Gloucestershire council appear to be ignoring a legal injunction against them.  The second of the five points therein is that they must suspend “transferring or agreeing to transfer any library building or lease or responsibility for running any existing library”.  However, no less than nine such transfers  have been recommended for a council decision next week.  The Council seems confident it will win the legal hearing on the 7th July.  One wonders what advice they have been getting, and from whom.

The Government may soon be getting advice from the WI, although it is unlikely to want it.  The Financial Times notes their new pro-library campaign is likely to alarm Number Ten.  The bastion of Middle England will be on the same side as Unison in opposing library closures. 

395 libraries (319 buildings and 76 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.


Are school librarians expendable? New York Times.  “My concern, as someone who works with people who lack technological access and education, is that removing school librarians and media specialists from the educational environment will have the largest effect on those whose information access is already hampered by the same pressures that are affecting our schools. Public education in this country is a right, and libraries and librarians are an indivisible part of public education.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickle says “I was right” over local government spendin cuts – Liverpool Daily Post.  “The Communities Secretary insisted it was now clear that councils had been able to make the necessary spending reductions without “everything coming to an end” – just as he had predicted….However, Mr Pickles did not refer directly to the impact on council services, amid threats to libraries, leisure centres and – it was reported this week – deep spending cuts for old-age care.”

“And so this is for the people for whom libraries saved their lives
Shouting “throw the book at those who look to cut us with their knives”
And so this is for the people who know lives are saved by culture
But have seen the arts all torn apart by Philisitines and vultures”
Part of For the PeoplePoem by Tony Walsh, commissioned by Unison for Glastonbury Festival.

New research reveals council libraries have to do better onlineeGov monitor.  “While libraries are the fourth most important reason for people to visit council websites – the online library services are often too complicated and not user friendly….”
What, dear reader, is the future of the book? – BBC Radio Four (six minutes).  Julia Donaldson “I saw an ebook on Alice in Wonderland … and there was some sort of button to press to make her neck grow and shrink …they’re just going to be pressing this wretched button”.  Penguin executive says people will not read books from page one to the end but dip in and out, google parts of it, etc.  Julia has refused a Gruffalo ebook, much to the annoyance of her publishers.  Early chapters of books may be put online free to encourage sales.  Charing Cross Road has some struggling bookshop: high fixed costs and low margins so it doesn’t take much to make it hard to sustain.  Specialist bookshops thrive, especially if they have atmosphere and passion.  Regardless of content, Sarah Waters argues people will still want characters and plots.
WI launches campaign to save librariesFinancial Times.  “News of the campaign is likely to set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street given previous encounters between politicians and the WI’s formidable members… Gloria De Piero, a shadow culture minister, urged the coalition to “sit up and take notice” of the campaign. “The Women’s Institute are the backbone of so many communities and they work tirelessly for the good of them. They are campaigning for libraries because they know how vital they are to so many,” she said. 
Womens’ Institute launches libraries campaignBookSeller.  “It is urging members to sign up to their local library and write to local councillors urging the importance of their local library to their community. It has also asked members to sign a petition, raising Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to hold a debate on any petition with more than 100,000 signatures.”
Changes to services
Portsmouth – Longer opening due to installation of self-service and loss of 8 librarian jobs. 
Wirral – 32 new staff employed to replace 50 staff made redundant 2010/11. 
Local News
Croydon –  Shapps “Breathtaking incompetence” on council taxInside Croydon.  Council fails to collect 3% (rather than normal 1%) of tax which could mean it has missed money that could otherwise have paid for “Services such as the weekly bin collections that were promised only last year, like our libraries, or the David Lean Cinema, or the Clocktower Arts Centre, or police officers, the provision of youth services, or the summer music festival in Lloyd Park”
Gloucestershire – Library hours ruling angers town council – This is Glos.  Moreton library to be downgraded, moved to (probably) a polic station, partially staffed by volunteers.  “It’s a disgrace – she’s [Cllr Antonia Noble] just fobbed us off.” And clerk Heather Sipthorp said: “We don’t understand the decision based on their figures – we have the most footfall and the most books taken out. What about the money earmarked from the Fire Service College developers for library facilities?”
“… Lechlade has consistently argued against the closure of our library by the County. Two public meetings and an 800 signature petition have endorsed the Town Council’s requests that the County continue their provision, but they have refused to do so. In order to secure a library service for our residents we have reluctantly submitted a bid to take over the library, but hope that this will not be necessary and that the County will be forced, either by the courts, or by the Secretary of State who is currently reviewing the County’s proposals, to maintain the existing service.”  Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire – Cllr Hawthorne spins away … while Lechlade Library Working Group bravely sets the record straight – FoGL.   “Gloucestershire County Council have, in their usual rather bullish manner,  displayed astonishing disregard for the terms of the injunction. In the last few days the political spin machine has gone into overdrive and several press releases, television news items and newspaper articles have been  brought to our attention that indicate GCC is very much continuing with their plans.”
Gloucestershire – Community plans get the thumbs up – Glos County Council.   “In advance of a decision by Cabinet Members next week, the official officer report recommends councillors agree that 17 business cases are progressed with the council’s support”.
Portsmouth – Friday closures of Portsmouth’s central libraries could be reversed – News.  Self-service to replace library staff and to allow for longer opening up to, it is hoped, 10pm.  £400k spent on equipment, hoping for £118k saving per year by losing 8 librarian jobs.  ‘This will see hard-working library staff trained to use the machines, then train others, then wait to see which of them loses their job. They are dedicated people, who will be a loss to the city’s library service” (Unison) 
Stoke on Trent – Church steps in to lend books after mobile library service cut – This is Staffordshire.  “A church is to start lending books in a village which lost its mobile library due to council cuts. About 500 books will be available when the service starts at Ball Green Methodist Church and Chatterley Centre.”
Wandsworth and Croydon – Could outsource their libraries Guardian series. “The easy option would be to follow what other councils are doing and close branch libraries. Instead we want to do everything possible to protect our libraries while looking at ways to enhance the excellent service our residents expect. ” 
Wirral – Labour pledge Wirral’s libraries are “safe in our hands” – Wirral News.  “Libraries are “safe in our hands” Wirral Council’s leader has pledged – and his party had learned its lesson after a failed attempt to modernise the service two years ago.”