Well, it’s been a few days since my last post (due to illness) so there’s a bumper edition today.  One of the advantages of this is that themes emerge – forests of new trends appear from the trees of individual news stories.  So, looking down the page, we have problems with central libraries, competitive tendering, parish councils and the weirdly self-contradictory beacon of libraries as disaster relief.  Let’s look at these one by one.

 I can see that the people of Cardiff are pretty darn peeved, not least because they stand the chance of losing their beautiful new-ish central library (what is it with Wales? Newport suggested the same thing last week) in order to stave off branch closures. The same Big New Shiny Expensive Library problem is also of cause haunting the biggest of them all – Birmingham – where barely two years after opening, they’re struggling to pay the bills.  This ties in with another post from Will Self who compares the big libraries of the last few years with the Skyscraper Index, the theory that says that the biggest skyscrapers are always built at the peak of booms and open in the crashes.  This theory actually ties in quite well, except that Mr Self then goes on to claim that libraries are not needed any more due to digitisation: something that will come as a shock to those who have had to push their way through the crowds at Liverpool, Birmingham or Manchester Central Libraries recently.  No, the reason for the problem there is purely financial and whose blame lies with theory of Austerity than the illusionary theory that people don’t use big libraries any more.

Something that has been expected for a while has finally happened: the acceptance (in large part forced by a judicial review) by Lincolnshire that GLL has put in an eligible bid for its service has meant that its service is now open to tender. This has always been a worry with this: that a socially acceptable mutual or trust could be used as a stalking horse for their darker kin, for-profit companies, to get into markets otherwise closed to them. Lincolnshire looks like it’s going to be a test case for this so it will be interesting what happens in 2015: campaigners may think twice about judicial reviews if they are then see Carillion making 5-10% profit at the taxpayer’s expense two years later. Not that that, private companies would argue, is necessarily a problem – their claimed efficiencies and economies of scale have been used to justify the profit – but few waving placards outside a threatened branch can be doing so in the hope that it would help shareholders.

There’s a fair few protests in North Yorkshire and elsewhere at the decision to push yet more libraries onto volunteers.  The perceived success of the first few waves has led to more and more areas being given the Hobson’s Choice of volunteering or closing.  One wonders, though, if the low hanging fruit here has already been picked.  Branches in prosperous socially cohesive Buckinghamshire villages may be able to sustain volunteer libraries but is there a stage where libraries are just too big for this treatment?  Also, some parish councils are getting a little uppity about their larger country brethren suggesting that they take over the task of running branches.  The principle of double taxation has been raised.  As the larger councils push more and more onto the smaller, at some stage the elastic is going to snap … and we may be already reaching that with some.

Finally, a word of praise for Ferguson Library in the USA.  This branch, with a clearly inspirational new library manager, has coped so well with the riots there that it has become a beacon of peace in what is clearly a community in danger of breaking. This role of the library as disaster relief is a common one in America: Hurricane Sandy led to many libraries being used as emergency centres.  It’s not something, thankfully, that I have seen the need for British libraries to do but the possibility is there.  So make sure that libraries are included in your council’s disaster management protocols and get another feather in your library survival bow.




  • A novel approach – Museums Association. Large central libraries such as Birmingham and Manchester incorporate Archives as well as a Library.  A look at the effectiveness of this approach, from the point of view of the Archive.
  • ASCEL: ‘public libraries can help children with digital’ – London Book Fair. ““Children are naïve, impulsive, and, thankfully innocent, whether crossing the road or swiping an app,” said the Children’s Digital Needs and Libraries report. “It is the responsibility of adults to guide and nurture them and help them achieve all they can emotionally, economically, physically and socially. In the case of digital knowledge, public libraries are one of the best ways to do that for all children, of all backgrounds.””
  • Charities warn against ‘chilling’ move to restrict access to judicial review – Guardian. “Charities could face punitive costs if they challenge government decisions in future, a coalition of 35 organisations warns on Monday ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote. MPs will vote on proposals aimed at restricting access to judicial review which are contained in the criminal justice and courts bill.” [This will also have a deep impact on the possibility of judicial reviews over library decisions – Ed.]
  • Council leaders of all parties plead for no more cuts – Guardian. “After a 40% reduction in funding during this parliament, our efficiency savings are coming to an end. Further reductions without radical reform will have a detrimental impact on people’s quality of life and will lead to vital services being scaled back or lost altogether. ” Letter includes leaders from several Conservative authorities as well as from Labour and Liberal Democrats.
  • The Guardian view on council spending: local services are cut to the bone. Whitehall should let go – Guardian / Comment is Free. “. It is the councils that have to make the hard choices about closing libraries and swimming pools. It is councils that cut back on entitlement to social care for both the young and the elderly until it is at the statutory minimum, and cut back pay until for some care workers it is barely at the minimum wage. Yet with so little power to raise money locally, they get the blame for matters out of their control.”
  • Here’s The Story Behind Orkney Library’s Hilarious Twitter Account – BuzzFeed. 10,000 followers due to humour.  Twitter account has led to increased number of visitors, vastly higher public profile, author visits, massive media coverage, wider interaction with the community and hard to reach age groups. see also Orkney libraries celebrate Twitter success – BookSeller.

