cuts)
  55. Harrow – (34 FTE to go)(self-service machines to increase)
  56. Hartlepool2 (out of 7) to close (another to merge with community centre, all library’s hours cut)
  57. Herefordshire – (new Ledbury Library delayed) (no branches to close but mobile library review)
  58. Hertfordshire5 mobiles (2011 Confirmed – opening hours to be cut by one third – from 2236 hours down to 1575) (mobile libraries cut) – At least one library (Borehamwood)  faces a 40% cut. (£580k cut in first year, £1.4m after) (cuts confirmed) (some mobile stops saved)
  59. Highland – (Wick Library to close and merge with school library) (may move to being in a Trust) (this report says no closures) (suggestion that professional staff are being lost – a source is needed).
  60. Hounslow – initial plan to close 8 cancelled after public consultation, £300k cut in bookfund, some libraries may still be at risk as cuts “postponed”.
  61. Inverclyde – some
  62. 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)
  63. Islington – some (£250k cut)
  64. 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)
  65. Kingston – (50% adult bookfund cut)
  66. Lambeth4 branches (out of 11) and 2 mobiles (setting up a trust “which will give you a chance to run libraries”)
  67. Lancashire – 2 mobile libaries (plus 16% staffing cut)
  68. Leeds – Up to 20 (out of 52) – council says 20 closures are not about cuts but to make service viable.
  69. 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).
  70. Leicestershire – (£250k cut in bookfund and hours)
  71. LewishamConfirmed 2011/2 5 (41% cut – £800k) (legal challenge)
  72. Liverpoolsome (£500k / 28% may be closures / cuts in opening hours)
  73. Manchester – 5 (plus no libraries open on Friday or Saturday)(£394k cut) (end of homework clubs)
  74. Merthyr Tydfil – some
  75. Merton – (cuts in opening hours at West Barnes and Colliers Wood, £81k cut)
  76. Milton Keynes – 2 (Feb 2011 – closures delayed for 12 months)
  77. 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).
  78. Newcastle – (12 jobs lost, £245k cut) (8 libraries to be semi-staffed “library express”)
  79. Newport – 7 (“No closure plans; considering how to ensure “21st Century provision”)
  80. Norfolk – (£1.5m over 3 yrs proposed cut inc opening hours cut, staffing cut, bookfund cut, less mobile visits)
  81. Northern Ireland– 20 (cut in bookfund, 15 to 25% cut in hours, recruitment freeze, removal of buildings budget (denials up to 30 could close)
  82. Northamptonshire – Up to 8 libraries originally under threat,. Libraries given a reprieve but still apparently under longer term threat. (Cuts to management and support).
  83. Northumberland – some
  84. North Lanarkshire – 1 (closed March 2010)
  85. North Lincolnshire – (£15k opening hour cut, £30k Bookfund cut)
  86. North Norfolk – some (c. £1m reduction)
  87. North Somerset – 1 closed, 2 proposed, volunteers may run libraries. Weston Mercury update
  88. 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)
  89. Nottingham – 1 (3 libraries to close, 2 new ones to open) (computer use to be charged)(1 library closed)
  90. Nottinghamshire – (22 out of 28 libraries to have their opening hours cut, 80 FTE jobs to go, 50% off bookfund, 1 library already closed.
  91. Oldham – (increase in volunteers, merging, cuts)
  92. 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)
  93. Peterborough – (8 out of 10 libraries cutting hours, most by one third, £250k cut from £1.9m)
  94. 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
  95. Powys – (cuts, decision in March)
  96. Redbridge – 5 out of 12 may close, another may relocate (£2.3m cut). Goodmayes saved.
  97. Renfrewshire 1 (1 library to move into smaller sites in community centres)
  98. Richmond – 1 (£351k cut) (service may be privatised) Heathfield due to close in March.
  99. Rochdale1 (some library managers to to go in first phase of cuts, bookfund cut by two-thirds)
  100. Rutland – (6 libraries to have reduced hours, staff cut)
  101. Salford3 – some libraries to move to sports centres or provide space for community groups (2 to have reduced hours)
  102. Sefton – 3 (consultation here) (or is it “just” an opening hours cut?)
  103. Sheffield – (30% cut expected, £2.5m) (no closures, opening hours reduced) (33 FTE, mobile reduction)
  104. Shropshire – 2 and 3 mobiles(reference library to merge with central library)
  105. Slough – (put library services out to tender, Essex will help run service)
  106. 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”.
