Please sign the national petition in support of public libraries.

422 libraries (337 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.


Award-winning Alan Bennett on how we need to safeguard our libraries for future generations – Mirror.  “Municipal authorities of all parties point to splendid new and scheduled central libraries as if this discharges them of their obligations. It doesn’t. For a child, a library needs to be round the corner.
And if we lose local libraries it is children who will suffer.”

  • I love libraries because of the serendipitous searching experience … – Voices for the Library (Tumblr). “Essentially, I’d be lost without my local library.” 
  • Poems are the original text messages: Carol Ann Duffy on how to get children reading more poetryManchester Evening News.  Interview with Poet Laureate.  “Carol Ann Duffy is very cross. The Poet Laureate is angry about the threat to many of our libraries. “It’s awful,” she says. “I hope when this temporary coalition is not in office that it might be reversed by another government.” …”Carol Ann’s spent the last year joining protests against library closures. She believes libraries are an effective way of introducing young people to the world of reading and writing, something she is passionate about.  And for the Poet Laureate, it’s personal. She says without access to a library when she was younger she wouldn’t be where she is today.”


Local News

  • Angus – Reassurance over common good funds – Arbroath Herald.  Fight over who should own Arbroath library continues.
  • Bolton – Debate “could be last chance for libraries” – This is Lancashire.  “Leaders from the three major political parties as well as the leader of the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign will debate the planned closures of five libraries in front of a “Question Time” style audience.”  Councillor says ““The debate is stifled as we have only got three options and none of them are brilliant.”
    • Neighbourhood collection points plan a shambles, say campaigners – This is Lancashire.   “The council says a small collection of popular fiction and non-fiction titles could be held. Possible venues suggested include the Oldhams Estate UCAN Centre.”… “Local people need a proper library service, not a small pile of books in the corner of a community centre.”
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Winsford residents asked to support fight against cuts – Winsford Guardian.   “Cheshire West Against the Cuts was launched 12 months ago by the West Cheshire Unison branch to fight changes to public services including the NHS, youth services, libraries and care for the elderly.”
  • Northamptonshire – Help to save the county’s libraries – Evening Telegraph.   “Heather Cross, chairman of the Friends of Irchester library, which was under threat of closure, said: “We are hoping that people will support the libraries. We need money and help.”
  • Oldham – Literary weekend: drama, murder, chapter and verse – Oldham Council. “Oldham Council’s libraries are set to host their first Literary Weekend – packed with successful authors, stimulating writing workshops and a big name celebrity visit.”
  • Oxfordshire – Library proposals “lack substance – Oxford Mail. “Oxford Civic Society has said Oxfordshire County Council’s proposals for its library service are “insufficiently wide-ranging” and lack substance.”
    • Oxfordshire – Sonning Commong vows to fight for library   Get Reading. “Ros Varnes, who has been spearheading the campaign, said: “We feel the council’s proposals are ill-founded and unfair and favour libraries in large urban areas at the expense of those in rural areas like ours. I would be surprised, on the terms they are proposing, if the library would survive. Finding volunteers would be a tall order and maintaining it is extremely optimistic.”
  • Redbridge – Imran Khan to visit borough during libraries festival – Guardian series.  
  • South Tyneside –  Leisure trust plans in spotlight – Shields Gazette.   Trust may include libraries.  [Council and newspaper appear not to have noticed moved to remove tax benefits for councils changing to Trusts].
  • Suffolk – Consultation over mobile library service launched – EADT.   £225,000 to be cut from mobile library service – consultation to move from fortnightly to monthly visits, not stopping at towns/villages which have a library.  “Jennie Pink, a vocal campaigner for Saxmundham library when it was previously threatened with closure, said the service should be maintained in deprived communities.”
  • Teesside – Fightback against library cutbacks –  Gazette Live.  Positive messages in Teesside starkly contracted with cuts in North Yorkshire.  “But Great Ayton’s is a salutory lesson of how a community can be devastated by circumstances beyond its control. North Yorkshire council has told the village its library will have to be run and funded by the community itself, despite massive opposition.”
  • Wiltshire – Volunteers begin running Purton Library – BBC.   “More than 300 volunteers in Wiltshire were trained by the council to run the facilities. New opening hours for Purton Library take effect from Monday.”