Retired librarians working on a volunteer basis are killing their profession.  Where do they think future retired volunteer librarians will come from if they collude in running libraries voluntarily?  These people will have to give up sooner or later.” Patricia Richardson

This point was borne out by the discussion on volunteer-run libraries on the Jeremy Vine Show where it was pointed out that Chalfont St Giles Library has retired librarians helping out.  While this says a lot for the dedication of the ex-library staff in question and is certainly a help locally, sadly in the current climate, this simply encourages councils throughout England to close more libraries. So, if you’re a librarian reading this approaching retirement or, more likely, facing voluntary or compulsory redundancy, don’t consider going back to the job you love when you are “let go”.  It’s heartbreaking but you would simply be helping to birth a cruel new world of libraries available only in wealthy areas, with unpaid employees – and underfunded/non-existing libraries in those areas not blessed with large numbers of retired professionals.

Library staff up and down the country are facing people who seem to think that they can be got rid of and anyone who who fancies having a go can run a library.  Don’t, for the love of libraries you have worked your life for, be one of them.

448 libraries (379 buildings and 69 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”)


“Do everything you can to support libraries – God knows, they need every bit of help they can get nowadays. I find it incredible and outrageous that public and school libraries are being forced to close – we’ll all pay the price in the long term.” Children’s Laureate: cuts are “outrageous” – Independent. 

Civil servants blow your cash on flowers, booze and gift vouchers – Mirror.  DCMS spends £250,000 via credit card for flowers, expensive hotels, films.
Councils that can’t afford libraries are still recruiting highly paid “sustainability” officers – Telegraph. 
Make it hard to privatize libraries, California Assembly says – Sacramento Bee (USA).  Also reported in the Times-Union.
People versus the cuts (and, as ever, the lawyers will be the winners) – Independent. “Dan Corey, a solicitor acting for library campaigners in Gloucestershire and Somerset, said the level of cuts was behind the rise. “Judicial review is proving a very useful tool to look carefully at these kinds of cuts and to pick up where councils have just had one eye on their balance sheet and have tried to rush cuts through without consulting properly.” 
Rural cuts in Somerset and Gloucestershire bite hard – BBC.  Conservative councils in Somerset and Glos have introduced cuts (inc. libraries) harder than the ones they blamed their Labour predecessors for, citing the global recession, 
Snoring snoozers upset library users – New Zealand Herald. 
Supporters give “hug” to budget-pinched NYC libraries – CNN (USA).
Swingeing cuts give the lie the notion of the big society – Guardian. “We shouldn’t be arguing about whether we need libraries or domestic violence services. We need both.”

Local News

Croydon – Council’s announcement on the future of libraries looms closer – Sanderstead Library Campaign. Less opening hours and more use of volunteers expected. 

Renfrewshire – Keep Lochwinnoch Library in the LibraryFacebook.  “After a sustained 8 month campaign by the villagers of Lochwinnoch they have saved their local library. This was largely down to a clause in the original agreement that the McDowells put into their original agreement when then gifted the building to the Lochwinnoch as a school nearly 150 years ago. This issue had been highlighted by villagers in a public meeting that announced plans for the library back in November 2010.”

Milton Keynes – Inviting ideas – Milton Keynes Library Service. 
Oxfordshire – Libraries facing uncertain future – Guardian series.
Warwickshire – “Horrific” plans to cut hours at Lillington library face criticismCourier.  Cut from 37.5 hours to 20 hours per week.  Computer users charged.
Warwickshire – Saturday morning review of the week – JohnnieB’s Blog.  Review of workshop in setting up a community library.
Wiltshire – cutting library positions – Wiltshire Times.  10 smallest libraries will open with help from volunteers.  13 full-time job cuts, self-service machines installed. 
Wokingham – Controversial library plans approved – Reading Chronicle.  No consultation with schools or library users before decision to privatise approved.  Also covered by the BBC.