“I said something about how a user had liked a book, and within a day the publisher was in touch offering a proof of the author’s next novel, and offering to organise a visit. It’s great that authors and publishers can be in touch directly. We also have followers around the world. When tourists visit in the summer, people drop in and say hello because they follow us and feel like they know us.”

  • I was lamenting the loss of my library libido – then I visited the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris – New Statesman / Will Self. “I usually become sexually aroused in libraries – no, really, I do. Moreover, I’m fairly certain I am not alone, and that plenty of others respond to the cloistral atmosphere, the tickle of dust in their nostrils and the murmurous voices in the same way. ” … “The French are some way ahead of us when it comes to digitising the contents of their national library; almost all the books are now available online as scanned facsi­miles. The library was only opened in late 1996, but it is already, in effect . . . dead. “
  • Karen – in a context of change – 23 Librarians.
  • Libraries at heart of digital inclusion – Scottish Government. “Scotland’s libraries are playing a crucial part in raising the levels of digital participation all over the country. The learning opportunities which are being offered are varied to include everyone. Courses are available for cyber tots through cyber teens to silver surfers. These are proving very effective and popular.””
  • “The library is the beating heart of the community” – CILIPS. Statement on public libraries. “CILIP in Scotland is the professional body for library and information professionals. We hold that a good public library service is essential to the well being of communities, providing a positive experience for local people and demonstrating the value a local authority places on its community.  Our views are supported by evidence based research carried out by the Scottish Government which concluded that participation in culture is significantly linked to good health and life satisfaction. For example, those who visited a library were almost 20% more likely to report good health than those who had not visited a library in the previous 12 months  …”
  • Library  Security – worth the money? – Changing Libraries. A response to my PLN article questioning the need for security gates, Mick Fortune looks at the different possibilities that RFID provides and suggest that new technology may, quite accidentally, suddenly make those security systems very useful.
  • London authorities fail to pull their weight – Arts Professional. “culture & heritage funding in England’s regions has fallen by 26.4% since 2010/11, the equivalent figure in London is 27.7%..  Libraries have fared better than culture, with spending falling by 19.3% in London and 16.9% elsewhere. Despite evidence that services like libraries, for which councils have statutory responsibilities, are better protected from disproportionate cuts, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has rejected the idea of giving local authorities statutory responsibility for the arts.” [It’s interesting to see that someone thinks the statutory duty has had some impact – Ed.]
  • Love letters to libraries: Michael Morpurgo – Guardian. “The author of War Horse makes a passionate plea for free books for children – and demonstrates their importance with a scene from his novel I Believe in Unicorns, in which a very special librarian inspires a small boy’s love for books and reading”
  • Love letters to libraries: the Etherington Brothers – Guardian. “The siblings who created Monkey Nuts join us in a celebration of libraries with an exclusive comic strip. Enter the wacky world of Robin and Lorenzo Etherington and discover their tribute to Arundel library
  • Readers’ love letters to libraries – Guardian. “Libraries won’t be going out of fashion any day soon, if readers’ love for them is anything to go by.” … “Barring the odd sulky schoolchild forced there for an assignment, everybody is there by choice and has a shared interest. Like cyclists nodding to one another as they pass on a snowy day, people are friendly – we know we have something in common just by dint of being there.” … “The lower the shelves, the more chaotic the filing’”
  • Sharing stories: how libraries can help new parents live happily ever after – CILIP. “Many attended the library each week, and some even “did the rounds” of the local libraries attending multiple sessions. They sang the praises of the library staff, and the welcome that they received. They did occasionally borrow books for their children, but didn’t feel that the library was a place which could support their own information needs.  They were not in the habit of borrowing books for themselves, nor of using the ICT facilities provided.” so one library is “developing informal informational sessionsin collaboration with parents. These will be dual-purpose, with activities and invitations to play laid out for the babies and toddlers, as well as time built in for parents to chat.”
  • You can bury your nose in a book, but not in an iPad – Telegraph. “when I saw yesterday that the National Literacy Trust was advising parents to get reluctant boys interested in books by encouraging them to read on iPads and Kindles, I must admit my instant reaction was, thank God I have daughters. They love reading, and I’ve never had to dragoon them into it by pretending a story’s a computer game. ” … “sales of printed children’s books this year are up 10 per cent on 2013 and on course for the best year ever.”


