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 (for tally by authority see link on right)


Dreaming Libraries – Unlibrary. Argues public libraries essential for “1) inspiring, inclusive local spaces for thinking, writing and browsing. 2) access for all to professional advisers who can help us to find exactly what we need, be it advice on bankruptcy or the very latest research into a favourite writer”
Libraries and Freedom of Information gazebos – Michael Zimmer.org.  (Specialist) suggesting librarians should work more on providing council/government information.
Libraries: Changing but still free! – Wall Street Journal (USA).  Examines public libraries in the USA and ask readers if they’re users. Reader’s comments show a lot of love for them. 
Library card as a pop-culture fiend’s ticket to paradise – NPR (USA).  Even cool people can like libraries.
Love our Libraries – Proper Noun (USA).  Stories about how important libraries are, including the “if democracy were a religion” quote.
No furniture so charming: the future of libraries – Thoughts of a [wannabe] librarian.  Summary of library debate from London Word Festival.

“A world of ubiquitous free or near-free ebooks is coming, in 5 or 10 or 20 years. And when that happens, a library that defines itself as “a place where you can get free or near-free books” will no longer be an institution providing a service deemed important enough to be maintained by its community. But libraries have never been solely about free books. They are about something deeper, about information, about access to knowledge, about providing a public space where citizens can interact with each other, all within the context of an exchange of knowledge. Libraries are at the core of our understanding of civilization, and if we are to keep them healthy, we’ll have to make sure that they continue to answer deep needs in our society, rather than provide particular services because they’ve always done so.” What are Libraries for? – In the library with the lead pipe

What will the library of the future look like?Literary Platform.  A librarian asks children what libraries will be like…
Will books vanish along with bookshops? – Guardian.  Bookshops disappearing from High Streets in USA, UK and Australia.  “When Borders went, publishers believe that while some of the sales they made migrated to other retailers such as Waterstone’s and Amazon, some simply disappeared.”

News by authority

Camden – Libraries “stand for civic decency and respect”Camden New Journal.  Green Partycouncillor describes libraries as a “treasure beyond price” and resists closures/privatisation. He will be on holiday during vital vote.
Ealing – Northolt Leisure Centre library all stitched up? – Phil Taylor. Opposition councillor suspects library closure already agree as will save money and site may generate income.  Carnegie status of Hanwell Library will not prevent its sell-off. 

“It was great to see the fantastic range of books and IT services on offer in the mobile library. With the libraries service facing dramatic cutbacks, it’s really important that as many people as possible find out about the mobile service, and make the best use of it.”  Leeds – Mobile Libraries – Rachel Reeves MP.

Dan Poulter MP signing Suffolk Petition

Sheffield – Decisions made for the right reasons – Sheffield Telegraph. Lib Dem deputy leader defends cuts in libraries, says Labour would close libraries deliberately to blame coalition.
Suffolk – Needham Market: More than 1000 names on petition – EADT.  David Ruffley MP collected petition to present to House of Commons. 
Suffolk – Suffolk libraries petitions with over 13000 signatures to be handed in – James Hargrave’s Blog.  Labour and Lib Dem leaders will be present at handing in of petition, possibly also the new Conservative leader.
Swindon – Fionuala steps down from council cabinet – Swindon Advertiser. Councillor in charge of Libraries was firmly against library closures and privatisation but will leave office before private consultancy publishes libraries review.