News

We’re interested in taking over your libraries, says American operators
07/02/2011 American commercial library operators have revealed they are interested in taking over library services, as protests in Somerset continued about proposed closures. News of American interest in local authority-owned libraries came as a hooded “book snatcher” highlighted one community’s fears over proposed cuts to library services A roar of protest erupted at Milborne Port library, near Yeovil, as families tried to fight the figure who stole books from the young. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk.

‘Why our library must survive’
05/02/2011 Library lovers up and down the UK have gathered at their local branches to campaign against a series of planned closures. More from the BBC.

Somerset library campaign a YouTube hit and set for ‘guerrilla-style’ screening
04/02/2011 The fight by the people of Somerset to save their libraries has become an unlikely hit on the video sharing website YouTube.
And the makers of We Love Libraries will be holding a “guerrilla-style” screening on the fascade of a famous building in London later today.
We Love Libraries featuring residents of Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury, including Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis, has become popular viewing on YouTube since it was launched earlier this week. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk.

Councils chiefs backing for £170m in savings
04/02/2011 Senior politicians at two of the West’s biggest councils have recommended more cuts in a bid to save tens of millions of pounds from their budgets. In Somerset, where councillors have proposed £63 million of savings and up to 1,500 job cuts, there were protests about cuts to social care and libraries budgets. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk/.

Overnight protest held at library
04/02/2011 Protesters occupied a library overnight after a national day of action over threatened closures.
A group of about 40 people from the Save New Cross Library Campaign opted to continue their earlier “read-in” until noon today. More from www.independent.co.uk

Children who use the library are twice as likely to be above average readers
04/02/2011 Research published by the National Literacy Trust on Save Our Libraries Day (5 February 2011) confirms the link between children and young people using public libraries and good reading skills.
As communities across the country campaign to save their local libraries from widespread cuts, this new study of 17,089 pupils aged 8 to 16 finds that young people who use their public library are nearly twice as likely to be above average readers than peers who don’t visit their library (18% compared with 9.5%). For more on this article please visit the National Literacy Trust.

Boyd Tonkin: The struggle on the shelves
28/01/2011 If a country wished to commit collective suicide, how would it set about the task? First, given its slender natural resources and absolute dependence on high levels of knowledge and skill, restrict access to advanced education to an already-favoured elite. Deepen entrenched class divisions by choking off entry into the professional strata via the cost of study. For full article visit /www.independent.co.uk.

Library campaigners plan court action over closures
28/01/2011 Campaign groups are drawing up plans to take the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and his minister Ed Vaizey to court over the closure of more than 400 public libraries. Steve Ross, a former solicitor from Somerset, said campaigners would be applying for a judicial review. “The action will be taken in the name of children from around the country,” Ross said. For full article visit www.guardian.co.uk.

Village library saved from closure
28/01/2011 Campaigners are celebrating following Somerset County Council’s announcement this week that the Cheddar service is among nine libraries that may no longer face the axe. More from www.thewestonmercury.co.uk.

ILMINSTER: Ray of hope for Ilminster Library
28/01/2011 AS ILMINSTER was poised to do serious battle to save its library from closure, it seemed there may have been a reprieve, although the petition is still running and the signs are staying up for now. Somerset County Council announced on Tuesday that they have a new proposal to put before their committee next month, which means that nine libraries previously marked for closure could now be saved, including Ilminster and Martock. More from www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/

Mass Book-out staged in Wiveliscombe
28/01/2011 Protesters say they’ll continue to put pressure on Somerset County Council to keep all its libraries open. This week the authority unveiled new proposals. See our blog post and also ITV Westcountry Tonight.

Losing libraries in Somerset & Gloucestershire
26/01/2011 What is it about libraries? I don’t just mean why are they taking such a hammering as councils slash their spending. But how come they stir up much more protest than other, bigger cuts? Dozens are threatened with closure across the West. Somerset County Council went furthest, at first announcing 20 would lose their funding. Read more on Paul Barltrop’s (BBC Westcountry’s political editor) blog.

