Please sign the national petition in support of public libraries.

430 libraries (345 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.

News

  • AdvocacyThoughts of a wannabe librarian.  “As far as I can see, if you are committed to excellent standards of service in your library, you are an advocate (creating proxies).  If you have ‘librarian’ on your Twitter bio and have ever tweeted about libraries, librarians or related issues, you are an advocate.  If you tell your friend with an e-reader “hey, did you know you can get free ebooks at the library?”, you are an advocate.”
  • Amazon in talks to launch Digital-Book Library – Wall Street Journal.  “Amazon.com Inc. is talking with book publishers about launching a Netflix Inc.-like service for digital books, in which customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear how much traction the proposal has, the people said. Several publishing executives said they aren’t enthusiastic about the idea because they believe it could …” [rest of library behind paywall]
  • Ebooks – Local Government Library Technology.  Summary of recent and relevant articles on ebooks and public libraries.
  • Given a choice between privatized libraries and no libraries, which would you choose?Southern California Public Radio (USA).  “California librarians are cheering AB 438 for making it more difficult to privatize libraries and have been making frequent trips to Sacramento to ask for more funds. How should California deal with its libraries? Do sacrifices need to be made?”
  • Is Amazon about to move into the book rental business?Guardian.  “According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com is talking to publishers about launching an ebook lending service. What will this mean for libraries?” … “Amazon is now “talking with book publishers about launching a Netflix Inc.-like service for digital books, in which customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content…Assuming Amazon can inveigle publishers into buying into the service (by no means a given), I can’t see how it won’t sound the final knell for bricks-and-mortar libraries – even academic ones.”
“Libraries are in trouble, but any fool can see it has nothing to do with ebooks, although perhaps you could send a link to this article to the government, as it would provide them with a convenient excuse.” Comment on article above.

“From a business standpoint, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to put libraries out of business. They’re community based and focused, so “attacking” them would cause an outcry and not do Amazon’s image any good.” Comment on article above

“My concern is that, given that libraries are struggling to survive anyway, if – if! – such a move came in, it could very easily act as the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Response from article writer.
  • Mysterious paper sculptures – Central Station.   Lists and shows all of the wonderful artworks that have mysteriously appeared in Scotland in defence of libraries and of books.  Worth looking at for the tremendous talent shown alone.

Changes

Liverpool – 29% (£2m) cut in libraries budget.  
Northamptonshire – Group: Save St James Library.   
Wakefield – 27 FTE posts may go.  

West Sussex 15% cut in libraries budget.  Opening hours and/or staff may be cut

Local News

  • Brent – An evening with Jacqueline Wilson – Save Kensal Rise Library.  “Jacqueline Wilson, well loved author and former Children’s Laureate, comes to Kensal Green. Jacqueline will be reading from her work, answering questions and signing a limited number of books. Tickets for this event will be on sale from Wednesday 14th September at L’Angolo’s Deli on College Road, Queens Park books and selected local schools at a cost of £10, concessions £5.”
    • Preston Bibliotheque Campaign – Save Preston Libraries.   “Who said we’re running out of steam? After just a few months, Brent SOS Libraries has raised £22,000 – and counting. With special London tours, an exclusive film screening, and karaoke to come, there are plenty more ways to help.”
    • Queens Park Community School students: “Kensal Rise Library has brought everyone closer in our community” – Save Kensal Rise Library.   Article by local school students “We think that not only is it a place for studying, reading and researching, but that a library is somewhere for people to socialise and organise family events for children and adults. Although our generation is developing in the era of modern technology, it would be a shame to lose a comforting historic building and our local source of good old books – and new ones too!”
    • “The library that will not die”Politiken.DK (Denmark, Google Translation).  “”Many children come here to read their homework because there is too much noise at home. This is a safe place for them to be. Where will they go if the library closes? “He asks.”
  • Hampshire – New library charges introduced from 19 September – About My Area.   Charges introduced for children’s late fees, children’s reservations (10p), interlibrary renewals (£2.50), reading groups (£15), elderly people’s homes (£200 p.a.), DVD Club membership (2 DVDs at any one time £45 per year).  Music Club membership (2 CDs at any one time, £15).  
  • Liverpool – Library consultation results Childwall libraries and will soon be opening a new library on West Derby Road, replacing costly, older buildings.  However, we are facing huge financial challenges and difficult decisions need to be made, and we can’t make those decisions without hearing from those who will be directly affected.”