National news

  • Announcing Sue Wilkinson MBE as our new CEO – Reading Agency.  To take over in January 2014: “Sue Wilkinson MBE is currently the Director of UK Academic and Government Alliances at Elsevier. She has been a freelance Learning and Development Consultant and before that held a number of prominent roles within the arts and education. Sue was formerly Director of Policy at the MLA where she created the ground breaking quality and impact framework, Inspiring Learning for All, which is now used in museums, archives and libraries all over the world. While at MLA she worked with public libraries and their partners to deliver a wide range of programmes, and with local museums to establish, and secure funding for, Renaissance in the Regions programme.”

“Tony Durcan OBE, Society of Chief Librarians Executive Committee and The Reading Agency Trustee, says: “Thanks to our work and partnership with The Reading Agency, the Society of Chief Librarians has been able to really increase the quality and number of exciting and meaningful reading programmes across the public library network. I feel extremely confident that Sue Wilkinson will build on the exemplary work of Miranda McKearney, and lead The Reading Agency towards a bright future.”

  • E-magazine service launches in Welsh public libraries – Alyson’s Welsh Libraries Blog. “Today (27th November 2013) the Minister for Culture and Sport launched a new free digital e-magazine servicein Welsh public libraries at Canton library in Cardiff. The service (provided by Zinio) has over 250 top magazine titles on almost every possible hobby or interest you might have, from cookery to nature, photography to music, rugby to computers, there is something for everyone.”.  Any member of a Welsh library can gain access.
  • Roper in, Dolan out at CILIP council – BookSeller. “Librarian Tom Roper, who helped lead the campaign against the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals attempts to rebrand itself, has been elected by CILIP members as one of four new council members to help run the body.” … ” However council leader John Dolan and member Andy Dawson were not re-elected to their positions.”


  • Be thankful for libraries – 4LAKids (USA). “Today knowledge and information are everywhere, 24/7, thanks to the Internet.  Unless libraries have been closed because of budget cuts, they have adapted to this new world.  Most have become multi-purpose centers with Internet access that distribute books, audio books and DVD’s.  Librarians encourage patrons to ask questions, because they need to keep the public coming through their doors.”

“People go to libraries to find answers to their own questions.  We make kids go to schools to answer someone else’s”

  • Celebrate the launch of the North’s first maker space – Yarra Plenty (Australia), “The idea of Mill Park’s Maker Space is to provide resources and technologies not readily available to the general public, a space where resources are available for patrons to make things.   The maker space will offer new, innovative, state-of-the-art technology for visitors to use. The technology will include a 3D printer, Arduino boards and Makey Makey kits for electronics projects, and computers and iPads for video making and editing, and stop motion animation.”
  • Public libraries a solution to the Digital Divide – Scoop (New Zealand). “WIPNZ (part of the World Internet Project) found that among households with incomes of less than $35,000, 28 percent had low or no use of the web. Older New Zealanders, Māori, Pacific, small towns and rural communities were most affected by a lack of access.”
  • Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Give the Fords some credit as Toronto libraries boom with 99th and 100th branches – National Post (Canada). “Under Mayor Ford’s watch, the library has cut $10-million from its budget in the past three years, and shed more than 100 staff. That discipline has encouraged the library to innovate with such things as self-checkout machines. In 2014, the library will add an automated material sorter system at its Fairview branch.”
  • Public Lending Right (PLR) and Volunteer Libraries – Society of Authors.  The Society has concerns that an EU directive means that volunteers are not entitles to lend books.
  • What does 3D printing have to do with libraries? – Read and Think Librarian (USA). “3D printing has everything to do with libraries.  The new slogan in the library world is that we are so much more than books.  We are a mecca of the collective knowledge of our communities.  Technology has changed the frontier. Humans used to communicate new ideas and learning in the pages of books. In this new frontier, the flood gates have opened and we stand on the cliff of a sea of thoughts, ideas, images and sound. We have to do something with this flood of information. Learners expect and demand an interactive experience . . . they want to comment, create and manipulate their understanding.”