Library closure threats spark campaigns across England
26/01/2011 Joseph Reynolds and his 13-year-old daughter Eve love to read.
The marine engineer pops over the road to his library in the small town of Wiveliscombe, Somerset, about three times a week. More from BBC England

List of Somerset libraries saved from closure
25/01/2011 SOMERSET County Council has unveiled a list of libraries which could be spared the axe as part of is sweeping spending cuts. More details from www.chardandilminsternews.co.uk/

Somerset County Council U-turn will save libraries
25/01/2011 Somerset County Council has made a major U-turn in the face of huge public opposition to proposals to close libraries.
Nearly half of the 20 libraries threatened with closure in Somerset could now be saved, a new report to councilors published today reveals.
And a year’s grace has been given to a further five threatened libraries to help communities gear up to take them over. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk

Libraries Latest – press release from Somerset County Council
25/01/2011 Nearly half of the 20 libraries threatened with closure in Somerset could now be saved, it can be revealed. And a year’s grace has been proposed for a further five threatened libraries to help communities gear up to take them over.
Of Somerset County Council’s 34 libraries, that means just six could be at risk of closure in the current year – as opposed to the 20 that was first feared. More from Somerset County Council

Ilminster Town Council backed calls to save library
25/01/2011 ILMINSTER Town Council backed calls from a number of members of the community to save their library before last night’s announcement. The town council unanimously agreed to support the community in the effort to keep Ilminster Library open. More from /www.chardandilminsternews.co.uk/.

New plans ‘could save Somerset libraries’ from closure
24/01/2011 Campaigners against the closure of a Somerset library are celebrating after the county council told them it was looking at new plans to keep it.
Residents in Wiveliscombe had been due to stage a protest on Saturday against their library closing, but instead they were celebrating. More from BBC Somerset.

Library protesters declare day of action
24/01/2011 A ‘carnival of resistance’ to threatened closures planned at more than 40 libraries on 5 February 2011, with over forty library “read-ins” scheduled in a coordinated protest over the threatened closures. More from www.guardian.co.uk.

Library fightback is under way
21/01/2011 THE fight is on to save Wiveliscombe library – one of 20 across Somerset set for closure. On Monday the Friends of Wiveliscombe Library set up communications and campaigning sub-groups to increase the pressure on the county council.
A spokesman for the group said: “We are writing to councillors and officers asking them to put back any decisions about the future of our libraries until proper discussions have taken place and solutions found. More from www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/

Protest film being made over cuts to library services
19/01/2011 Celebrities including Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis are making a campaign film against the closure of libraries. More from BBC Somerset

Call to save Dulverton from service cuts
19/01/2011 PEOPLE in Dulverton are rallying together against spending cuts.
The town’s library, recycling centre and youth club are all under threat from Somerset County Council cuts. More from www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk

Mass book-outs staged in Somerset
18/01/2011 The mass book-out idea, staged in Buckinghamshire recently has sparked plans for mass book-outs here in Somerset. In both Shepton and Wiveliscombe. Shepton are aiming to achieve this by the 22nd January and by the 28th in Wiveliscombe. If you’re near either of these libraries, please help by borrowing your full entitlement of books. There is a Facebook event for the Wiveliscombe book-out here. If anyone has more details regarding Shepton please leave a message.

Library campaigns on the rise, Vaizey is dubbed ‘Evaisive”
17/01/2011 A countrywide web of protest about library cuts continued this weekend, as a day of action was planned for 5th February. The tag #savelibraries was one of the top trending topics on Twitter over the weekend, as campaigners mobilised and the press soaked it up. More from TheBookseller.Com.

Michael Eavis speaks out for library campaign
17/01/2011 Glastonbury festival organiser Michael Eavis is set to star in a Save Our Libraries campaign film, shot by the ever-active library supporters of Somerset. More from www.guardian.co.uk

Overdue! The fight to save our libraries begins
16/01/2011 Britain’s public libraries, for generations a source of enjoyment and education to millions of children and adults, will become the focus of bitter political battles and legal action this month as users fight to prevent mass closures. More from www.independent.co.uk.

Library emptied in bid to fight closure
15/01/2011 A town has emptied its library in a bid to fight plans to close it down.
People in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, have spent the week withdrawing their maximum allowance of books in protest against council plans to close it as part of budget cuts. More from www.independent.co.uk/.

Library emptied in closure fight
15/01/2011 A town has emptied its library in a bid to fight plans to close it down. People in Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, have spent the week withdrawing their maximum allowance of books in protest against council plans to close it as part of budget cuts. And they said the plan had been a success, with all 16,000 books withdrawn from the library. More from aol news.

