“Mr Vaizey turned to a government press officer and said: “I’m not sure what to do. Can I speak? You are here to protect me from things like this.” Help! Ed Vaizey refuses to answer library questions – Camden New Journal

“I’m not surprised Ed Vaizey had nothing to say to the New Journal about libraries. If my government was responsible for destroying local public services and annihilating community libraries, I would stay quiet too.” Cllr Tulip Siddiq, Lambeth

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”)


Alan Bennett condemned for “closing libraries is child abuse” commentMail.  Report, again, on the Newsnight article.  For the record, Mr Bennett did not claim that closing libraries was the same as child sexual  abuse although, admittedly, may would presume he meant it that way.
Circus Stars – The summer reading challenge for public libraries, 2011.  
Don’t write libraries off yet – Mature Times.  Summary of the situation in libraries shows councils have made some u-turns.  Also in the same issue is Shelve free drinks to save libraries. Suffolk has spent nearly £60,000 on free employee drinks that could be used a better way.
Government scraps duty to inform, consult and involve local peopleFalse Economy.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Public Library… The Rumpus (USA).  Probably the most beautiful guide to why public libraries are important I have seen.

Quotations about libraries and librarians – IFLA.  

“We see National Libraries Day as a positive day of celebration to promote the whole culture of reading for pleasure, information and engagement whether you read your traditional books or on your laptop or e-reader. It is time to make reading a universal culture. We want people to go to their local school or public library and use their School Library Service. Use it. Join it. Love it.” Support for National Libraries Day – BookSeller. 

Why don’t more author and publishers “get” libraries? – Loudpoet (USA).  Libraries offer things useful for the author/publisher that ebooks/bookshops don’t – they allow easy browsing, learning how to use computers, they offer a wider variety of stock – and so should be cherished.  However, few authors/publishers have really got behind libraries in the way that is needed fot them to survive.
Written answers and statementsHouse of Lords.  “No. We do not have any plans to revise the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964. We believe the statutory duty on local authorities to provide library services performs an important function.”

Changes to “Tally by local authority

Camden – Volunteers will be necessary to maintain library service.   
South Tyneside – £10 fee introduced for using computers, free for under 18s and over 60s

News by local library authority

Barnet – Councillor Robert Rams admits Barnet library plans may not have “universal enthusiasm” after protest on Saturday – Times Series.  400 at protest at Friern Barnet on Saturday.  Councillor would welcome a talk with them.  Comments after article make an interesting read showing how polarised the debate has become – those people who don’t use libraries resent those that do or don’t believe they actually do.
Buckinghamshire – New leader of Bucks County Council talks to the Advertiser – Bucks Advertiser.  Mr Tett also backed the county council’s decision to stop funding libraries and youth clubs and to make them volunteer run, saying that they could continue to be a success.”
Camden – “Help!” Ed Vaizey refuses to answer library questions – Camden New Journal.
Doncaster – Council want library views – Doncaster Free Press. 
Dorset – Weymouth: residents urged to attend library meeting – View Online.  “The obvious solution is to keep the little local libraries open but all this seems to be beyond the county council’s ability to comprehend.”
Essex – Library leaflet encourages scores of new volunteers – Yellow Advertiser.  100 people start volunteering (in the community, not libraries) due to leaflet.
Leeds – Joy as Leeds Library saved – Yorkshire Evening Post.   Rawdon Library’s closure delayed for a year.  ““We’ve won the battle but we have not won the war.” says campaigner.
Lewisham – Deadling looms for Lewisham library closures – BookSeller.  DCMS appears set to fail to intervene in Lewisham or even tell campaigners that it won’t intervene. 
Somerset – Friends of Somerset Libraries appeal – Alan Gibbons.  Somerset campaigners need to raise £5000 or their legal appeal about the closures will fail.
South Tyneside – Cash-strapped council to charge for computer use – Shields Gazette.  £10 fee introduced for using computers, free for under 18s and over 60s. “…tell South Tyneside Council that the plan to charge users for computer access is wrong. We don’t want to have to pay to access the internet. Not many other councils are planning this.”

 “Probably the single most controversial issue has been libraries.  Again we are listening to what people are telling us. And we are hearing that libraries are vital to communities across Suffolk. Not just as places that lend books but as social meeting points. A place where people of all ages are able to interact. Again our thinking has evolved. So, it will not be about closing libraries – but about exploring every available opportunity to keep them open. That is why we are considering the setting up of a community interest company that could work in partnership with communities to ensure that as many libraries as possible remain open and are able to flourish.”  Suffolk – New county council leader Mark Bee signals change of direction – Evening Star. 

Warwickshire – Future of libraries in Warwickshire: have you had your say? – Warwick Courier. Consultation ends on June 9th.  “There has already been strong interest from smaller communities threatened with the loss of the service who are preparing business plans with a view to running their own library with the help of volunteers.” 1500 physical and 1700 online questionnaires returned.
Worcestershire – Lottery grant may keep library open – Worcester News.  £1.49m spent on threatened library last year.  Council may need to pay back money to Big Lottery Fund if it closes it.  Report on library service presented to council today.