  • Ferguson Municipal Public Library stays open through a hard week, receives $300K in donations – MHP Books (USA). “As photos of tanks and burning cars started trending online, attention mounted for one calm and welcoming voice from — who else? — a librarian”  … “Ferguson librarians asked local rioters to leave the premises the night of the ruling, and no damage was done to the building. The library opened for regular hours the next morning, even though schools were closed. “
  • Friends of Salinas Public Libraries brings library services where they’re needed most – into the neighborhoods – Monterey County Weekly. ” They want to fund two paleteros, designed after the ice cream pushcart business, to bring literature, children’s books, film, music and information about the library to the community in East Salinas. “The literacy of the community is paramount,” McRae says. “It’s important that people have the opportunity to learn and express their culture.” Through the Friends, every child enrolled in a Salinas school received a free library card. The library also ventures into Salinas parks with “Little Libraries,” covered bookshelves shaped like large birdhouses. All comers can take or leave a book anytime at no charge. The Friends team helps ensure they stay stocked.”
  • I hang out at libraries, even when I’m not looking for a book – Coast (Canada). “The most important part of public libraries isn’t the “library”; it’s the “public.” … “Technology changes but libraries can always be relevant. In addition to loaning out tech, staff can also teach you how to use it. These are just a few of the skills libraries have to offer. HRM’s robust programing can teach you a variety of things, from hobbies like painting to how to do your taxes, for relatively little money, if not for free. I used to think I’d like to see more services based in the library; now I realize I just want to see people use them more.”
  • Introducing Lady Olivia Benson, library pig – Enid News (USA). “The micro Juliana pig, now a “teenager” in pig years, now is a regular fixture at the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County. She’s meant to be a mascot and a therapy animal that will help children read.”
  • Medieval Libraries Developed A Crude GPS System To Locate Books – Io9 (Western). A look at how books were organised in medieval libraries, from “first book on left” to hand-held library guides.
  • Library Technology Forecast for 2015 and Beyond – Systems Librarian (USA/Western). “the strategic products and technologies used by libraries remain under the control of fewer companies of larger size and capacity. ” … “It seems to me that libraries have been relatively slow to adapt their web-oriented services to the reality of the dominance of mobile access.” … “Printing long ago moved from the realm of innovative service to a burden that libraries need to provide, but that must be managed and metered. 3D printing has also graduated out of its innovation phase. It may become a standard library feature (in learning commons or innovation labs), enabling production and creation, but it may no longer be considered as a cutting-edge innovation. “
  • New York City public libraries to offer portable WiFi units – 7 Online (USA). “The city’s public libraries will be offering about 10,000 portable Wi-Fi units for their patrons” … “”You can do your education work, research, apply for a job, any of the things that we take for granted. Up to five devices can use the hotspot at one time,” said New York Public Library president Tony Marx. Thanks to $2 million donated by Google and five other foundations. Just like checking out a book, the Wi-Fi hotspots are checked out for up to a year.”
  • No Luddite libraries here: 95 percent of American libraries carry e-books – Today (USA). “Only 72 percent of libraries offered e-books in 2010, and even then they offered a paltry median of 813 books. As of 2014 the median is nearly 10,400 e-books.”


  • GLL – Deputy Head of Libraries -£45,359 to £59,014 (equivalent to PO7-PO9) + benefits. Based: Woolwich, London. “This is a largely operational management role, giving you overall responsibility for the management of all of our library services within the two partnerships. A good communicator, you’ll work closely with the Head of Libraries and other senior managers, as well as the wider libraries support teams and business support functions such as HR and finance to ensure that our buildings and services are run to the highest standards – both effectively and efficiently. Your broad range of competencies and experience will give you a working knowledge of the implementation of facilities management, health & safety, people management, finances & budgets and IT / ICT. “

