418 libraries (336 buildings and 82 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4612 in the UK, complete list below. 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.
  • Bidoun Library Seminar: UK libraries: Struggles for the knowledge commons – Centre for Possible Studies.  Saturday 27th August, 3pm.  “We have dedicated the final Bidoun Library Seminar to a meeting on libraries.  Participants reflect on current struggles around the closures and drastic cuts affecting public libraries in theUK.  Join representatives from the Library Campaign, the Feminist Library, New Cross Library, the Goldsmiths Library Occupation and others to discuss and strategise.”
  • Decentralised power via the Localism Bill – Voices for the Library.   Brief analysis of each article of the Localism Bill from a pro-library perspective.  “So, in summary, the Bill will enable local communities (people, councillors and local authorities/councils) to have a greater impact on the development of services in their own area, but at the same time the Bill proposes the removal of restrictions that are currently in place to ensure local councils continue to provide essential local services.”
  • Even the Library of Congress isn’t safe from budget cutsSo Many Books (USA).   “The Library of Congress is cutting almost 10% of its workforce after having its budget cut by by $53 million. It is the largest cut to any legislative branch agency. In order to cut its staff, the LOC is offering early retirement to eligible workers over the age of 50, or about 1,000 of its 4,000 employees.”
  • Happy anniversary Voices for the Library!Thoughts of a Wannabe Librarian.  Thoughts one year on from one of the founder members.


    • Karin Slaughter, library advocate of the year – Library Journal.  “I’m a day late, but congratulations to author Karin Slaughter (Fallen) who on August 25 was invited by the Georgia House of Representatives to speak about  her Save the Libraries campaign at a Special Legislative Session.”
    • Lure of the libraryNouse (University of York student website).  Article on libraries with brief history and questioning of their future.  It contains inaccuracies about saving libraries and some other things (for instance Voices for the Library does not advocate staffing libraries with volunteers, rather the opposite) but at least mentions the issue.
    • Mystery still a closed book as new sculptures appear – Scotsman.   “The first sculpture is of a tray with a cup of tea and a cupcake and is inscribed: “This cup is awarded to @edbookfest” and also contains a tea bag full of letters, an unmarked book and a label which says – “This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas and festivals xx.”
    • Progressive fantasy author Jane Yolen under attack by Tea Party – AlterNet (USA).   “The reason? She defended the existence of libraries. (Let’s all check out her books now!)”.  Author attacks Tea Party advocate for reading a children’s story for an event in a public library which his policies would see close.
    • Tracy Beaker writer backs library fight – London Evening Standard.  “I’m delighted to do whatever I can to help save our libraries. When I was a child I practically lived in my local library. It seems so dreadful that our excellent libraries are under threat.”  Clapham Old Town Library could be sold off to developers.
    (A lot has changed since then – this image from Wikipedia via Twitter)
    Local News
    • Angus – Cross party opposition to library transferArbroath Herald.   Fears Arbroath would lose ownership of its library as it is transferred into Angus’s ownership.  “There is cross party opposition among Arbroath councillors to a move proposed by Angus Council officials whereby Arbroath Library would be removed from Common Good ownership and transferred to the local authority’s general fund”
    • Bolton – Campaigners have their say on the future of Astley Bridge Library – Bolton News.   ““There are over 25,000 visits made to this library every year. It is a meeting place, a place of study, a place to access the internet and a valuable resource for our local schools.”…Cllr Walsh said he believed funding was not spread equally across Bolton. He added that £200,000 could be saved with changes to area forum budgets, which would allow the five “at risk” libraries to remain open for the next 12 months.”
    • Conwy – Deadline on library service changesBBC.   “The deadline on the proposals for the 12 libraries in the county ended on Friday, with nearly 300 feedback forms received beforehand… It was claimed at a council meeting last year that some of the county’s libraries were among the worst in Wales, with poor book stocks, too few staff, and were in buildings which needed maintenance.”
    • Harrow – Last chance to comment on council services as part of Let’s Talk consultation – Harrow Times.   “The council want the public’s views on parks, libraries, arts and sports facilities as part of the Let’s Talk consultation, which closes today.”