• ACE’s library survey open to all except those with no internet access – Alan Gibbons.  ACE spokesman admits “The online element, which opens this week, will reflect the questions that are being considered in the workshops about the purpose and values underpinning a public library service. This online debate is open to everyone but I agree will not be accessible for those who do not use the internet.”


“I am going to copy this to the London Library, and ask if it will propagate it among its membership, as a matter of national importance. It is not clear that every public library is going to catch its clientele to express a view. Why not get every public library to shove up a dirty great notice at the entrance, pleading with all library users to register? And why not offer a librarian’s help for those who are still strangers to the internet? Quite a few retired people depend on public libraries but have no idea how to handle a computer.” Email received

  • Aga-saga doyenne ponders how to put ebooks in public libraries – Register.  “E-lending is a great idea in theory, but no one seems sure in which format or formats the books should be made available or how the authors or publishers should be paid. As Google’s adventures have proved, both authors and publishers are concerned that the ebook revolution could rob them of their hard-earned dues.”
  • How private services became public – Governing (USA).  “Libraries merit a book unto themselves, no pun intended. Rich folks were proud of their private libraries. (Congress set up the Library of Congress by buying Thomas Jefferson’s private library.) In fact, private lending libraries, where one paid a fee or a subscription, were the norm. Public libraries were few and far between. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie moved the ball along with his widespread donations. Today, we accept that public libraries are a good thing: a place where books, paid for by the public, are available to all, for free. Sounds like socialism, doesn’t it? It’s an example of how once something is accepted, the labels don’t matter anymore.”
  • Just so handy: the impact of smartphones on public access usage in libraries – Techsoup for Libraries.  “I’ve seen a lot of analysis of how e-books will impact usage of print materials in libraries. Will smartphones impact public access computing in a similar way? Is that role for public libraries going to dramatically decrease as more and more people have smartphones? I’ve seen a lot of work and discussion about providing library resources for smartphones, but what I’m curious about is the impact on public access computing in libraries.”
  • LSE saves Women’s Library from closure– Guardian.  “The London School of Economics and Political Science has successfully bid for custodianship of the collection, whose future was under review after the London Metropolitan University announced it could no longer maintain it. But campaigners signalled disappointment that the collection, which comprises books, magazines, pamphlets, posters, suffragette banners and other artefacts charting women’s issues over four centuries, will be forced to move from its purpose-built building in Aldgate, east London.”
  • Metamorphosis of the public library and librarian – Future Libraries. “Over hundreds of years libraries and librarians have had the uncanny ability to diversify and change to meet customers expectations and needs and to adapt and embrace new technologies. Once we managed clay tablets then chained books we moved on fast to ladies only reading rooms, card catalogues and complex classification schemes. Now our libraries have bright modern interiors, cafes and are alive with technology, ICT classes, children’s rhyme times and youth zones.”

Santa Clarita Public Libraries have new laptop dispensers

  • Statement on the ebook lending review – Voices for the Library.  Welcomes e-lending review.  “The review is an opportunity to put the case for public libraries offering ebooks to their users free of charge.  We must ensure that the Publishers Association’s scare-mongering doesn’t drown out reason and common sense.  Now is the time for a grown-up, reasoned discussion about where ebooks fit in the public library service.  We hope that the Publishers Association will engage constructively and sensibly in the debate.  Both their industry and public libraries will be relying on it.”


Local News

  • Brent – Hundreds of thousands stop using library service – Harrow Observer.  Visits “dropped by more than 130,000 since six branches were closed in October last year.” … “Even though there has been a slow historic decline in the public’s use of the service, the drop after the authority shut half its branches is notably steeper – from 701,122 between April and August 2011 to 565,179 for the same period this year.”

“It was always 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. “By 2014/15, we expect Brent’s transformed six libraries to have had more visits and be lending more books than they did under the old service.”

  • East Riding of Yorkshire – Council’s libraries strategy adopted – Bridlington Free Press.  “The council says it has avoided having to close libraries and reduce staffing numbers and opening hours in order to meet budget reductions due to “prudent financial management and finding innovative and value for money ways of working”. … “Over the past few years, the council refurbished a number of libraries across the East Riding with both of Bridlington’s main libraries benefitting from refurbishment – with Bridlington North having a self-service facility installed and a layout change to improve the venue. “
  • Hillingdon – Boris opens new South Ruislip library– Hillingdon and Uxbridge Times. “The open play library has more than 2,000 books, seven PCs and four Apple Mac computers. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop, a florist and free wi-fi. Council leader Ray Puddifoot said: “This is the latest of our new libraries and is a fantastic facility for South Ruislip residents. “We believe we are the only local authority in the country either rebuilding or refurbishing every one of our libraries.” The library is open from 9.30am-9pm Monday-Thursday, 9.30am-5.30 Fridays and 9.30am-4pm on Saturdays.”
  • Kent – Residents told their library will not be shut– This is Kent.  “”Kent County Council needs to run the services with less money. There will be no library closures as part of the programme.” She added that discussions were taking place locally to find out people’s views. Ideas being looked at included sharing buildings with other services or organisations.”
  • Norfolk – New service at Norwich’s Mile Cross library helps blind people find right book – Norwich Evening News 24. “Details of about 300 audio books at Norwich’s Mile Cross Library have been recorded by volunteers so they can be scanned by a hand-held gadget called a Pen Friend which then reads back the title, author and story synopsis to people with poor sight. “
  • Northamptonshire – Eleventh hour u-turn on Wootton Library move – Northampton Chronicle.  “Parish councillors in Wootton and East Hunsbury look set to perform a dramatic eleventh hour U-turn on plans to move a temporary library facility outside the area’s community centre. Earlier this year, a high profile campaign to keep Wootton Library in its current home at Caroline Chisholm School came to an end when county councillors agreed to move it as part of a plan to save £1 million over the next 17 years. For the past eight years, the public library for Wootton has combined with the school library at Caroline Chisholm School as part of a PFI scheme for the school. Together the libraries are jointly known as Wootton Fields Library.”
  • Surrey – Councillors oppose Leatherhead HelpShop move – Get Surrey.  “The High Street centre provides a point of contact with Mole Valley District Council for those who cannot travel to Dorking. But it could now be shut down and its services moved to Leatherhead Library, a suggestion strongly opposed by councillors in Leatherhead, including members of the ruling Conservative party.”
  • Byfleet branch unveiled as first community library – Get Surrey.  “The first of the county’s 10 libraries to become officially community-led held a party to mark the occasion at the Byfleet branch on Saturday (September 22). There was music, eating and dancing, with special guest Woking MP Jonathan Lord also dropping in. Visitors were given an insight into how the library will be run from now on, with changes including extended opening hours, to five days a week, including Sundays.”