UK local news by authority

  • Barnet – Campaigner Alan Wylie’s speech in support of Barnet libraries – Alan Gibbons.”The ‘private good public bad’ mantra of the One Barnet privatisation programme has been an unmitigated disaster and if new proposals are agreed 81% of the Barnet Council workforce will have been outsourced.  And what has happened and is happening to libraries in Barnet beggars belief, first we had so-called ‘community libraries’ then we had talk of ‘franchised libraries’ and now Scandinavian staffless libraries, if you can call a library without staff a library”
  • Birmingham – Fault-lines of a Library mutual – Birmingham Libraries Campaigns. “In December the business plan for a proposed Public Service Mutual to take over and run community library services in Birmingham will be published. If agreed by the City Council the Mutual could be up and running our local libraries from 1st April 2015.”.  Questions include the reduction in localism, accountability, historic under-investment and sustainability, will obstruct integration of council services, lack of true mutualism, increased bureaucracy, first step to privatisation.
  • Birmingham – Reduced opening hours and job losses at Library of Birmingham likely as council considers budget options – Chamberlain Files. “Chamberlain Files understands the city council’s controlling Labour group is refusing to bail out the library in Centenary Square which faces a budget shortfall of about £1 million. At the moment the library is open seven days a week but underfunded heating and lighting costs make it highly likely that operation of the building will have to be scaled back. A white paper setting out council spending plans for next year will be published next week.”
  • Birmingham – Sparkhill community library building sale to be challenged – Birmingham Post. “”They were talking about the closure of a community facility without any consultation with the community whatsoever,” he said. “It subsequently emerged that they had only safeguarded the library on a leaseback which would not last more than ten years. “We want to see a secure and permanent library, not one which is going to be closed in the not too distant future.”

“From January we will be introducing a new reward scheme for Brent Library customers replacing the curent loyalty card.  The new scheme will reward you with a fitness voucher each time you borrow two or more books.  The vouchers can be exchanged for a range of free or discounted sessions at Vale Farm, Willesden Sports Centre and Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre.  Examples of offers available are; a free off peak Zumba or pilates class, £2 off a swim, free off peak sauna or steam.  This offer is coming soon so get ready to get fit  and dive into books!” Brent Libraries monthly newsletter.

