This will be the second library authority in the country to be placed in private hands, the other being in Hounslow.  For a full analysis of the pros and cons of privatising libraries, please see the  page “Privatised libraries and Trusts”.
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”)
Amazon and Waterstones report downloads eclipsing printed book sales – Guardian.   Ebook sales are increasing faster than expected, more so in the UK than in the US. “Every Kindle sold is a potential customer lost. You can’t gloss over that fact.”
Big Society signs up 100,000 digital volunteersPublicNet.  5,000 are from public libraries.
Books denied to 600,000TES.  School library services in Gateshead, Cambridge, Sutton, Kent and Birmingham closed in the last year. ““It is an absolute disgrace. The Government doesn’t fund schools properly so schools have to make the choice between repairing the toilet roof and having a school library service” (Philip Pullman).  Government is focussing entirely on schools and ignoring the vital council school library services.  Also reported by the BBC. Alan Gibbons points out that OFSTED confirms school libraries are key.
DCMS complicit in allowing the law to be broken? Shirley Burnham’s Blog.   Department aware of wide-ranging cuts in libraries infringing on the 1964 Act but unwilling to take any meaningful action.
Four key testsMLA.  In his last day in post, Roy Clare suggests a test for the future is an “…improving and free public library service nationwide – is there an appetite to retain mechanisms and a will to work with local councils for a coherent public library service throughout the country, free at the point of use, and modernised according to changing local needs and digital demand; focused on the services more than the bricks and mortar?
Hay Festival and the Travelling Suitcase LibraryWalk you home.   Voices for the Library will have a stall at the Hay Festival and will be selling badges.
HMV sells Waterstones book chain to Alexander MamutBBC.  Conditional offer based on £53m in cash. The aim is to make Waterstones bookshops more individual and local.
NFWI resolution on public librariesCILIP.  Resources for WI members voting on whether to campaign for libraries this year.  The WI’s 210,000 members are an extremely influential lobbying force”
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a meeting… – Isria (Russia).  “As you know, we plan to adopt the state programme “Culture of Russia,” and as early as the beginning of 2012, we will substantially increase funding for museums and libraries. In fact, we will launch a major project for the development of our national culture.”
Publishers begin “buddying schemes”BookSeller.  Random House and Bloomsbury support their local public libraries by volunteering staff time.  “We believe in libraries . . . Our mantra is that book borrowers are book buyers, and libraries are the curators of books and evangelists for books.”

“There are a million things you can do in your life without that. Get yourself down to the library and read a book.” Sir Alex Ferguson ponders banning Manchester United players from using TwitterGoal.

“Unlawful” library closures head for courtBookSeller.  Legal issues include poor consultation and disregard for equalities legislation and the 1964 Libraries Act.  “The claims, some of which are under way while others are being prepared, would, in the absence of any obvious action from government, appear to represent the best chance of preventing the decimation of libraries in areas where councils refuse to make concessions to protesters.”
Changes to tally
North Tyneside – £650k cut.
News by local authority
Bolton – 15,000 join fight to save librariesBolton News.  30 campaigners hand massive petition to council at Bolton Central Library.  “The fantastic response from the public to this campaign shows how much people value their local library services and want to save them. We urge Bolton Council to think again and keep all branch libraries open.”
Croydon – Adult Learners Week events in libraries Shhh!Sanderstead Library Campaign Group.  Lack of publicity for events suggests loss of staff has already been noticed.
Doncaster – Next step in Doncaster’s sham consultationSave Doncaster’s Libraries.  Consultation only limited to local residents so some users may not be able to put forward their views, “this is local democracy at its worst”.
Dorset – Ad Lib encouraged by new book loan figuresBridport News.  “Beaminster county councillor Rebecca Knox, who is on the Beaminster Library Action Group, said she hoped the figures strengthened their case”
Ealing – Lynne Reid Banks read-in at Hanwell LibraryEaling Times.  Hanwell is under threat of closure, nearly 1500 signatures on petition to save it.
Essex – Library opening times to be slashed across TendringClacton Gazette.   Several libraries will lose whole day opening due to cuts.
Gloucestershire – Breaking news: Councillor Noble has library portfolio taken from hereFoGL.  Councillor had previously said to LibDems “Your amendments would make the library plans as unsustainable as ours” (!) and was apparently unaware of legal implications.
Hillingdon – Hillingdon wins best library innovator of the year Hillindon & Uxbridge Times.  Hillingdon’s record rests on factors including better bookstock, lighting and removing tiers of management.
North Tyneside – Survey responses prompting changes to the library serviceNews Guardian.  2000 responses suggest ability to buy books and coffee will be looked at, changes in opening hours.  Hard to tell where the £650,000 cut mentioned is going to come from. 
Suffolk – Call for review at Suffolk County Council’s £405,000 payoutBury Free Press.  Large amounts spent on “gagging” departing staff at same time as large cuts proposed for libraries. Also covered in Controversial council chief spent £400,000 on “gagging orders” to silence her disgruntled staffMail.  In just three months, 13 gagging orders paid for by Suffolk. Alan Gibbons calls it a Suffolk punch in the guts.
Warwickshire – Libraries answer reader’s questions on the planned workshop on community library modelsWhat’s In Kenilworth.  Council appears to feel it is being generous not seeking to make a profit from the session on how to voluntarily run one of its closing libraries.
Wokingham – Private firms could run Wokingham’s librariesBBC.  11 libraries to be outsourced. Five-year contract for successful bidder from April 2012. The council expects privatisation to make a saving of £170,000 per year as well as ensuring no libraries close, being able to boost services (inc IT), boost visitor numbers and, presumably, make a profit for the company involved. Loss of influence over libraries and an increase in “staff turnover” expected. Also reported by GetWokingham and Reading Chronicle. Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for community development, said libraries would not be closing but that the locations of some centres would be reviewed. She added: “Libraries are in decline, so this is a solution to modernise the service.”