Please note the full transcript of the “One Show” segment on closing libraries and volunteer-run libraries is on the previous post.

News

Australian Libraries: Come Back Soon “The National Year of Reading, 
sponsored by the Australian Government”.

  • Future U: Library 3.0 has more resources, greater challenges Ars Technica (USA). “If there is one thing that all librarians worried about, it was this: the de-funding of libraries. It has happened from the university research libraries all the way down to the neighborhood libraries that set expectations students bring when going to college. Houghton traveled to Denmark last summer and visited the public library in a small, poor town. “Their library was five times bigger than mine,” she said, “It had better computer technology, better everything.” The reason for that was simple, she said. “We don’t invest in our libraries.””  
  • #Libfesto: my vision for public libraries – Information Overload.  A great post responding to a Voices for the Library request, writer produces her ideal vision while avoiding self-censoring (as so many do) to take into account cuts, especially as libraries produce more value than they consume.  Customer service is something libraries do better than almost everyone else, self-service has a place but there needs to be a human alternative, “I want my library of the future to be a lovely place that people are clamouring to visit. I want it to be in an accessible, well-located building with reasonable parking and public transport facilities nearby. I want it open all hours of the day, evening and weekend and I want it to be so comfortable, verging on the cosy even, that I don’t really want to get up and leave….”
“To sum up: It’s time we worked out where we left our bows and arrows, spears and chariots. Jerusalem’s more than half-builded here already. All we have to do in this century is finish the job rather than standing by while the dark forces pull it down stone by stone.”

  • War Horse author goes into battle for our libraries – This is Somerset (editorial).  “While it is possible to sympathise with councils finding themselves in difficult financial positions, it is hard to ever justify closure of libraries. Mr Morpurgo, whose own works have been borrowed by countless thousands of children and who has inspired a huge following as a result, is right to raise the issue. Firing a warning shot across the bows of anyone who thinks there is money to be saved by shutting the library is always worthwhile. Any short-term gain in cutting costs is far outweighed by the long-term price of lower literacy levels.”
    • Closing libraries “is like depriving oxygen”: author – This is Cornwall.  Repeats Telegraph’s article as Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon.  Despite a sweep of closure plans rolled out across the UK last year, the South West has managed to steer relatively clear from having to make wide-ranging changes to services. Both Cornwall and Devon county councils last year confirmed there would be no library closures, although some mergers with one-stop shops have taken place, while some others have seen a reduction in service opening times.”
“In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Morpurgo said: “[Children] can be entertained by watching television or screens, but they need context, they need insight into the world and their place in it. “That is what they can find in books, and in libraries. “If we close libraries, and we deprive them of books, it is as if we are shutting them off from oxygen.”

  • Everybody fights nobody quits – Question Everything.  Library campaigner wrote to CILIP Council about its volunteering policy.  John Dolan responded (full text reprinted) but “It doesn’t really answer any of my concerns sadly, I believe the stance of CILIP however well intentioned has sent the wrong signal to the ideologues running councils that they can save money by replacing paid staff with volunteers. It doesn’t make financial sense and CILIP have taken this stance without any evidence, they have just bowed to the perceived political wind. I fail to see how job substitution is a good thing for libraries, CILIP or its members. If I were a CILIP member paying £19.40 a month I be asking for my money back.”

Local News

  • Brent – 167k fewer visits in Brent – Harrow Observer.  The data from Brent SOS will also be considered by Jeremy Hunt’s Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), which is investigating whether Brent Council has breached its statutory duties.” … “A Brent Council spokesman said: “It was always initially expected that a reduction overall in usage of six libraries as against 12 would occur, as it would take time to build usage based on the new library offer. Usage and borrowing figures also need to take account of periods when libraries are closed for refurbishment.” … Council accepts over half of closed library users no longer user a library.
  • Croydon – Quizzed on hiring security guards for Bashford – Inside Croydon.  “Around 200 locals attended the meeting, where cabinet members Sara “Book Token” Bashford and Tim Pollard’s presentations received an often hostile reception over Croydon’s withdrawal from a joint arrangement with Lambeth over the running of the historic library. No one contacted by Inside Croydon who attended the meeting considered there was ever any threat to anyone’s safety. Bashford and Pollard insisted that no recording or photographs were allowed at the meeting at the request of the owners of the hall, the Salvation Army. The owners of the hall have dismissed this claim as untrue.”
  • Dudley – Libraries to host a series of Jubilee activities – Stourbridge News.    “Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley’s new cabinet member for housing, libraries and adult learning said: “I’m so pleased to see our libraries embracing the Jubilee and finding a way for children to understand and celebrate it through fun stories and crafts. I hope these sessions prove popular and help people feel part of this national celebration.”
  • West Sussex – How to be a volunteer for the Summer Reading Challenge – West Sussex County Council.   “We need volunteers to help us run the Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) in all libraries. All volunteers will get training and support for the role, plus gain experience working with children and families and skills like organisation and teamwork. To apply to become a volunteer, complete the online application form.”