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 link on right for full tally.


Book spend cut “easiest” way to save library revenue – BookSeller. “”It’s not going to hit the headlines, and it’s not immediately obvious. It’s about two years down the line before it makes an impact. But it results in a slow death for library services as fewer people use the service.” says chief of Warwickshire Libraries (Ayub Khan). Warwickshire has 16 libraries under threat.
Man with a vision for the future of the public library – Yorkshire Post. Ronan O’Beirne, “Rather than looking at the number of books lent out – a service whose days may be numbered – he argues that we should consider libraries as the social glue of community and culture, each one a hub of informal learning for the wider community.”
MLA Chief heads for New Zealand – BookSeller. “Roy Clare’s move comes as the MLA’s transfer of key responsibilities to Arts Council England is confirmed for 1st October. Corporate services director Paul Lander will take charge of the body in the last months as it moves towards closure.”
National Library Week 2011: The importance of libraries in genealogical research – Archive 
Public libraries open door for e-books – Guardian. A quarter of public libraries offer ebooks. Phil Bradley from CILIP surveys the issues and the public library response.

“the same city council that can’t spare Ms. Smith’s libraries plans to spend a total of £100 million on a new nine-story civic center—which will include a new super-library. The council insists the project will save taxpayers £4 million per year, by allowing it to vacate current council buildings. No information yet on how much the council could save by simply moving to cheaper office space, instead of constructing what it aims to be “the greenest building in the U.K.” Forgoing the new center’s wedding garden, winter garden, terrace, and charging points for electric cars might also leave a little more cash for libraries.Zadie Smith’s libraries – Wall Street Journal.

Changes by authority

Bromley, Bexley – Suggested merger of two councils’ library services may save Bromley £880k – £340k from staff losses, £90k from merging Penge and Anerley libraries.
Buckinghamshire Burnham Library under threat in 2012
Derbyshire 1 mobile library to close (longer wait between visits”, £1.76m cut, 30 out of 45 libraries will see cuts of between one and five hours, 11 will not change, 4 will increase opening hours
North Ayrshire – some under threat (previously marked as safe in 2011) with civil servants/councillors deciding the fate of each one.  £50k consultants report ignored.
Walsall 6 (out of 16) under threat; consultation ended; results from consultation will lead to a decision in the Summer.

News by authority

Brent – Two defining coaltion reforms clash – Spectator. “The various big society groups in Brent lament their powerlessness and are considering calling on the Culture Secretary to intervene under the 1964 Libraries Act. But, as a wasteful Labour council is busy taking responsibility for unpopular cuts, the coalition may not intervene. Also, the government has welcomed previous council rationalisations as localism in action; it is unlikely to turn on Brent to score cheap points, no matter how tempting in the run up to elections next month. However, the big society will struggle to bloom if the government privileges councils above it.”
Bromley – Residents rally to save Bromley’s libraries – Bromley Times 241200 name petition to save Burnt Ash library.  Trades union has handed in 3000 name petition.
Buckinghamshire – Burnham library supporters fight for its futureMaidenhead Advertiser. Big Lottery funding means Burnham Library not included in previous council countywide library closures.  Fear for 2012.
Cumbria – 18 rural libraries in Cumbria face the axeWestmorland Gazette. “Bosses said libraries which opened fewer than 20 hours a week, including Sedbergh, Shap and Askam-in-Furness, might close to fund hi-tech enhancements, such as free Skype points, at major centres”.  Rural areas get book ordering service (some in pubs) instead.

“Closing these libraries would be a huge mistake.They are the universities of the common man and once closed will never be reopened.” (Taffy Thomas, national storyteller laureate)

Derbyshire – Plans to cut opening hours of libraries look set for approval despite concerns of union – This is Derbyshire. “The union Unison says it fears the moves may lead to job losses and could be the first step towards library closures.”
Dorset – Support community libraries: Ad Lib campaigner urges users to help facilities at risk – Dorset Echo. Public urged to support small cuts in larger libraries to prevent closures of smaller ones that could result in some areas being 14 miles away from a library.
Ealing – Ealing Council leader faces critics over libraries – Ealing Gazette. “I feel as if I am being forced into making these decisions. I would not choose to close libraries, I spent a lot of time there studying for my A-levels and later taking my children there.”
Gloucestershire – County Council to face Whitehall meeting on library cuts – Wilts & Glos Standard. “We are pleased that DCMS policy officials have agreed to meet with us, and can only hope that they and the Minister listen to our concerns, unlike our elected representatives within the GCC administration.” (FoGL)
Gloucestershire – Blockley: Library cuts protest – Tewkesbury AdMag. “Children in the village who regularly use the library are to hand over letters expressing their sadness and disappointment that Gloucestershire County Council is axing the service to save money.”
Lewisham – Will Lewisham bidders focus on library service? – Voices for the Library. “…it is worrying that none of these proposals are coming from organisations that have an emphasis or background in providing library services. Have they involved experts in their discussions?”
North Ayrshire – Future of facilities to be decided one at a time – Ardrossan Herald. “the future of North Ayrshire’s libraries and community centres is to be decided on an individual basis by individual working groups of councillors and civil servants.”
Surrey – Byfleet: Library figures taken to taskSurrey Herald .  Use of library underestimated by council due to six weeks closure not being taken into account (!). “The library is very much a hub for a lot of things. It’s not something that Byfleet wants to lose.”
Walsall – Two thousand have their say on future plans for 16 libraries – Walsall Online. Information from 2152 responses will be used to work out plans for the borough’s libraries, of which 6 were feared to be under threat.
Warwickshire – Warwickshire library cuts in spotlight at roadshow – Coventry Telegraph. “Sixteen Warwickshire libraries have been identified as no longer sustainable in their current form, alongside other cost-cutting measures including reduced opening hours, reductions in the workforce and mobile library fleet, and cutting the number of public computers.”