Good luck to the Surrey campaigners tomorrow in the High Court


  • 2011: A snapshot of our members in England – Locality.  An organisation that is involved in assisting volunteers in libraries (and othe buildings) to take over properties withdrawn from by the local council.
available as an online brochure.
  • Rescue imminent for city library’s battered books – Press (New Zealand).  300,000 books let in the Christchurch library since the Feb 2011 earthquake are about to be used again.
  • Strike deadline for library workers passes – Toronto CTV (Canada).  “… the library has cut 107 full-time jobs and only 22 per cent of part-time workers — most of them women — get benefits. Librarians have been working without a contract since Jan. 1, as part of greater labour negotiations with other indoor workers in Toronto.”
  • Support for Margaret Hodge – Good Library Blog.   “Having watched the administration of councils, quangoes, government charities, government departments and senior and middle ranking civil servants for a decade in this pursuit of one simple public service, that of public libraries, my conclusion for a long time has been the same has she is drawing now. Our civil service is a terrible mess. People are not trained, not open, not accountable, not transparent, devious, deceitful – and much public service verges on the corrupt.”


Local News

  • Blackburn with Darwen – Library users face reduced hours – Lancashire Telegraph.    “users in Blackburn and Darwen have been left facing a triple whammy as part of the council’s £6million cuts programme.” … “Last August it was confirmed that Roman Road Library would be run by community volunteers and if this proves successful then similar provisions could be phased in at the Mill Hill and Livesey branches.”
  • Calderdale – Deal for new library hours – Brighouse Echo. ““The proposed cut in hours at Rastrick took no account of its use, or its popularity. “Rastrick Library is a well-used facility and would be badly affected by these, whereas other libraries could have their hours altered more in line with their usage and/or staffing levels.” 
  • Dudley – Council scoops top award for innovative library project – Stourbridge News.   “The library team received the award for its innovative approach to the shared delivery of services at Brierley Hill Library, which combines a housing office and Citizen’s Advice Bureau. The team was also voted runner-up in the virtual category for the online one-stop shop Dudley community information directory.”
  • Durham – Concerns over library cuts plan – Northern Echo.   “Concerned residents and councillors met on Saturday to show their support for Belmont Library. Durham County Council is proposing cutting opening times to 36 hours per week at 11 town centre libraries and 20 hours per week at 27 community libraries to save a total of £1.5m.”

“Residents of Belmont and district, prize their library and have therefore instigated a petition against the proposed reduction in opening hours. The sustained strong response is clearly demonstrating how much it is valued by the community.”

  • Kirklees – Fresh Horizons creates cinema in local library – Locality.   “The funding will enable Fresh Horizons to install a cinema in the Chestnut Centre, teach film-making, and take films out to people in isolated rural areas. During the day the Chestnut Centre is a library and café, but once the library closes in the evening, the centre will transform into a cinema showing films chosen by the community.”
  • Merton – Library service named top in UK – Guardian series.   “Merton’s library service has been named the most efficient in the UK. The council was recognised at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards for making savings of 40 per cent to their library service over the last five years while continuing to work with volunteer and partner organisations, extend opening times and introduce self-service technology.”

“Our army of over 450 volunteers is the biggest of its kind in any London borough, contributing over 17,600 hours of their valuable time since last April to helping provide this fantastic service. This award is largely attributable to the hard work of our library staff who have embraced change and provide excellent customer care.”

  • Sheffield – Library deals booked with developers – Sheffield Telegraph.   “In all three instances, the council says commercial negotiations are “at an early stage”, and there is a warning that changes in the property market could affect the viability of the proposals. The libraries need “significant investment”, and a report to the council’s cabinet on Wednesday says the buildings can be expected to deteriorate further without funding for repairs, with the threat of potential closure.”
    • Unquiet in the library – Lovebytes.   “Sheffield Central Library provides the venue and inspiration for a spree of artistic interventions, impromptu performances and creative workshops”.  Some impressive events going on.