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 (for the complete list by area see the page “Tally by local authority”)


Campaigners march to No.10 in last-ditch battle to save librariesSouth London Press.  Five Lewisham libraries set to close on May 28, one completely and the other four given to community groups. No response from DCMS to campaigners’ requests for action.
Don’t discard the librariansGlobe and Mail (Canada).   People need a specialist who knows how to find the answer more than ever amongst the information overload.
Libraries in a fine messStar.  £700k owed and 10,000 books overdue in Surrey. 
London Library Consortium subscribes to smartsm to drive efficiencies around their shared collectionsBooktrade.info.   Half of all UK libraries, one-third of London ones, subscribe to automated stock selection. 
Mauger to urge WI to campaign for librariesBookSeller.  Leader of CILIP to talk to WI about campaigning for libraries this year.

“Providing books for all seems to me one of the best things that any society can do for its public.” Oscar Hijuelos 

“The only effective test of any concept – from Tony Blair’s Third Way to Cameron’s Wellbeing – is the impact on policy. No 10 insiders offer two immediate examples. First, while it might make economic sense to close libraries and post books to former borrowers from Amazon, a wellbeing index would recognise the importance of libraries to communities and their quality of life. They are a binding agency at a local level. A government that took wellbeing into account as a formally recognised obligation would support a local library even though it was a more costly option.” Will Cameron’s idea of happiness last? – Independent.  

Changes to libraries

Kensington & Chelsea – North Kensington Library may be moved to new site to allow for land to be sold to private company/public school.
Merton – Donald Hope Library (Colliers Wood) will close on Fridays, West Barnes Library will be staffed by volunteers on Mondays from July.

News by local authority

Barnet – Around 400 residents turn out for Save Friern Barnet Library event – Times Series.  Silent reading took place outside library.  “Friern Barnet Library is not just a friendly, peaceful place to discover books or to use the computers. It is also an important and much-cherished centre for the community.”
Brent – “Newsnight” to tackle Kensal Rise campaignBookSeller.  Will include an interview with Alan Bennett.  This has prompted a Letter to Newsnight from campaigners. 
Doncaster – Libraries campaign letter via Alan Gibbons.  Objections to consultation lists, amongst other things, concerns over (a) the initial selection of libraries to close was officially admitted as being “arbitrary” but the list is still unchanged in the consultation, (b) only people local to the threatened libraries are being consulted, (c) users such as students who live outside of the local area are excluded from the consultation, (d) schools, community groups, businesses are not being consulted. (e) no financial details on cuts or proposed plans have been given, (f) the consultation has only been published in English, (g) non-returns of consultation letters are counted as being in agreement with closures, (h) there has been no equalities impact assessment, (i) effect on areas of deprivation not considered …. ouch
Gloucestershire – MP Richard Graham: apprentices, academies and regenerationThis is Glos. “I’ve gone to youth clubs, libraries, day centres, community centres and voluntary groups and worked with councils to find the best solutions in difficult times. We lose no bus services or police stations and shouldn’t see any loss of libraries.”.  Library users expecting 10 libraries and 6 mobile libraries to close or be staffed by volunteers in Glos presumably splutteered when they read these comments.
Kensington & Chelsea – North Kensington library may relocate K&C Chronicle.  Council denies that library may be closed and land sold off to private developers or private school.  However, strong rumours remain that the library will be moved to another site.
Merton – Volunteers drop plan to save Friday closure at Donald Hope library, Colliers Wood – Local Guardian. Decision made by Friends group that training would be too much for volunteers and that time should be spent on promoting the library instead.
Milton Keynes – Stony Stratford library needs your help againAbout My Area.  Campaigners want users to complete survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7X5XKMW
Southampton – City council chiefs to meet union leaders at ACASDaily Echo.  “Potentially crippling” strikes planned, with 100 refuse collectors striking this week. Council pay will be dismissed if they do not agree to cuts up to 5.5%.  Councillor says ““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.”
Suffolk – Staff leave with “gagging orders” – Public Service.   Money spent on silencing staff leaving the council could possibly be better paid on keeping services, such as libraries, open.
Surrey – County to review library study conclusionsSurrey Herald.  Public Value Review “full of errors” and “embarrassing”. Campaigners hope council will correct them rather than close 11 libraries.  Council spokesman says “We came up with a solution that avoids any library closures but we need the support of residents to succeed.”
Wokingham – Woking plan to privatise libraries Stop the privatisation of UK public libraries.