407 libraries (334 buildings and 73 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4612 in the UK (for the complete list by area see the page “Tally by local authority”). Librarian professional body CILIP forecasts 600 libraries under threat (inc. 20% of English libraries).  The Public Libraries News figure is obtained from counting up all reports about public libraries in the media each day.


Comment: suicides, literacy and space hoppers – Politics.co.uk.  “The truth is that people are not marching through country towns or forming a human chain around a library just to feel good about themselves” [NB this article is written by me]
For the love of libraries: Faye Clowe on the value of public libraries – Read, Write, Repeat USA). “Yes, I believe in public libraries. They were a haven for me as a child. They are a free resource every day for countless people. They nurture reading. They are a fundamental ingredient of this democracy.”
Public Libraries: Where life begins again and friends live forever – JJ Brown, Author (USA).Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, new friends, old friends and friends that live forever–a great thing about the public library is here you can find them all. And no matter where you find yourself on the curve of normalcy or abnormality, wealth or poverty, a friend is a good thing to have. Even if it’s for a week or two and then you have to take him back to his place on the shelf at the public library.”
Pubs “a good option for libraries” – Morning Advertiser.  “We are very pro-pubs on the grounds that they are the last remaining public facility in villages and suburban areas — a place where people can consume alcohol in a controlled and supervised environment.” says chief of Hertfordshire.

Change to Library Services

Dorset – 10 reprieved, 10 still under threat (Burton, Bradstock, Charminster, Chickerell, Colehill, Corfe Castle, Portland Underhill, Puddletown, Stalbridge, West Moors, Wool), 10 reprieved (Beaminster, Corfe Mullen, Crossways, Littlemoor, Lyme Regis, Lytchett Matravers, Portland Tophill, Sturminster Newton, Upton, Wyke Regis). £800k cuts still need to be made.
Hackney – Events to reduce from 500 annually to 200, mainly run by volunteers. Most staff will be paid £2000-5000 less as jobs downgraded.
Hertfordshire – Central Resources Library to move to WGC Library, some stock put in warehouse rather than in open shelves.
Northamptonshire – May move to a trust model.  Aim to increase income and lower costs in order to reduce council contribution by up to 50%.
Wirral – Some under threat. Job losses has meant libraries are now “empty shells”.
Worcestershire – £1.8m (28% cut) over four years.

Local News

Croydon – How Croydon Council tries to hide a consultation (Part 94)Inside Croydon. 
Dorset – Councillors throw Dorset’s threatened libraries a lifeline – Ad Lib.   All councillors on Policy Development Panel want all libraries to be saved, library management want to close ten as otherwise service would be unsustainable given £800k budget cuts.  Decision on 20th May.
Gloucestershire – Concerns over privacy and date protection in the new library structure – FoGL.  Date Protection Act not yet sorted out – volunteers will have access to library management system and will be able to see people’s contact details and what they’re reading, presumably even in normally run libraries.
Hackney – Defend Hackney’s libraries! Support Hackney’s library workers! – Hackney alliance to defend public services.  “There will also be reduction of opening hours in all but the 3 main Hackney Libraries. Many of us fear that this concentration of resources, staff and events in the 3 main libraries, will result in less people using the other libraries and that the resulting drop in footfall could be used to justify closing libraries in the future.”
Hertfordshire – Plans to move Hatfield library services into warehouse – Times 24.  Services to be split three ways, including one in a warehouse, as land needed for an incinerator.  “By making these changes we will be able to preserve the library services currently provided by the Central Resources Library, but at a reduced cost to taxpayers.”
Monmouthshire – Libraries get the thumbs up from users – FreePress.   “Two recent surveys have given the thumbs up to Monmouthshire’s libraries with 94 per cent of adults considering their local library to be very good or good, and nine out of ten children and young people awarding the service the highest possible rating.” 
Northamptonshire – Donations could save libraries – BBC.  Volunteers asked to raise £2k to spend on activities, corporate sponsorship being explord.  John Hodder, a member of the Friends of Desborough Library, said: “There has got to be another way of funding this situation, the council has admitted to not having enough funds to run libraries, but asking friends of libraries is not the best way to do it.” Also Community may be asked to volunteer or donate cash to help Northampton’s libraries survive in Northampton Chronicle. 
Northamptonshire – First stage of library review begins with possibility of Sunday opening considered – AboutMyArea.  “This is why we are starting our review by speaking with our partners and key stakeholders as libraries need their help.  The thousands of responses we received during our library closure proposals earlier this year showed us just how much libraries are valued by people living and working in the county and we want to harness this enthusiasm and support.  In fact, many people have said that they would be prepared to pay something towards keeping their service.”
Oxfordshire – Friends group vows to fight reworked library funding cuts – Henley Standard.  “The news comes just six months after Watlington library was re-opened following a £700,000 refurbishment in which the size of the High Street building was doubled.”
West Sussex – Happy story as mobile library escapes axe in Bognor Regis – Bognor Regis Observer.”Regular Nan Macauley, 77, from the Flansham Park estate, said: “The mobile library is very important to me. I have an invalid husband, John, and I come here every week and take seven books and six taped books because he is a prolific reader.”
Wiltshire – Volunteers set to man Wiltshire libraries – Gazette & Herald.    
Wirral – Libraries future threatened again by council job cuts – Liverpool Daily Post.  “The borough’s new Labour administration claimed they were left as virtually “empty shells” with no one to work in them after massive job losses in the council.” Also reported as “Impossible” to run Wirral libraries as staff cuts take their toll” – Wirral Globe where Conservatives fear the comments from Labout mean it is “softening up” the public for closures.  Also in BookSeller as Libraries now “empty shells”.  “Councillor Chris Meaden, the cabinet member for culture, said it was “literally impossible to run the library service we used to with the skeleton staff we have remaining” and “creative thinking” would now be needed, the Liverpool Daily Post reports”
Worcestershire – Staff to do all they can to keep library open – Malvern Gazette.  “I genuinely believe that community partnership might be a solution that fits for Upton. We are already quite a community hub anyway, and if we were to go down that route then while we would undoubtedly see some change, it might not necessarily be a bad thing.”