  107. Southampton – 2 (charges increase)
  108. Southend – some
  109. Southwark – (school libray service closed)
  110. Stoke – 2 and 1 mobile library, (ends RNIB service)
  111. Suffolkconfirmed 2011 £350k this year, 29 (out of 44) to be “divested” 2012/13 – (three month consultation here until April 30, £2m cut ) (Private firm LSSI in talks to take over all libraries) (petition here)
  112. Surrey –  11 and 5 mobiles (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) 
  113. 1 mobile library and some branches  (£935k off £6m p.a. budget) (school library service to close)
  114. Swansea – some
  115. Thanet – some
  116. Thurrock – Confirmed 2011 £350k cut, staffing reduction (20% cut in hours if work more than 15 hours), all to close on Mondays. 
  117. Tower Hamlets – (staff made to reapply for their own jobs -23 library staff replaced)
  118. Trafford – (mobile library to be staffed by volunteers)
  119. Vale of Glamorganmobile library reduction considered
  120. Wakefieldat least 2 , new central library but local closures
  121. Walsall – some (previous article had called them safe but under review, may close in 2012)
  122. Waltham Forest – some
  123. Wandsworth – (York Gardens – description of council proposals here, library stays open but with cuts in service and staffing) mention in Guardian here plus reduction in hours in others. Council papers here.
  124. Warrington – (2011 Confimed)  2 and 1 mobile library confirmed . More info here. Journals stopped also, £25k off staff. £10k off reference.
  125. 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%),  special county map of closures here.
  126. West Berkshire (£200k cut).
  127. West Dunbartonshire – 3 (some staff losses too)
  128. 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)
  129. Westminster – 1 (St James’s Library to close) (Marylebone may never reopen)
  130. Wigan– Up to 15 out of 17  (£1.1m cut off £4m budget)
  131. 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)
  132. 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
  133. 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. Haringey .
  15. Harrow (some increase in hours, more self-service but less staff).  
  16. Gwynedd.   
  17. Highland (but other cuts – see list above). 
  18. Hillingdon
  19. (number of libraries actually increasing here).
  20. Kirklees.  
  21. Lancashire (but staffing cuts)  
  22. Leicestershire (but opening hours and bookfund cut – £250k). 
  23. Lincolnshire.  
  24. Medway.  
  25. Merton – (£118k cut – 2 libraries will have reduced hours but reprieved from threatened closure). 
  26. Neath Port Talbot  
  27. Newcastle
  28. Norfolk – no closures but staffing cut, bookfund cut, opening hours cut, less mobile visits). 
  29. North Ayrshire.
  30. North Lincolnshire.  
  31. North Tyneside  
  32. North East Lincolnshire
  33. Northumberland:
  34. Nottinghamshire  – no plans to close any branches but massive reductions in opening hours. 
  35. Oldham  
  36. Pembrokeshire
  37. Plymouth(opening hours to reduce, managers to go)(but major cuts, closures possible 2012/3)
  38. Poole. 
  39. Portsmouth (opening new library). 
  40. Rhondda Cynon Taff:
  41. Rochdale:
  42. Sandwell:
  43. Slough (3 new libraries opening, opening hours up 20%, contract out service)  
  44. Southampton. 
  45. Staffordshire (free internet access also retained, using libraries as meeting places).  
  46. Sheffield (cuts in opening hours).  
  47. Slough (3 new libraries opening here, usage significantly up). 
  48. Swindon.
  49. Torfaen (but one closed April 2010)  
  50. Tower Hamlets,
  51. Thurrock (but other cuts) 
  52. Trafford – (but mobile library staff will be replaced by volunteers). 
  53. West Berkshire (£200k cut).
  54. Windsor and Maidenhead. 
  55. Wirral (plus £1 million investment inc ebooks, wifi, info screens)
  56. Wrexham  (libraries increasing)


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Tuesday, 08 March, 2011

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