News

  • Consortia Conference 2012 – Event taking place on 3rd May in Bath.  Looks at one of the ways that authorities are trying to save money without closing libraries.
  • Libraries workshops: Envisioning the library of the future – Arts Council England.   Your chance to give your views.  ” series of workshops will take place across the country in May this year as part of Envisioning the library of the future, our programme of research and debate. The workshops will allow people to take part in a discussion that will begin to envisage what the library of the future could and should look like. At each event we will present the research into societal trends that is currently taking place as a set of possible scenarios and explore the implications of these scenarios for the delivery of library services in the future. The events will also involve open space discussions about how library services could develop. Delegates will be asked to contribute their views and take an active part in the conversation.”

Local News

  • Gloucestershire – Decision to clear councillors of wrongdoing a “whitewash” says library campaigner – Stroud News & Journal.Cllr Noble, who was at that time tasked with shaping GCC’s library strategy, said: “Wards found to be in the top ten per cent of the country’s multiple deprivation indices were assessed as one of the criterion for evaluating how future library services could be provided. “Mr Holland, a former assistant head of libraries for Gloucestershire said the statement was misleading.”The implication was that information about the needs of the poorest areas in the county was used to inform the library review. In fact, it was not,” he said.”
  • Liberal Democrats “Call-in” GCC’s library strategy – FoGL. “Cllr Hawthorne protests that the call-in is “pure party politics” (just as he did last time!). We would argue that this is deeply hypocritical as he and his colleagues in the cabinet have themselves been so blinkered by party politics that they have repeatedly failed to listen to the wishes of the electorate and have stubbornly continued to bulldoze through these overwhelmingly unpopular and inequitable cuts. This is not about party politics but about the authority’s duty to provide a statutory and important service to the electorate. No one wants to end up back in court.”.  Includes full text of Lib Dem call-in document. 
  • New challenge on library cuts – This is Gloucestershire.   “Plans to cut funding to seven  Gloucestershire libraries have been put on hold after Liberal Democrat councillors challenged the move. sThe party’s group at Shire Hall has invoked the county council’s ‘call-in’ procedure.” … “It will halt the authority’s latest libraries strategy from coming into force until its Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee has reviewed it, possibly at its meeting on May 29.”
“The cabinet has learnt nothing from this and proceeded with some changes to the original plan, but with the fundamental flaws remaining intact. “There appears to be a blatant favouritism with Tories increasing opening times at libraries in their Cotswold heartland, but cutting hours in other parts of the county.”

  • Liverpool – Letters – Liverpool Echo.  I’m afraid we just cannot afford the expense of the mayoral election and the expense of keeping the libraries open as well….I am now 73 years old and joined Lodge Lane library when I was in junior school. Years later I used Kensington library, but now have been a member of Old Swan library for the past 40 years. I’ll have to admit I never ever thought I’d live to see the day when our local libraries would start closing down.”
  • Northamptonshire – Libraries to open on Sundays – BBC.  ” “We want to make sure that libraries thrive and everyone has the chance to use them. By opening on Sundays we are giving people even more opportunity to visit, especially those who are at work at other times.” I am now 73 years old and joined Lodge Lane library when I was in junior school. Years later I used Kensington library, but now have been a member of Old Swan library for the past 40 years. I’ll have to admit I never ever thought I’d live to see the day when our local libraries would start closing down.
    • Plans to spend £165,000 on signs for Northamptonshire libraries criticised – Northampton Chronicle.  “Northamptonshire County Council has revealed plans to spend the six-figure sum on signs at the county’s 35 libraries. The council said they will be used to “keep readers informed of what is going on at the libraries” … ““We are looking for a company to supply, install and maintain electronic signs in 35 libraries for the next five years.“This is part of our work to make libraries fit for the future and will be used to keep library visitors informed with what’s happening at their local library and the wide range of services available, whether it’s a job club, free internet access on a Friday or a Rhymetime session, for example.” … comments include a request that money is spent stopping one library’s leaking roof, or  another library’s inadequate heating system.
  • North Yorkshire – New deal secures Kirkbymoorside library’s hours – Gazette & Herald.   “…as part of a partnership arrangement between the town council, North Yorkshire County Council and Ryedale District Council. The councils have agreed to pool staff from June 1 so that current library opening hours will be sustained, despite savings that have to be made.”