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)


Google can’t be trusted with our booksGuardian.  Last week, Google decided to delete its entire videos archive, in order to focus on it’s search business, but public outcry persuaded them not to.

“Publicly funded libraries and archives are important precisely because they are not committed to the “market fundamentalism” of pursuing profit above all other motives. Some libraries and archives need to modernise and make resources digitally available but this requires support and the protection of our public sector libraries.” (Simon Barron on Google Books).

Libraries vital for nation’s happinessBookSeller.  Archbishop looks at happiness dureing Easter sermon and suggests libraries are important.
LibrariUS: Stories from the Library – ALA (USA).  New interactive website to publicise how people use libraries and boost libraries in the media. 
Library News – Private Eye (via Alan Gibbons).  Many authorities wasting money on big PFI-funded libraries while hundreds of others are under threat – (i) Worcestershire £43m library while forcing Pershore Library to move out of the town centre, (ii) Oldham pays £2.9m p.a. for 2006 library and moves other libraries to council buildings/hours cut/jobs cuts, (iii) Newcastle £3.3m library in 2008 and 9 of its libraries being turned into “Library Express”, (iv) Dorset 20 libraries threatened while Bournemouth pays £2m p.a. for £20m library built in 2002, (v) Liverpool will sign £5m p.a. contract for new central library while cutting £1.9m in 2012. PFI schemes are “off the books”.
NUT conference: education for liberation – Socialist Worker.  Alan Gibbons spoke at fringe meeting “Finland and South Korea rate highly for children’s reading standards. Britain doesn’t. In Finland and South Korea, education is based on creativity, not testing. Here it is not. In Britain the government is closing more than 500 libraries. South Korea is opening 180 new ones.”
Thatcher still despised in red heartland – Wales Online.  Cynon Valley – “The libraries and bus services mean a hell of a lot to people living here but someone in a suit somewhere makes the decision without a second thought, it’s disgusting.”
UNESCO message on World Book and Copyright DayUNESCOOrganisation will have “The Book Tomorrow: the future of the written word” conference in Italy in June; aims to protect and project the importance of the book, in all its forms.
Your local library: for reading, learning and … watching porn (at least if you live in New York) – Mail.  Porn allowed on library computers due to the First Amendment, as long as site is legal.

Changes to tally by authority

Haringey – Hornsey, Marcus Garvey and Alexandra Park libraries to be closed on Sundays.   
Liverpool £460k cut 2011/12, £1.9m 2012/13 – Central Liverpool Library will cost £42m with PFI meaning c. £5m p.a. charge.
Oldham£1m cut – moving libraries into other council buildings, cutting hours, less paid staff.

News by authority

Derbyshire – library hours are slashed – Ilkeston Advertiser.  Ilkeston closed on Monday and Friday evenings, Sandiacre on Wednesday afternoons, Long Eaton on Monday evenings.
Derbyshire – Editorial: Give libraries a future lifeline – Bakewell Today.  “Let’s be grateful that this time around we still have a library but take heed that unless we support it we may very well be fighting for its retention in the future.”
Ealing – Letters: now we’re aware of their prioritiesEaling Gazette.  Libraries meeting was “was a big disappointment”, questions had to be short but answers “waffled on endlessly”.  £5m car park will cost £500k p.a. to service, 5 libraries to close cost £400K to run.
Haringey – Council u-turn could see libraries close on Sundays – Hornsey Journal.   Lib Dems angry that Labour council is closing libraries on Sundays despite previously saying they wanted to expand their role.
Suffolk – Final week of library consultation in Suffolk – Diss Express.  2500 responses including 15 expresses of interest in running the 29 libraries under threat.  Consultation closes this week.
Suffolk – Last effort urged in bid to save libraries – EADT.  3300 names on petition. Beccles Town Council has asked Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt for his “assistance and advice”.