451 libraries (383 buildings and 68 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4517 in the UK – see tally by local authority link on right for the full picture.


BBC Radio 4 : Libraries Protest DCMS – 12 Noon Wednesday 18th May. BBC Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’  will be covering the demonstration organised by Lewisham libraries campaigners which will take place at DCMS.  This coverage will be followed by discussion.
Boys “can’t read past 100th page”study saysBBC

“Much of the UK public library pain is mirrored in the USA, but whereas it seems to me that US cuts are being predominantly handled purely as a cash-crisis necessity, the UK’s cuts are being driven equally strongly by a centrally-held political agenda.” Branch libraries – missing in action? – Kestrel Info On A Wing (Canada). 

Colorado libraries host immigrants working to become citizensDenver Post (USA).
Learning resources should not be concentrated solely on the youngGuardian.  “victories are very likely to be wiped out by public expenditure cuts (examples are pre-school provision, libraries and the arts).”
Local library campaignsUNISON.   “The effects of cuts across local government have been keenly felt by library services up and down the UK, with local authorities earmarking hundreds of libraries for closure and many more under threat from cuts to opening hours and staff pay and conditions.”…
Localism Bill – In pursuit of little platoons, Pickles uproots the stateGuardian.  “if the money doesn’t cover all that councils are obliged to do, this bill gives him the power to revoke any inconvenient duty on councils. Parliament has painstakingly passed laws obliging councils to do things we regard as essential to civilisation, but this gives ministers Henry VIII powers to strike any of them out at a stroke.”.  One of the statutes it may revokes if the 1964 Libraries Act.
New legislation could save libraries from the privatisation beastSEIU (USA).  California bill AB 438 would require public approval before council is allowed to privatise libraries.
Quercus publisher of the year at the BookSeller industry awardsBookSeller.  “The London Borough of Hillingdon Libraries was crowned Library Innovation of the Year for its library refurbishment programme, which was described by one judge as helping to make libraries “a better place to visit”.”
They don’t know what librarians do (yet again)Libraryinfonews.  Self-Service, Ebooks and the Internet are not making librarians redundant. 
World Book Night giveaway to be cut to 500,000 booksBookSeller.  5,000 out of 25,000 givers already signed up for 2012.  Audio and digital giveaways to be included. 

News by local authority

Bolton Save Bolton Libraries – Alan Gibbons.  7000-signature petition to be handed in on Friday as consultation ends on closing 9 libraries.  15000 names have now been added to all petitions.
Buckinghamshire – Books boost for Little Chalfont LibraryAmersham Advertiser. Skipton Building Society gives £1000 to volunteer-run library. 
Dorset – Campaigners argue that small libraries are cost effectiveDorset Echo.   Smaller libraries are seeing stronger usage trends than larger libraries, with increases/decreases better than in the biggest libraries like Dorchester or Weymouth.
Dorset – Report highlights Dorset villagers’ resilience to cutsDorset Echo.   Widespread reaction to greater than expected cuts split into protest and working out what is possible to do without government money.
Enfield – Jobs help on offer at revamped Ordnance Road LibraryEnfield Independent.  Refurbishment and expansion seems to lessen chances the library will be one of three closed later this year.
Leeds – Misuse of taxesYorkshire Evening Post (letters).  Mobile libraries ordered to replace closing libraries before consultation ends.  No cuts at HQ.  15 trade union officials paid for by council.
Leeds – Council urged to “think again” over Leeds library closure plans Guardian.  Decision to close 15 libraries to go before council on May 18th…”the news that the library is set to close is a huge blow for local residents. The library itself is one of the last public buildings left standing in Rawdon and to lose it forever would really damage the sense of community identity we have here.”
Southampton – Walkout will be “most severe” in Southampton’s memoryThis is Hampshire.  ““While I fully understand any reduction in wages will be difficult for our staff, this is the only way to protect our residents from losing their libraries, leisure centres, and Sure Start Centres.”