  • Brent – Guide Auction Price of £1,150,000 For Kensal Rise Library – Wembley Matters. “Further news is coming in regarding the sale of Kensal Rise Library by Andrew Gillick. The building has appeared on Zoopla for auction on December 17th. It has a guide price of £1,150,000.
    This gives very little time for Friends of Kensal Rise Library or any other community interest group to make up their minds and enter a bid.  As there is supposed to be a six week initial moratorium before sale to allow an organisation to signal their intention to bid for an Asset of Community Value the question arises as to when Brent Council were first informed by Gillick of his intention to sell.”
  • Bromley – Bromley Council invites residents to have their say on future of borough’s libraries – News Shopper. “Local volunteer or social enterprise groups would manage community libraries in Burnt Ash, Hayes, Mottingham, Shortlands, Southborough and St Paul’s Cray under the plans. The borough’s remaining libraries would be subject to a full market testing exercise, which would see the council examine options to outsource management to an external provider.”
  • Cardiff – Move Cardiff Central Library to the Old Library and rent building out to retailers, suggests former Cabinet Member – Wales Online. “‘Can we afford the luxury of a large central library at the expense of losing six neighbourhood libraries?’ asks Councillor Richard Cook” … “Cathays, Roath, Rhydypennau, Rumney, Radyr, Rhiwbina and Whitchurch libraries could have their funding cut in changes that would end council support for standalone branch libraries.”
  • Cardiff – Watch eight-year-old Lola Keogh’s plea to her council not to stop her local library’s funding – Wales Online. “Lola, a pupil at Welsh-language primary Ysgol Melin Gruffydd, was one of scores of young people who joined politicians and residents of all ages outside Whitchurch Library, which is one of several in Cardiff facing a threat to its future. More than 700 people have signed a petition to keep libraries open in Cardiff”
  • Cardiff – Why we need a lesson from the Victorians when it comes to cherishing Cardiff’s libraries – Wales online. “How defeatist is that, since the new library opened only five years ago at a cost of £15m. At the time I wondered why no parade through town to welcome it, why no public holiday or epic poem by some local laureate. And why didn’t Prince Charles, PoW, turn up to snip the ribbon? I knew why. Because those who we call our civic leaders don’t appear to regard or revere libraries as the councillors of a Cardiff growing into greatness once did.”
  • Cardiff – Why we need to save our libraries – Western Mail. “why are libraries being faced with closure? They are a huge socially important service to people at all stages of their lives from new parents who want a free weekly story time or a rhyme time with their child and a chance to meet other parents to people wanting to use computers for free to the elderly who want to read the free local or national paper in a warm and friendly environment or learn how to master the basics of the internet. The common misconception that a library is just about books misses the fact that they are crucial social spaces that once gone, will be a huge loss to young and old alike.”
  • Cornwall – Coalition party councillors need to do more than just complain in a letter – Cornish Guardian. “Services such as libraries, leisure centres and road maintenance continue to buckle under the strain of cuts and the ever-rising cost of caring for our growing elderly population”
  • Coventry – Petition launched against Coventry’s £65m council cuts – Coventry Telegraph. “Socialists and trade union members are starting a petition against deep cuts planned by Coventry City Council – which could include closing libraries and asking schools to foot the bill for lollipop men and women.”
  • Derbyshire – Libraries scam: Callers ask for bank details to pay Derbyshire book fines– Derby Telegraph. “A number of calls have been reported to the county council in recent weeks. Each one involved the caller claiming to be ringing to recover fines from long overdue library books. The targeted person was then asked for their bank details in order for the money to be recouped.”
  • Devon – Ottery: Library campaigners push for ‘pathfinder’ scheme – View from Online. “The Friends of Ottery Library group (FOOL), set up earlier this year to lead the fight against public service cutbacks, says its campaign has won widespread support across the parish. Members are now hopeful that Ottery’s library will be named among ten ‘pathfinder’ towns to pilot the county council’s community-led approach to service provision. The scheme involves converting libraries into mutual societies or trusts, and could save enough money for the council to retain professional staff in rural libraries previously earmarked for major funding cuts.”
  • Harrow – Library closures part of ‘tough financial decisions’ says Harrow Council – Harrow Times. “The potential closure of North Harrow could save us over a hundred thousand pounds a year and there are two other libraries just over a mile away, which can provide a similar range of services. As well as North Harrow, the council is currently consulting on the closure of four of the boroughs libraries including Bob Lawrence Library, in Edgware, Hatch End Library, in the Harrow Arts Centre, and Rayners Lane Library, in Imperial Drive.”
  • Harrow – North Harrow community to join together to fight for library – This is Local London. “North Harrow Library, in Pinner Road, is one of four across the borough that may be closed by Harrow Borough Council under proposals announced last week. The North Harrow Community Partnership launched a petition after the announcement and has already collected more than 100 signatures. Group chairman Kamal Shah said: “All the people I have spoken to and managed to get to the meeting last week are very angry at the prospect of losing their local library.”
  • Hertfordshire – Just one week left to comment on the future of county’s libraries – Watford Observer. “Plans include axing mobile library services and implementing the ‘Inspiring Libraries’ strategy, which is based on each of Hertfordshire’s 46 libraries being placed in three distinct categories based on service demand. “
  • Hertfordshire – Library in Sawbridgeworth could be relocated – Herts and Essex Observer. “Members of a book club who meet at Sawbridgeworth Library are rallying support against Herts County Council’s plans for the facility – which could involve relocation. The authority has produced a 10-year plan for its libraries, with each having been assessed on accessibility, condition, size and other criteria. Sawbridgeworth’s was deemed one of the worst.”
  • Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire libraries: Greenwich Leisure Ltd’s expression of interest does make the grade – Lincolnshire Echo. “The Executive Member for Libraries, Councillor Nick Worth has now formally accepted GLL’s expression as having met the criteria. He said: “GLL’s expression of interest meets the criteria for a valid challenge, so the council is now required to carry out a procurement exercise. “Services are likely to be put out to tender, which could result in libraries being outsourced.  “The next step is for the executive to decide what shape future library services should take, which we expect to happen in February.” see also Bright future on the horizon for Lincolnshire libraries – East Lindsey Target.
  • Newcastle – Frontline services will be protected thanks to a £8.8m grant from Government  Chronicle. “The projects range from transforming the way infants and families are helped to overcome poor mental health and parental substance misuse in Newcastle to transferring the ownership and management of some council-run assets – such as community centres and libraries – to local organisations where there is community interest in Durham.”
  • Newport – Concerns over Newport council budget plans – South Wales Argus. Opposition leader says “I’m not really in support of the Central Library being closed. First of all they closed the library in my ward [Allt-yr-yn] and they told us that the Central Library was nearby and residents could use that. “Also we have this building right in the centre of the development that could be standing empty. They’re better off getting somebody to invest in it, they’re missing an opportunity there.””
  • Northeast Lincolnshire – Austin Mitchell: We should decide, not council crusher Pickles – Grimsby Telegraph. “it’s still reduced services which diminish the quality of our lives, increased the risk of fraud and poisoned food, and hurt the lives of young kids who need local libraries and youth facilities. I don’t like it. Neither do most of the electors. But what can councils do when the government holds a pistol to their heads?”
  • North Yorkshire – Council urged to think again on Kirkbymoorside library plan – Gazette and Herald. “Libraries in Helmsley, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside are each likely to become community-run, while Malton will retain its present status, and moves are already underway, being led by County Councillor Elizabeth Shields, to save Norton’s library. Coun Dowie said: “We have 20 volunteers in Kirkbymoorside, but we will find it very difficult to recruit more.” [20 sounds a lot but the ratio I normally work on is 10 volunteers replace 1 full time equivalent library worker – Ed.]
  • North Yorkshire – Stokesley residents have ‘no confidence’ in plan for volunteers to run town’s library – Gazette Live. “A plan for volunteers to run Stokesley library has been rejected by local people. North Yorkshire County Council want community volunteers to run and fund the running of Stokesley Libraryin a similar way to Great Ayton Library – in an attempt to save cash. More than 50 of the market town’s residents met to discuss their action plan to oppose the council’s vision for the future of the library. The council says the proposals are being put forward as a way “to help keep as many libraries as possible open”. But the news has been met with much concern and, as a result, residents held a public meeting at Stokesley Town Hall to discuss the next step.” … “There is no confidence from the majority of people I have spoken to in being able to run the library completely by volunteers.”
  • North Yorkshire – Have your say on Starbeck Library’s future – Wetherby News. “At Starbeck there would be a total reliance on volunteers, and if they do not step forward it could be forced to close. The story is similar in Pateley Bridge and Boroughbridge, where it is hoped that ‘community-managed’ libraries would be successful as in Bilton.”
  • Nottinghamshire – Photocopying costs at Nottinghamshire libraries could double – Nottingham Post. “A3 photocopies will now cost 40p – up from 20p – while A4 copies will rise from 10p to 20p. In new proposals put before Nottinghamshire County Council’s culture committee today, the cost to hire libraries’ gallery space has been reduced.”
  • Pembrokeshire – Town Council wants no cuts in library service – Tenby Today. “Tenby councillors have reaffirmed their stance that they don’t want to see any cuts made to services at the town’s library. ” … ” I don’t believe it’s an option that the town council should pick up any cost for this at all, as the people of the town will end up paying twice for the same level of service added to the precept for the town. “
  • Poole – Reprieve for Poole’s threatened mobile library after decision deferred until 2015 – Bournemouth Echo. “Officers put forward £200,000 worth of savings which included replacing the ageing mobile library vehicle, however it was decided more time was needed for alternative providers to plan how they would establish and run community libraries. The mobile library is used by 191 residents in areas where there are no branch libraries and 154 living in sheltered housing and residential homes, costing £50,000 a year to run.”
  • Powys – Library opening hours slashed by council – News North Wales. “OPENING times of Montgomeryshire’s libraries are set to be slashed by 20 per cent as part of spending cuts. Powys County Council’s Cabinet agreed in October to cut library costs by £350,000 in the next financial year as part of moves to reduce overall council spending.”
  • Somerset – ‘Cheddar library needs your help’ – Cheddar Valley Gazette. “”Three years ago, the council threatened to close the library. So we decided to make a change and use the library as much as possible.” The library now plays host to meetings for the University of the Third Age and nearly 20 different groups. “I don’t see how they can reach the target of savings they have. This is why we, as a group, are really concerned that the council will slowly try to close down small libraries using stealth.”
  • Sunderland – Decent library service lacking – Sunderland Echo. “I have mentioned the overly restrictive opening hours that are in place at a number of branch libraries throughout the city, and one consequence of this is that it is quite clear that what staff are manning the desk when the libraries open (often not many at all), are pretty flustered and struggle to cope with the sudden rush of people coming through the doors. “
  • Vale of Glamorgan – More suggestions on how to respond to the library consultation – Save Rhoose Library Campaign. An active library campaign group.
  • Vale of Glamorgan – MP meets with Rhoose library campaigners – Barry and District News. ” Alun Cairns has met with concerned local residents in Rhoose to discuss possible changes to library services in the town. The local action group met with the Vale MP and Councillor Jeff James at the library before the public consultation closes at the end of December.”