Councillors hoping for public support to save library
14/01/2011 Highbridge councillors have sent out an SOS to town residents, urging them to show their support for their under-threat library, or see it disappear. Hundreds of people have signed a petition urging Somerset County Council to keep the library open, after the announcement that it was one of 20 which are due to lose all funding as Somerset County Council looks to cut £75million. More from The Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury

Protest over library closure plans
14/01/2011 Angry Cheddar residents have been protesting over county council plans to close the village library. They met outside the Union Street facility on Saturday to campaign against proposals to withdraw the funding from 20 libraries as Somerset County Council attempts to slash 25 per cent off its library service budget. More from The Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury

Libraries face cuts – ITV West Country Tonight
14/01/2011 The library service in Somerset is facing some serious cut backs, with a large number having their funding withdrawn. Public meetings are being held across the county as people fight to keep theirs open – there’s one this evening in Shepton Mallet. In all, twenty libraries are under threat and the County Council says if the smaller ones aren’t taken over and run by the community, they will close. To watch this please visit http://www.itv.com/westcountry-west/libraries-face-cuts01409/

Trade backs call for library inquiry
14/01/2011 With widespread protests up and down the country over the scale of threatened library closures, campaigners in Somerset are calling for a national public inquiry into the service—and receiving support from the trade.
Individual library campaign groups, including those in Gloucestershire, Lewisham and Dorset, are considering legal measures to oppose cuts in their areas, with the option to call for intervention from the Secretary of State—who has a duty to superintend the service under the 1964 Public Libraries Act—if proposed closures are confirmed. More from TheBookseller.Com.

Library campaigners demand public inquiry into closures
13/01/2011 Somerset library campaigners are leading a call for a national public inquiry into the threatened closures of hundreds of libraries across the country. And, if the government won’t order one urgently, they say they are ready to set it up themselves. Campaigner Steve Ross said he was asking prime minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg to offer leadership over the severe threats the public library service is facing. “I’m calling on them to consider urgently the likely detrimental impact that the conduct of flawed and rushed local processes will have on our communities and culture and to establish an independent inquiry, with proposed library closures suspended pending the outcome,” he said. More from www.guardian.co.uk

Campaigners urge government to stand up for libraries
13/01/2011 Somerset library campaigner Steve Ross and children’s writer Michael Morpurgo called on the government to “stand up” for libraries on Radio 4’s “You and Yours” as part of the show’s debate into library closures. But culture minister Ed Vaizey, who in opposition was vocal in his support for libraries, did not appear on the show despite being asked. A spokeswoman for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport confirmed that Vaizey had been approached, but said he “wasn’t available”. More from TheBookseller.Com.

Fight for West Somerset libraries
13/01/2011 Fierce opposition has been mounted by people in West Somerset against the proposed cut backs to library services in the area. The consultation period for people to give their views is tomorrow (Friday). Councillors in Williton are against the proposed move of the village’s library from its purpose built home in Killick Way. More from www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk

Families may mount legal challenge over library cuts
12/01/2011 Parents and children are considering mounting a legal challenge over plans to hand 20 Somerset libraries to volunteers or close them down. The families believe the county council may be failing in its statutory duty to provide a comprehensive library service and plan to notify the authority of their possible legal challenge this week. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk.

Call for national inquiry into library service
11/01/2011 A Somerset library campaigner is proposing a national public inquiry in response to the widespread closures threatening the library service. Steve Ross said it seemed “sensible and cost effective” to focus nationally on the issue, as well as on specific local situations. Many local campaign groups, including Gloucestershire, Lewisham and Dorset, and Somerset itself are considering legal measures to oppose the cuts. More from TheBookseller.Com.

Council considers £15,000 plan to save Highbridge library
11/01/2011 Town councillors have this week considered a proposal to spend £15,000 on securing the future of Highbridge Library.”The library is an important service for Highbridge and the town council should consider allocating this money, providing there is support from the community to run it,” he said. However, the proposal was not supported from fellow councillors despite widespread concern about the future of the Market Street building. More from Burnham-On-Sea.com

Big protest over plans to close Wivey library
10/01/2011 Protestors have called on Somerset County Council to review their plans to close Wiveliscombe’s recently-opened and refurbished library. Over 220 people squeezed into the Community Rooms last Friday for a meeting called by the town’s civic society over the library services review. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk.

