NB.  List of cuts by authority now on separate page – see link on righthand side. 

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 (or this one at CILIP) and also a sample letter. If this legal shield goes, expect to see the total of public libraries under threat (or closed) reaching ever higher. No public library will be truly safe.

Be warned that the questionnaire is a masterclass on how to slant a survey to get the result you want. You will be asked if you consider the legislation a “burden” on the council. Well, yes, of course it is. However, it’s a burden they should have and, if you click yes, the general suspicion is that  you’re going to be used as evidence the legislation should be deleted. Seriously.

(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
Barnet – £1.6m cut, decision on how to cut on 29th March
City of London – plus 1 building threatened – Camomile Street placed provisionally under threat – Library closed and funding for replacement only agreed “in principle”.
Darlington – plus 1 – Cockerton Library under threat
Highland – plus 1 mobile – mobile library service axed, to be staffed by volunteers 
Liverpool – consultation document
North Lincolnshire – plus 1 building – Haxey Library will be entirely staffed by volunteers, council will “manage” them. I have added this as “under threat”.
Renfrewshire – RNIB subscription withdrawn
Warwickshire – Public consultation document -Warwickshire Council (closing nearly half of its libraries is described as a “transformation”. It goes on: “Please visit the website, see below, and keep an eye on the local media for all the latest information about how you can get involved in this once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the county’s Library Service”.)
Non-Local News 
(S) means item added on Sunday.
Cardiff worker to walk to London in protest over spending cuts – Wales Online “I feel very strongly about the cuts to councils which will mean the closures of libraries, public toilets, social services. It worries me.” (S)
Citizen Pickles “Power to the People” – 24dashIn the future could we see housing associations running libraries”
Julian Barnes wins David Cohen Prize for Literature 2011 – BookTrade “It seems to me that the practice of reading is currently more under threat than the practice of writing. There will always be young writers; will there always be young readers? Our literacy levels are falling, and – disgracefully – public libraries are threatened with closure.”
Libraries and the homeless: random thoughts – Homeless Guy (USA)
Library Advocacy: Sharing and learning from national and internation experience – CILIP conference
Library “Revolution” -Independent (Letters) (1. Letter in response to LSSI, (2) Bob Neill, Local Government minister denies statutory duties are under review – however, the review website still clearly lists them and invites comments about them)
Little Mover and Shaker Thank You post – Walk You Home
Olympic sceptic right up to the starter’s gun – Express  “Until then, with eleven billion recession-era quid invested in it, money that could have helped a lot of hospitals and schools, saved a lot of leisure centres and libraries, I reserve the right to be ever so slightly sceptical.” (S)
Open Book: Mariella Frostrup speaks to Will Self about the threat to libraries – BBC (1:07 to 10:44: Will Self repeatedly attacks libraries, does not understand people who use them and comes across as a wealthy anti-library rich technophile who sees them, at best, as museums) (S)
Promoting reading for pleasure – Michael Rosen (via Alan Gibbons)
So-called localism will undo years of human endeavour – Guardian (Polly Toynbee)
Those pesky laws! – Random Letters
Threats to public libraries look overwhelming, yet both defensive mobilizations to resist cutbacks and pressures for innovations offer hope for radical improvements – LSE (“old” 1/2/11 article just discovered)

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Anglesey – Local authority could be made to merge – Daily Post “tough decisions” to be made on services inc. libraries.
Barnet – Campaigners to protest over library cuts in Barnet – Barnet and Potter Bar Times
Bradford – Campaigners say there are being denied a say over over Bradford council plan – Telegraph & Argus
Brent – Kensal Rise library – Vimeo (video, via Alan Gibbons)
Carmarthenshire – Libraries closure plan “a threat to Welsh culture” – Wales Online
City of London – Camomile Street redevelopment – City of London Council
Darlington – School children campaign to save their library – Advertiser
Doncaster – Score son the doors – Save Doncaster Libraries
Dorset – Oliver Letwin MP says no library should close – Bridport News
Dorset – “Exciting” prospects for Lyme Regis but don’t sacrifice Charmouth – View Online
Dumfries and Galloway – World Book Night success at Ewart Library – D&G Standard (S)
Gloucestershire – Indices of deprivation and GCC’s library Strategy – FoGL (council is closing libraries in it’s most deprived wards)
Gloucestershire – Tuffley: Deprived but told to emulate Buckinghamshire – FoGL
Gloucestershire – Community hope to save Tuffley Library – This is Gloucestershire (see FoGL article above)
Highland – Volunteers could save mobile library service – Inverness Courier
Isle of Wight – All options open to in rescue plan for Bembridge Library – Ventnor Blog “impossibly short and unrealistic timescales”
Neath Port Talbot – None to close this year – This is South Wales
North Lincolnshire – Locals will lend hand at library – This is Scunthorpe
North Somerset – Town’s [Portishead} new library to open next month – This is Bristol
North Somerset – Weston-Super-Mare library move sparks campaign – BBC
Renfrewshire – Partially sighted woman hits out at council axing talking book service – Paisley Daily Express
Renfrewshire – Battle over Lochwinnoch Library – Use Libraries and Learn Stuff
Somerset – Campaigners plan to save Watchet Library – Somerset County Gazette
Somerset – Fight to save Highbridge Library from closure goes to London – Burnham on Sea (S)
Suffolk – New row over council’s New Strategic Direction – EADT (Suffolk looking to offload its library/any other service or combination of services on to anyone willingto take them on, private or volunteer or charity)
Suffolk – Youngsters join campaign to save Oulton Broad library – EDP
Suffolk – Public Post-It for [Ixworth] library ideas – Bury Free Press (S) “I’m willing to start a ‘save our library’ campaign because a lot of us don’t want to see charity shop type libraries.” (S)
Suffolk – Your toilets or a [Debenham] library? – Diss Express
Suffolk – [Lakenheath] Village library in residents’ hands – Bury Free Press (S)
Warwickshire – [Bulkington] Library still in peril – Nuneaton News (3095 petition – half the population)
Warwickshire – Nine lives – Nuneaton News (Bulkington pays £100k in council tax for library, it costs £50k to run – but council says community will have to present “robust business case” for it or it will close regardless)
Warwickshire – Consultation Document – Warwickshire Council (there is some amazing doublespeak in this document, closing half its libraries is called a “transformation”.  It goes on  “about how you can get involved in this once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the county’s Library Service”.)
Warwickshire – The Warwickshire Libraries Consultation: What are the questions? – What’s In Kenilworth (“consultation” is clearly focused on gaining volunteers and donations/funding for the library, no questions about if closures are actually desired or indeed about anything else)
Warwickshire – Warwickshire Library Service: consultation begins – BBC (S)
West Calderdale – Gillian reaches final chapter in 39-year career – Todmorden News (“It’s going to be sad to go but things are happening now and I think it’s going to be a bad year for libraries and I didn’t want to be here when that happens.”)