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.


  • Austrian librarian restrained by three men on flight from USIrish Times.  “I feel deeply sorry and ashamed for what I have done.” He had no memory of the incident “but I accept what the witnesses said . . . I will never take a sleeping tablet again”.
  • Children’s author tackles literacy during rugby world cup – Booktrade.info.  Tom Palmer promoting ready over 30 different locations.  “For those schools that Tom will not be visiting, he has written a toolkit for schools and libraries to use to promote reading during the Rugby World Cup, called LOVE RUGBY: LOVE READING. Commissioned by the National Literacy Trust it includes ideas for displays, activities and events. It is available for free at www.literacytrust.org.uk, thanks to funding from the Rugby Football Union.”
  • Far more than shushing and checking out books: For the love of librarians and public libraries – Critics at large (Canada).  “Students, children, stay-at-home parents, working parents, seniors, the homeless, the curious, intellectuals, perverts, the public library is a place for us all. Everyone, overseen by the librarian, a seriously capable, usually friendly, professional that will care for, cater to, and put up with it all. Practically the only thing they don’t serve is donuts, but there are plenty of those shops in most neighbourhoods.”
  • Front line is everywhereIt’s not about the books.   “So step away from the reference desk and right out of the library.  The Information Revolution needs revolutionaries -follow Che’s lead and come down off your mountain and into the streets. When it comes to the war on ignorance, as Rage Against the Machine once told us, the front line is everywhere.”
  • Libraries need buildings – We Heart Libraries.  One of several useful pages on this campaign site for North Hertfordshire and Stevenage.  “We’ve said elsewhere on this site that one of the most valuable things that libraries do is to contribute to our dwindling store of town-centre public space, one of the key places where our communities are built – and long may they continue to do so.”
  • Privatizing public libraries – Sign on San Diego.   “A few dozen librarians made some noise in Sacramento last week. For their photo-op, the demonstrators read from a handcrafted children’s book titled “The Privatization Beast Comes to Our Town.” A yellow Sesame Street-like character played the part of the scary “Privatization Beast.””.  Article thinks librarians are protesting in order to protect their jobs and pensions.
  • Soundtracked ebooks launch in UK Telegraph.   “This sounds like the opposite of reading. I have enough trouble reading an ebook because I’m constantly distracted by emails and so I’ve given up on it for the time being,”

Changes to tally

Local News

  • Birmingham – Protesters meet to draw up battle plans to fight any plans to downgrade Hall Green Library – Birmingham Mail.  Fear libraries will move to a fully-resourced “hub” library in each area with less opening hours for other libraries, including Hall Green. 
  • Cumbria – £170,000 unpaid fines owed to Cumbrian librariesNews & Star.  Charges have accumulated over a decade.  Surrey owes £700k. ““The figure isn’t a debt as such. There’s no contract and we don’t pursue people for money, but we would try to recover the book that’s outstanding. There may be good reasons why people don’t return books.”
  • Derby – Derby museum trust scheme could be extended – BBC.   Trust for museums could mean quicker decision-making, more possibility for grants and more entrepreurship.  This scheme could be expanded to libraries. “Any transfer must take place by April 2012 to guarantee £286,000 of funding provided by the Museums, Archives and Libraries Council [sic] to manage the changes.”
  • Lambeth – Last chance to have your say on futureThis is Local London.   “Library users will have two more chances to have their say at meetings held by a commission examining the future of the service. Lambeth libraries have the highest cost per visit in London, and have been told to make £750,000 savings by 2014 by the council following Government cuts. 
  • Wakefield – Outwood Library lovers vow to step up fight – Yorkshire Evening Post.  “From September onwards we are going to step up the pace of our campaign. We will have a hard copy petition available to sign which will be available at various locations throughout the area.”