10/01/2011 Further legal challenges to library closures planned
Legal challenges to library service cuts are being considered by campaigners in Doncaster, Oxfordshire and Lewisham.
The developments echo those in Somerset, where campaigners have sent a pre-judicial review letter to the council on behalf of parents and children whose libraries are threatened with closure, calling on the council to rethink its library proposals. More from TheBookseller.Com.

10/01/2011 Library campaigners in Somerset threaten legal action
A group of library campaigners in Somerset has threatened the local County Council with legal action over its decision to cut library services. The concerned locals have demanded clarification from the council into whether its actions place it in “breach of their statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service” and have called for the consultation into library closures to be suspended. “If a satisfactorary reply is not forthcoming from the council legal action will start,” the residents said. More from TheBookseller.Com.

10/01/2011 Council rethink on mobile library closures in Somerset
Plans to reduce mobile libraries in Somerset may be reconsidered after more than 150 people from one town turned up at a protest meeting. Residents in Wiveliscombe invited the council to discuss the issue after not being included in a “closure roadshow”. More from the BBC.

09/01/2011 Petition calls for re-think on Highbridge Library closure plans
Hundreds of residents who are concerned at the County Council’s plans to shut 20 libraries across Somerset – including Highbridge’s – have signed a petition calling for a re-think about the controversial plans. More from Burnham-On-Sea.com

08/01/2011 Ilminster residents urged to act now if they want to save library
PEOPLE in Ilminster are being urged to have their say on the future of the town’s library. There is a petition to save the library, which has attracted pages full of signatures so far. Now the town council wants people to contact them with their views via e-mail or to attend this Tuesday’s full town council meeting. more from www.thisissomerset.co.uk

07/01/2011 Don’t move our library, says Williton
LIBRARY chiefs will have a fight on their hands if a move to relocate the Williton facility from its purpose-built village centre base goes ahead. Williton and Minehead are the only libraries in West Somerset which will remain funded under swingeing cuts announced by Somerset County Council shortly before Christmas. More from West Somerset Free Press

07/01/2011 Libraries seen as easy touch when it comes to balancing the books
Up to 800 – a fifth of the total – could close as local authorities look for savings. More from Guardian.co.uk

07/01/2011 Campaign launched to save library
SUPPORTERS of Cheddar Library have launched a campaign to prevent the ‘much-needed’ facility from becoming a victim of county council funding cuts. Around 100 residents and library users attended a packed meeting on Monday to discuss Somerset County Council’s proposals to end the funding of the village service. More from The Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury

05/01/2011 Angry residents urge council: Don’t shut Highbridge Library
Dozens of residents attended a special public consultation event in Burnham-On-Sea on Tuesday (January 4th) to air their views about controversial council plans to withdraw funding for Highbridge Library. More from Burnham-On-Sea.com.

05/01/2011 Council’s ‘pathetic excuses’ for Highbridge library closure attacked
A senior Highbridge councillor has this week attacked Somerset County Council for considering closing the town’s library, claiming it is breaking government guidance and making up ‘pathetic excuses’. More from Burnham-On-Sea.com.

05/01/2011 Petition power may be the key to library woes
The fight to save dozens of threatened libraries across the West has stepped up with book-lovers across the region rallying for their rescue. Any petition with more than 5,000 signatures forces councillors into a public debate over a matter. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk.

23/12/2010 Scandalous plan to butcher library service
On December 16, Somerset residents received an early Christmas present from Somerset County Council: a consultation document proposing to dismantle two-thirds of the county’s library service.

Twenty of the county’s 34 libraries will have their funding withdrawn, and unless they are taken over by the community, they will close. Under this proposal, the libraries at Cheddar, Glastonbury, Ilminster, Martock, Shepton Mallet and Somerton, along with those at Bishop’s Lydeard, Bruton, Castle Cary, Dulverton, Highbridge, Milborne Port, Nether Stowey, North and South Petherton, Porlock, Priorswood, Sunningdale, Watchet and Wiveliscombe are effectively doomed. More from www.thisissomerset.co.uk.

15/12/2010 Pickles says cut back office functions before libraries
Local Government secretary Eric Pickles has insisted councils should be able to cope with the budget cuts without damaging essential services, and has said that back office functions should be cut ahead of libraries…more from the BookSeller.com.

One Response to News

  1. Pingback: Anti-depressant reading from the Somerset campaign | Save Our Libraries on the Isle of Wight

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