The DCMS has announced in the BookSeller that it will never in the case of library closures:

– Explain why it has not acted.
– Rule out action or inaction.
– Give a timescale as to whether it will ever act or not.

In other news, there is a very useful, possibly essential, 31 page report on public library closures produced by the Houses of Parliament and a report called “Libraries in Transition” has come to light, leaning heavily towards moving libraries into trusts or social enterprises.  Lots of reading to do.  Fewer libraries each month in which to do it.

393 libraries (319 buildings and 74 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. 


Briefing paper on public library closuresParliament.  Overview of the current and recent situation in libraries over 31 pages.
British Library makes Google deal – BBC.  “Thousands of pages from one of the world’s biggest collections of historic books, pamphlets and periodicals are to be made available on the internet.”
Community Knowledge Hub and Libraries – Information Twist.  A critical examination of the new website and its underlying thinking.
Libraries Parliament UK.  “This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on libraries. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.”
Libraries in transition: are there creative alternatives? – Social Enterprise London. A pro social enterprise piece suggesting that Trusts are a way out of closing libraries.  Examples include Wigan (6 libraries under threat this year) and Prudhoe Community Trust (website down due to circumstances beyond their control).
Mystery object gifted to National Library of Scotland – LinkedIn.  Gramophone made out of books left outside of its doors, labelled “For @natlibscot- a gift- in support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas….. (& against their exit)”.
Sam’s story: Libraries are about people – Voices for the Library.  “Will library volunteers want to invest time and effort in managing complicated IT networks and understanding the needs of their local community? Will a private company want to run a holiday reading scheme and associated events if they don’t generate profit?”
Sheriff Vaizey – Information Twist.  Compares Ed Vaizey’s barnstorming performance in the Wirral campaign with his current inaction.
Stonewall from government on library closures – BookSeller.  DCMS confirms that it will never say why it has not acted and if it will ever act, or not, on any closure. “The spokesperson added no reasons would be made public as to why the government had declined to act in Gloucestershire or in Lewisham, where five libraries closed last month despite meetings held by the DCMS with residents and the council many weeks ago. “The duty on the department is to continually superintend the service so there is no point in which a case is closed and we explain the reason why we have not intervened,” he said.”
What does “professional” mean? CILIP new professional conference 2011 – Undaimonia. “Professionalism is in one’s conduct, is in getting involved with libraries and librarianship, is in how one stands in relation to the rest of the profession, and is in holding to an ethical code. In the words of Batman, “it’s what you do that defines you” rather than what qualifications, experience, or labels you have.”


Barnet – Friern Barnet library campaign.

Local News

Cumbria – Residents flock to keep library open – North West Evening Mail.  All residents at the meeting were opposed to the closure of the library and felt there were no alternative venues for the service.”
Ealing – Meeting to decide future of Ealing librariesEaling Gazette.  “Councillors could be butting heads next week during a special meeting to discuss the future of four libraries in the borough.” 

“I absolutely agree that we need to preserve our libraries, indeed I have been fighting a campaign in my constituency to stop the closure of three local libraries that are of endless value to the community around them. I am also pleased that the Department for Communities and Local Government is also undertaking work on the ownership and running of community assets in the Localism Bill. Ministers want to give individuals and community organisations a fair chance to take over facilities and assets that are important to them, including their local libraries” (Enfield – Nick De Bois MP, Digital Democracy)

Hammersmith & Fulham – Council accuse Brent of being “lazy” in shutting down libraries – Save Kensal Rise Library.  Refers to full London Evening Standard article.
Merton – Volunteers work with council to keep libraries openLondon Borough of Merton. West Barnes Library will be staffed by 40 volunteers on Mondays.
Milton Keynes – Online Questionnaire – About My Area. “Milton Keynes Council is facing a large reduction in funding and the Library Service needs to find ways of changing the way it currently works to meet this reduction.”
Oxfordshire – Volunteers aim to keep library open – Get Reading.  Sonning Common library is likely to stay open with a professional librarian and a “staff” of volunteers
Surrey – Libraries to get next generations service whilst tax payers save money – PRLog.  Wi-fi in all libraries, more self-service.