I got a comment on Public Libraries News yesterday that reminded me of something really important:

“Where is the information about National Library Day ? Bristol still has 25 branch libraries and we need to be inspired to celebrate.” Julie Boston

Leaving aside that worrying use of the word “still”, quite right Julie.  The main site for National Libraries Day is, of course, www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk but I’m very happy to celebrate it here.  We should all be happy to celebrate it, especially as there’s a notable upsurge in mentions of National Libraries Day in the local press and even abroad.  Even some sites in the USA are writing things in its honour.  Most are council-organised events, showing an amazing variety (see below) and there are also campaigners linking protests against the cuts to the day.  The hashtag #NLD13 is doing well on Twitter (as is to a lesser extent #lovelibraries) and there is even a National Libraries Day song.  Meanwhile over at Voices for the Library, a librarian a day are talking about their jobs as part of a Twitter Takeover.  No mention of the Day can of course now be without mention of the Midlothian events either.    I include just today’s mentions below to give you an idea of what is going on.

So go out and celebrate the wonderful things that libraries are, no matter where you are in the UK and no matter who you are.  After all, libraries are for everyone everywhere and should be celebrated as such.

National Libraries Day

  • An ode to Horsham Library – Unlikely Bookworm. “Given the close proximity of National Libraries Day – which takes place this Saturday, 9th February – I wanted to write a blog post on what libraries mean to me.” … “I remember moving from the children’s section to the young adult’s; I remember the glee as I was told that I could borrow seven rather than three books at a time, most of all I remember the love of reading that Horsham Library instilled in me as a young girl.”

chris addison

Comedian Chris Addison tweets about National Libraries Day

  • North Somerset – Celebrate your library – Times series. “Competitions, children’s story times and free reservations are just some of the offers which will be available to visitors on the day. If you visit your library on the day you can reserve up to three items free of charge and if you borrow at least three items you will be entered into a free prize draw with the chance to win a Kobo eBook reader and new DVD titles.”
  • Suffolk – National Libraries Day celebrated across Suffolk – One Suffolk. “All the events taking place across Suffolk on Saturday are free and anyone is welcome to go along.”
  1. Bungay Library – Local gardening expert Bob Flowerdew, a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time will be giving a talk at 5.30pm about getting more from your garden for less effort.
  2. Ipswich County Library – a big montage will be on display all day with lots of pictures of all the many and varied events and activities which have been held at the library.
  3. Southwold Library – Children will have the chance to add to the Southwold Library Collage, make their own tiny book or pick up some library colouring.
  4. Gainsborough Community Library in Ipswich – The library are holding a day of activities from 10am to 5pm, including a book sale, a cake sale, storytellers and crafts. The Bookstart bear will be at the library from 1pm and we have dressing up clothes available for under 5’s.
  5. Rosehill Library – are holding a tombola, book sale, stories and crafts, and the Bookstart bear will be visiting from 10am to 12noon.
  6. Haverhill Library – There will be a Children’s Craft Morning from 10am to 12noon with a chance to make thumb print, love heart bookmarks.
  7. Woodbridge Library – There will be coffee and cakes from 10am to 1pm and an opportunity to find out about supporting the library and forming a Friends of Woodbridge Library Group.
  8. Debenham Library – Quiz and Cakes at Debenham Library and Resource Centre from 9am to 1pm.
  9. Lowestoft Library – Children’s storytelling sessions at 11am and 2pm.
  10. Needham Market Library – From 10am children can come in and collect a handmade story book about Annie Mouse which they can add the pictures to themselves by drawing and colouring in. For adults there will be a word search and there will also be a book display on the ‘Classics’.
  11. Chantry Library in Ipswich – Drop in for an internet taster session and the opportunity to try an online quiz on Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm or on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
  12. Hadleigh Library – There will be a children’s treasure hunt and a sale of fiction books for 10p each. Visitors can buy a cake from The Scrumptious Sisters Cake Stall and local Babergh District Councillor Brian Riley will be holding a surgery from 11am to 12noon. Other activities taking place in the library include making bookmarks and a vote on your favourite book.
  • Swindon – Meet a hawk at Swindon library open day  – Swindon Advertiser. “Treasure hunts, an acoustic music session and a chance to meet a hawk are among the activities at Swindon’s libraries … all new library members will be entered into a draw to win a family ticket to see Jane Eyre at the Arts Centre on February 18.
  1. The Central Library will welcome people with a glass of mulled wine and guided tours of the library will take place for new members. Phil Voller, of Wings over Wiltshire falconry centre, will bring in one of his hawks, following children’s story time at 11.30am. A display about the history of Swindon’s libraries will be available, courtesy of the library’s Local Studies staff.
  2. Covingham library will ask children and adults to share why they love libraries, so staff can create a display of favourite books.
  3. Highworth Library will launch a competition to design a book cover, which will run all month, with a prize donated by the Friends of Highworth Library.
  4. Anyone joining Liden Library in February will be entered into a prize draw, with adult winners treated to a meal for two at the Liden Arms and children getting craft materials.
  5. North Swindon Library will let people share their love of the library by creating a heart-themed display. Anyone interested in being a friend of the library should visit on the day.
  • York – UNISON campaigning for our Library and Archive service and supporting National Libraries Day Saturday 9 February – UNISON York (press release). “The Library and Archive Service is a service that the council has to provide by law.  It is not an optional extra. The law says that the service has to be comprehensive and efficient for everyone and has to encourage adults and children to make full use of the service.  UNISON says that the council is barely doing this now, and the £250k of cuts will make this almost impossible; and that there are another £200k of cuts planned for 2014/15.  No wonder we are being told that our legally free service is no longer viable!” Petition.


  • Library lust: 7 beautiful US libraries – Roadtrippers (USA).  I’m salivating.
  • Mastermind 2013 Honorable mention: Bookleggers Public Library – Miami News Times (USA). “Pop-up libraries — what an awesome idea. Fortunately, someone already thought of it. The Bookleggers library is a “community mobile library.” BL pops up at different locations throughout the city and provides residents with free books. How cool is that? Patrons are allowed one free book, and are able to trade and/or buy more. Since 2012, the folks behind Bookleggers have been successfully filling the 305’s literary void all over town.”
  • SCL discusses “purpose and proposed ways forward” – BookSeller.  “The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) is to review its purpose and how it works, as it seeks to be more open with library staff and campaigners.”.  Looks at minutes of SCL meeting.
  • Welcome to Crazytown: public libraries confront digital objects – Ruk (USA). Article shows the clear stupidity on insisting on set loan periods for single copies of e-books rather than a unlimited loan-infinite-copies-and-return-them-at-any time system that e-books clearly allow.

“what I have “borrowed,” then, is really just a flag in an Overdrive database that says, in essence, “don’t let anyone else in Prince Edward Island learn Norwegian for the next 21 days.” This is crazy, and we must demand better, more rational systems from our library, if only because we’re making up systems and processes here that will be with us for generations.”

  • Who doesn’t sell your digital footprint? Your librarian – Computerworld. ““Librarians feel a professional responsibility to protect the right to search for information free from surveillance. Privacy has long been the cornerstone of library services in America. Why? Because the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy. Librarians defend that freedom every day.”


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