517 libraries (443 buildings and 74 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4517 in the UK (see tally link on right for full list)


Is the fate of libraries to die? A bleak prognosis – Under a Watling Street tree.  Libraries have “dumbed down”, lost their educational purpose and are therefore open to the threat of closures.
Jesse Jackson Jr: iPads are both the future and the harbinger of doom – Telegraph. “Here he is, decrying the loss of jobs such as those in ‘libraries, bookstores. Jobs that depend on paper. In the not-too-distant future, such jobs will not exist.”
Kindle teams with OverDrive to lend library booksPublishers Weekly.  200% increase 2009 to 2010 in public library ebook lending in USA and perhaps the same again this year. “Of course, not every title available for purchase in the Kindle will be available for lending. Major publishers like Macmillan and Simon & Schuster still do not sell e-books to libraries”

“The internet retail giant has linked up with Overdrive, which provides digital content to 11,000 US libraries and educational institutions, to create the Kindle Library Lending service. When the service launches later this year, customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app. The service also allows loaned Kindle e-books to be annotated on their e-reading device. The next time the e-book is checked out by the same user, their margin notes will have been saved and appear again. Amazon.com readies e-book lending service – Bookseller. See also Amazon Press Release.

Leadership role for The National Archives – BBC.  National Archives will take over from MLA, ignoring government committee advice to reconsider scrapping of MLA.
National Libraries Day could become week of events – BookSeller.  First planning meeting involving several national organisations to take place in May. 
Save our libraries – Digital DemocracyThe campaign is one of the top runners in this (similar to 38 Degrees) website.  You will need to log in to vote but the registration system is fairly easy.

 “..if we allow digital material to replace imperfectly what has worked well before, we run a serious risk of creating a system that retards learning, by pulling away the foundations of what the Internet can offer. Zadie Smith may be wrong about the underlying factor in closing libraries, but in the end it’s a shame there aren’t more people fighting with her.”Stealing Libraries – Harvard Crimson.

Where is the Culture Select Committee? – Good Library Blog.  
Why does the Left hate technology? – Patriot Post (USA).  Jesse Jackson Jr has attacked ebooks/Ipad for stealing people’s job.  Deeply partisan article expands this example to argue that the Left is against technological progress.  Notable for image of a knitting frame being somehow “bludgeoned to death”. See this response.

Changes to tally by authority

Derbyshire – Some staff cuts.  Hours reductions are mainly two hours per library on one day.
Flintshire – Feasibility plan launched for new Saltney Library. 
Windsor and Maidenhead – New library to open at Boyn Grove, expanding Smiths Lane.  Staffing a combination of core paid staff with volunteers used to extend hours/services.

News by authority

Cumbria – MP launches fight to save libraries – North West Evening Mail.  Tim Farron MP.  Loss of mobile libraries a particular blow to those in the Lakes.
Cumbria – Your views on the “Cumbria Community Libraries” idea – Cumbria Council.  Interesting comments about the council’s idea to close 20 branches and replace them with 400 books each in local shops (400 books is roughly four “spinners” or that held in a keen readers’ house)
Cumbria – Campaign launched to keep Workington Library open – News & Star.  ““A lot of people use our library, I use it myself. It’s not just books, you can get films and all sorts and it’s a meeting place for a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise see each other. It’s also handy for all the local schools. We won’t sit back and watch it close.”

“In a county like ours, library services play a key role in our community. When I heard about the county council plans, I was shocked. Many residents use the library services. It is a chance to meet friends and catch up when the library van comes. These proposals will hit older people the hardest. I hope local residents join the campaign to save the services.” Tim Farron MP.

Derbyshire – Libraries feel full force of cutbacksDerbyshire Times.  Summary of libraries losing hours (mostly two hours on one day).  Cuts intended to avoid closing some libraries entirely.
Dorset – Call to support your local library – Bridport News.  Campaigner asking people to support proposal to cut hours in all libraries rather than closing 20.
Flintshire – Saltney library, pharmacy and police headquarters complex planned – Chester Chronicle. Corporate investment required. 
HarrowSelf-service machines go online in Harrow libraries – Harrow Observer.  Self-service machines installed in order to save enough money so no library will close. “Harrow’s modernisation project is in sharp contrast to neighbouring Brent’s own ‘libraries transformation’, which includes the closure of six branches.”
Isle of Wight – Council indemnify library user group against TUPE claims – Ventnor Blog.  Council has agreed to cover any TUPE claims against community group taking over closing Bembridge Library ans has agreed to do so in other closing libraries.
Isle of Wight – High Court paper filed against Council over libraries Ventnor Blog.  Lack of Equality Impact Assessment by council is cited as major cause.  Council told campaigners to “do your own”.
Isle of WightLegal action to stop libraries’ closure to be launched – IWCP.  Legal action about to take place – if action successful, council will be forced to reopen any libraries it closes.
Lewisham – Lewisham campaigners’ questions for DCMS – Alan Gibbons.  Text of letter from campaigners to DCMS highlighting their concerns over the legality of Lewisham’s cuts.
Suffolk – Library “may not survive future cuts” – Newmarket Journal.  Mildenhall may be axed in 2012 so best to look for solution now – community use or moving it closer to the town centre are possibilities.
Windsor and Maidenhead – Borough bucks national trend: new library planned for Boyn Grove – Alan Gibbons.