Bad news for Surrey as 8 more now join its list of 16 libraries previously threatened with loss of paid staff.  Elsewhere, Cambridgeshire are joining the strange new phenomenon of calling a library which offers a qualified librarian behind the counter as a “Library Extra”.  Librarians are not “Extras”.  Paid staff are not luxuries. Librarians and other paid staff should come as Standard. 

Please sign the national petition in support of public libraries.

430 libraries (345 buildings and 85 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.


  • 20 coolest iPad ideas for your library – Online College (USA).  Ebook lending, iPad lending, iPads for individual staff, all sorts of ideas.
  • Carol Ann Duffy: texting and Twitter “help students perfect poetry” – Daily Telegraph.  “She also criticised the coalition government over its spending cuts that has threatened thousands of libraries. It’s awful. I hope when this temporary coalition is not in office that it might be reversed by another government,” she said.” 
  • Child of the Library: Stories – (USA).   “Do you have a story to tell about what libraries mean to you, and meant to you growing up?”
  • City Hall seems to be changing history – Lori Rivas.   Santa Clarita claims decision to privatise was properly consulted on, opposition point out documents showing it was a “done deal” beforehand.  Vote on making privatisation of libraries more difficult goes to California Assembly on Wednesday.
  • Maryland company builds library empire – Washington Times.   LSSI says it does not approach councils for business and that it keeps 95% of all staff it takes over, at same or increased salary (however, these salaries, unlike in councils, are not made public)…”even though you’re not employed by the city, you still represent the city.”  LSSI saves money by centralising behind-the-scenes tasks like Personnel. Books and other items remain property of council.  Fargo and Jersey City have cancelled contracts early with LSSI due to higher than expected costs.  
  • Public Libraries and Value – Libcroft.   “there is a value equation in my head about sourcing books. Library books are cheaper in money-currency but Amazon books are cheaper in time-currency, and currently time-currency is, on the scale of book buying, more valuable to me.”…”Let’s say that, for whatever reason, I become cash-poor. Suddenly the public library appears far more attractive”.  [Therefore, rich people (e.g. a lot of the decision-makers don’t see the value of libraries – Ed.]
  • UK internet access 2011: a place for libraries – Phil Bradley’s Weblog.   “I think librarians need to become more militant, perhaps more egotistical but above all, more confident that they/we actually DO know better than IT”


Northamptonshire – All six qualified librarians at school library service made redundant.
Surrey – 8 may more libraries under threat – 19 may now be withdrawn from council.  New additions are Ash, Caterham Hill, Frimley Green, Hersham, Horsley, Knaphill, Lightwater, Shepperton & West Byfleet.   
York – Voluntary redundancies sought. Some libraries to be expanded.  

Local News

  • Bolton – Disappointed with Labour’s attitude over library closures – Bolton News.   “In this debate, the Conservatives were correctly drawing attention to the extent to which Labour proposals hit the poorest areas hardest while Labour members, in effect, continually repeated Margaret Thatcher’s mantra: “There is no alternative”.” … “There is no point in Labour councillors talking the talk on combating inequality if they choose to implement proposals such as this on library closures which impose cuts hardest on the poorest.”
  • Cambridgeshire – New chapter drafted on future of libraries – Cambridge News.  Council describes branches who have librarians and a full range or resources as “Extra”.  Other less lucky areas will have “branches christened “public services compact” in locations such as schools and leisure centres, and others known as “public services access” in post offices, doctors’ surgeries and cafés. These would offer books and services, and customers would be able to order in more specialist materials”.  Lib Dems say “The Conservatives are demanding huge savings from the at-risk libraries, which could still be forced to close before alternative provision or “community hubs” can be found.”
  • Croydon – Breakdown of responses to library questionnaire What Do They Know? –  Freedom of Information request for details of 412 responses (out of around 5500 in total) regarding outsourcing turned down as it would take too much time.
  • Gloucestershire – Self service kiosks to be installed at Quedgeley Library –  Stroud News and Journal. “Quedgeley Library will be closed from 12th–17th September for the improvements to take place.”
  • Isle of Wight – Libraries to get online databases – IWCP.   “The new data lines — computer links to facilities such as book databases, broadband, virus protection, firewalls and web filtering —will be available for the libraries from next Friday, September 16. The council will also pay for the equipment for at least a year. No internet access will be available in the five community libraries while the upgraded data lines are installed, although it is available in the six council-run libraries.”
  • Kent – No public interest: KCC’s original library plans stay under wraps – Kent Online.   Council plans for withdrawing from up to 50 branches are withheld from the public using grounds strongly questioned.
  • North Yorkshire – Campaigners step up fight to save library – Northern Echo.   “Campaigners battling to save a closure-threatened library have begun a week of events aimed at furthering their cause.”.  Including human chain. Council says money should go to children’s care instead and volunteers can step in.
    • Worries on new library proposals – Mercury series.   Hunmanby Library may be moved to co-location but ““I’m concerned we are going to have two competing areas and our priority has got to be for the community centre.”
  • Surrey – County Council abandon PVR study – SLAM.   8 more libraries now under threat.  Survey deciding on which to withdraw from was statistically flawed.  “Surrey County Council wish to wash their hands of almost all the small libraries in Surrey and this is their third attempt.  Their first two attempts failed because there was a public outcry by the people of Surrey, so this time they invented a cheap and error ridden “number cruncher” to fool us into believing they were doing it mathematically.”
  • York – Row over proposed library shake-up – Press.   “City of York Council is looking at turning three more libraries into Explore centres by expanding an initiative already used in the city centre and Acomb.”