521 libraries (461 buildings and 60 mobiles) currently under threat or recently closed/left council control (List below) out of 4517 in the UK (CILIP figures)

– Bury – housebound library service closed (3 jobs)
– Merton – 2 libraries to have reduced hours,  search for volunteers to entirely run libraries on threatened days.
– Peterborough – 8 out of 10 libraries reducing hours, most by a third, £250k cut (from £1.8m)

Interesting news from the Local Government Chronicle that Ministers are going to write a second letter to local authorities reminding them of the statutory requirments for public libraries.  One only sends a second letter if one suspects the first letter has not been fully taken on board and one really wants the message to get across.  Or, it could be, that Ministers are aware legal action could be taken against them soon and they need to show some willing themselves.  Or, it could be, that this way the Government points the finger at others for library closures and can claim innocence themselves for the greatest cuts in modern UK history. The optimist in me prefers the first explanation.

World Book Day was today.  It strikes me that this could be the second whammy day next year to emphasise the need to save libraries if the National Save Our Libraries Day that Alan Gibbons and others are organising starts being an annual event in February after its great success this year.  Unlike Save Our Libraries Day, this could be one that all libraries can get behind, ever so tactfully, without incurring the wrath of their political masters but still manageing to get the message across that public libraries are important.

Local News – all news is representative and not comprehensive
Bolton – 12 week consultation starts, 9 libraries in danger – Prestwich and Whitefield Guide
Bradford – Parking charges and library cuts approved – Keighley News
Bury – town hall cuts will badly damage services – Prestwich and Whitefield Guide
Bury – Housebound library cut – Prestwich and Whitefield Guide

Cambridgeshire – Julian Huppert MP raises uncertain future of libraries in Commons – Cambridge First

Camden – Conservatives propose advertising on buildings “ – Camden New Journal “Look at libraries. You could have the computer room at Swiss Cottage. It could be sponsored by IBM” 
Camden – “No Choice” councillors resist calls to defy the cuts – Camden New Journal “Camden is unlikely to keep its full complement of libraries.”
Cheshire West and Chester – No plans to close libraries – Ellesmere Port Pioneer
Doncaster – Shouting Tories in disarray – Star
Dorset – Protesters more positive in Lyme Regis after Oliver Letwin MP meeting – View Online  “The difficulty is that DCC remain of the view that they will remove funding leaving communities to run their own library service but the community offer that DCC has put forward is entirely unworkable.   This has been demonstrated in other areas of the country but DCC seem unwilling to learn from these experiences.”
Essex – Libraries to have new community services – BBC (inc recycling, police, district council.
Isle of Wight – “people’s library” opens in county hall foyer – Isle of Wight Radio “To mark World Book Day, around 15 campaigners arrived at lunchtime on Thursday. Some were dressed as characters from novels and began reading from books including George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, much to the surprise of County Hall staff.
Isle of Wight – Government interest in library plan – Isle of Wight Chronicle
Liverpool – council budget cuts agreed – Liverpool Echo
London – libraries to be on Inside Out London this Monday – BBC One
Suffolk – Libraries to be sold off to an American firm? – Kathy Pollard (4 sets of talks with LSSI)

BookSellers Association offers help for save libraries campaign – BookSeller

BookSellers Association press release – BookSellers Association 
Laura Hamilton supports libraries – Voices for the Library
Library ebooks to become too tatty to lend – Hardware
Ministers focus on libraries – Local Government Chronicle (behind paywall) (suggests ministers will be sending second letter to authorities reminding them of their statutory duty)