May 25, 2022

UK: Public Libraries: "Library Ruling Could Speed Closures"

UPDATE: CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professional) Response to the Brent Libraries Judicial Review
and Full Text of Court Judgement (PDF)

From The Telegraph:

Residents of Brent, backed by some of Britain’s biggest authors, sought a judicial review after their local council announced plans to shut half of the borough’s 12 public libraries in April.

John Halford, the solicitor at Bindmans who acted for the Brent Libraries SOS campaign, said that the judgment has ‘very troubling implications’ for library closure decisions nationally

Locals argued that the decision to close the libraries was flawed. However in what was being viewed as a test case for closures across the UK, Mr Justice Ouseley ruled that Brent Council’s decision was lawful.


In his ruling, Mr Justice Ouseley said that there is no legal requirement that all residents of an urban area should have access to a library within a certain distance of their homes. He said that the Government’s Public Library Service Standards, which contained non-binding guidance about how many libraries urban areas should have, were withdrawn in 2008.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: “Alan Bennett and Nick Cave lose fight to save London libraries” (via The Telegraph)

See Also: “Why the time might be up for local libraries” (via The Telegraph)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.