For all those campaigners and voters, for Philip Pullman and for everyone, including children, who spoke out (in a library or outside it) or who wrote a letter or held a placard, the users of Oxfordshire libraries are grateful.  The battle will continue in a few months when decisions are made on whether the 20 under threat this year will close in the next… but the decision buys time and with time anything is possible, maybe the horse will sing.
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”)


Children with internet access at home gain exam advantage, charity saysGuardian.  Lack of internet can mean a difference in a grade but there are many with no internet access and government aid to improve access has all but stopped. This article is examined from a library perspective by the Voices for the Library post  “Will library closures leave children behind?” which saysThe belief that libraries are no longer required when ‘everyone’ has an internet connection is one of the driving forces behind proposed closures.  Such misinformation is endangering the economic prosperity of an entire generation”
Communities need money not gimmicks Independent (leading article).  “As Phillip Blond, one of the original cheerleaders for the Big Society, has warned, libraries are closing now and there is simply insufficient time for charities or neighbourhood groups to get organised and take over the running of these valuable social assets.”
Dispatch from IraqNew Statesman.  “That free public libraries are a democratising force is strongly apparent in Iraq, which suffered the near-obliteration of its libraries under the Ba’athist dictatorship.”… “As more of our libraries are closed down in the UK, it is instructive to remember just what an important role they play in a democratic society. In 1852, for instance, Charles Dickens opened the first free public lending library in Manchester, built upon the philosophy of providing “wisdom for all, regardless of background”.
Roy Clare’s last wordsM&H. 
Top 20 Facebook apps for book lovers – Galleycat.  
Vital role libraries play in award winning booksFuturebook. Croydon local studies staff gave vital support in helping author of Sherlock Holmes book of the year. “It’s easy for us to forget the role libraries play in a world where everyone assumes that all facts are available on the web. Virtually all the new facts unearthed for this book don’t appear anywhere on the web and were buried deep in books and newspaper archives that are unlikely to ever make it onto the web.”
We’re not dragons in pearls, say librarians, we’re just misunderstoodSydney Morning Herald (Australia).  New South Wales is the only state that mandates every school has to have a librarian, but funding decreasing as colleagues fail to understand their role.

Changes to library services by authority

Oxfordshire – None will close this year.  Funding guaranteed until 2012.
Wakefield –  Westgate Library to be opened in 2012, merged with Wakefield Museum.
Worcestershire – Council meeting May 2011 to be followed by public consultation, may include more volunteers and less opening hours, previous reports of threatened libraries unconfirmed.

News by library authority

East Riding of Yorkshire – Libraries buck the national trend – AboutMyArea.  Up 2% issues, 5% visitors. “East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to investing in libraries, which is demonstrated by the works carried out at both Snaith and North Ferriby libraries, which have modernised the venues.”
Essex – Voluntary charity tours librariesDaily Gazette.   This does not appear to be involved in recruiting volunteers for libraries. 
Leicestershire – Library hours set to be reduced in cost-cutting measureLutterworth Mail.
Milton Keynes – SurveyFriends of Stony Stratford Library.
Oxfordshire – Libraries get a stay of executionOxford Mail.  Libraries will have secure funding until 2012 giving communities a chance to work out rescue plans for closing ones.  Also covered by the BookSeller.
Oxfordshire – Visits to libraries under threat increase 7 percentHenley Standard.  Average county increase of 2%,
Sheffield – City leader attacks cuts “cynicism”Yorkshire Post.  New Labour control of Sheffield has examined outgoing Lib Dem cuts – “For example there is the £1.4m for libraries, that was a single line in the budget, and they said no libraries will close. But what they told the library service was that they would need to apply that cut and keep buildings open, without any indication of how.”
Wakefield – Site share plan for library and museumPSE.  Wakefield museum and library could be on merged into the new Westgate Library building.
Worcestershire – Library futures to come under scrutinyEvesham Observer.  Council meeting this week followed by public consultation.  Increased “role” for communities, opening hours to be cut.