Some of the news from councils would be hilarious if not so serious – a Bradford councillor says the mobile library that will replace five closing libraries will offer as good or better service, Camden are closing libraries to pay for a nice new car park; Sutton may be seeing the future of libraries as bookswaps and Warwickshire … well, Warwickshire have clearly reached new heights of lyrical description in the glowing ways they describe closing (sorry, “transforming”) libraries.

496 libraries (429 buildings and 67 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control out of 4517 in the UK
Legal challenges are being prepared/under way in Brent, CamdenGloucestershire, 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.

Bradford – 5 libraries to close will be replaced by mobile library
Camden – Budget to be cut from £8m to £6m by 2014; consultation runs until 4th April; petition.
Sutton – Book Swap website set up as part of “Big Society Pioneer” program; Carshalton Library may be moved into a nearby leisure centre; opening hours review; co-ordinated volunteer program; newspaper/magazine/CD review.
Warwickshire – Libraries transformation information pack – Warwickshire Council

National News
£2.8m for libraries, museums and archives – News Wales ““Central to this investment is the ongoing modernisation of our public libraries to appeal to new audiences by providing new services alongside the ever popular books in a modern attractive environment”
ALCS welcomes MP’s PLR call – BookSeller
Arts groups face cuts double whammy – LocalGov
DCMS Committee report that PLR should be administered by Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society  – Virtual Press Office
Funding of the Arts: DCMS Committee Report: on the MLA – House of Commons “We are concerned that the Arts Council does not have the expertise or the resources to carry on, adequately, the functions of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.”
Good news from Rhyl – Alan Gibbons
Lewisham campaigners’ report: March for the alternative – Alan Gibbons
March against the cuts – Walk You Home (good pictures)
Message from the  many stifled by the violence of a view – Independent, Leading Article
Museums council axing should be reviewed, says MPs – BBC
Osborne’s budget impacts the poor and vulnerable – Guardian Letters

Local News
Bradford – Mobile libraries to replace branches in Heaton, Wilsden, Denholme, Wrose and Addingham – Telegraph and ArgusAll we are getting is an accountant’s view of the library service”.  Incredibly, the councillor responsible claims ““Although we have decided to close these libraries, they will have mobile provision to a similar or better standard.”
Cambridgeshire: Libraries reviewed in council cuts – BBC
Camden: Libraries consultation – Fitzrovia News (3000 replies to consultation)
Ealing: Hands off Northfields Library: Local councillors urge community to protest over Council plans – Ealing Today  “The proposal to shut Northfields Library defies belief. It is newly re-built and the immediate area is currently being re-developed with a new Children’s Centre, incorporating the Log Cabin, Scouts and the nursery. The park right next door is also being re-developed to incorporate the library. There is no logic to this crazy proposal.”
Ealing – Libraries to find volunteers or face closure – Ealing Gazette
Gloucestershire: Tuffley residents feel they are being set up to fail – FoGLAttending the meeting in Tuffley I had hoped to be in at the birth of a new community initiative. On reflection though I feel that I attended a wake for the library service of yet another community in Gloucestershire.”
Gloucestershire: County Council’s library cut plans to be scrutinised by Whitehall – This is Gloucestershire (meeting between DCMS and Glos Council in “next four weeks”)
Oxfordshire – Fundraising boost for library – Henley Standard (£350 raised for campaign to save Woodcote Library)
Oxfordshire – Libraries can stay open says councillor – Henley Standard “He suggested that librarians could operate in several libraries, supported by a network of volunteers.”
Sutton – Big Society Book Swap plan under fire – Financial TimesSutton pilot project sets up bookswap website “the “exciting” book-share idea was not an attempt to reduce the library service “by the back door”
Warwickshire: Library transformation information pack – Warwickshire Council