UK news by authority

  • Bradford – Silsden Library gets ready to open – Craven Herald. “Silsden Library will open on Monday at its new home in Silsden Town Hall. The facilities will include a new self-service bay where people can scan books in and out without having to see staff. There will be 2,000 books in the ground-floor library and thousands more can be ordered for delivery from other libraries across Bradford district. The library, in the former council chamber on the ground floor, will be staffed for more than 30 hours a week. In the future people will also be able to take books out of the library even when staff are not there, by using the self-service facility.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Five stars for Cambridgeshire Libraries and Archives – Cambridgeshire Council. “The Five Star Focus Award has been presented to the service for their volunteering programme by Volunteering, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the partnership of Volunteer Centres across the county. This is a brand new scheme and Cambridgeshire Libraries and Archives are the very first to receive it. The award evaluates the work that takes place with volunteers from recruitment to recognition.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Tax hike planned as Cambridgeshire County Council proposes £37m cut – Cambridge News. “The library service would be reviewed again, with recognition that a £376,000 saving target over two years “could lead to a small number of library closures”
  • Ceredigion – Early retirements sought in bid to save £200,000 – Cambrian News. “The council needs to make total savings of £9.3m. By closing the libraries at Tregaron and New Quay, the council has suggested the areas would be served by mobile libraries, despite a suggestion that the number of mobile library routes could be reduced.” see also Public backlash fears over £9m council cuts – Cambrian News.
  • Derbyshire – Council considers slashing library services – Bakewell Today. “Option 1: Withdraw all ten mobile library vehicles to create a saving of £720,000 by 2016. Option 2: Withdraw eight standard mobiles and maintain the two MCVs to create a saving of £530,000 by 2016. Option 3: Withdraw one MCV and seven standard mobiles and maintain one MCV and one standard mobile to create a saving of £560,000 by 2016. Option 4: Community offer – as changes would mean many individual stops would no longer be provided the council would consider supporting community groups or organisations wishing to provide a more local service. This could include, for example, working with communities to develop a network of drop-off points in accessible premises and other locations such as children’s centres.” See also Mobile library service facing the axe – Derby Telegraph.
  • Hertfordshire – Public meeting at 96 Shenley Road to shape future of library service in Hertfordshire – Borehamwood Times. “Hertfordshire County Council is seeking to develop a new ten year strategy to ensure libraries continue to provide a modern and relevant service. It will be consulting Hertsmere residents on what they think the service should look like”
  • Lincolnshire – Death knell sounds for our libraries – Spalding Today. “Campaigners mounted a torchlight protest at Market Deeping Library on Thursday, only to hear at an extraordinary council meeting the next day that it remains earmarked for closure. Deeping St James county councillor Phil Dilks says no groups are volunteering to run Market Deeping Library because the council is offering £5,000 a year while running costs are £25,000 and “people are not daft”.”
  • Lincolnshire – New library plan to save Caistor and Wragby facilities – Market Rasen Mail.  “Under the revised proposals, Market Rasen library will be listed as one of the county’s five ‘Tier 2’ facilities with 25 opening hours a week. Market Rasen’s library will see a reduction of three opening hours in the new proposals with the facility being closed all day on Mondays and Thursdays. Caistor and Wragby libraries, which were under threat of closure when the proposals were initially put forward could be run by community groups. The two libraries would become ‘Tier 3’ services and would be part of a community-run service. LCC has confirmed that an expression of interest has been received from local groups with the intention of keeping a static facility.”
  • Moray – Leading author hits out at library closures – Press and Journal. “Yesterday, Lari Don was at Rothes Library, which is due to shut on Saturday as part of a series of closures that will also hit facilities in Portknockie, Hopeman and Findochty. The author, who grew up in Dufftown, said: “To close the libraries at any time is dreadful and wrong.”
  • Pembrokeshire – Future of Pembrokeshire’s mobile libraries uncertain – Western Telegraph. “The future of Pembrokeshire’s three mobile libraries is to be reviewed. The county Cabinet, which meets on Monday, will discuss the future of the service which is projected to cost £101,000 next year. A report to cabinet members said that the fleet “is old and prone to regular breakdown”. It adds that the service has a small number of regular users – defined as those who have used the service at least four times in a 12 month period- working out at around 1% of the Pembrokeshire population”
  • Suffolk – Halesworth: Ed Sheeran’s mum hosts jewellery party in aid of library – EADT. “Members of the public have been invited to one of two jewellery parties … with 30% of proceeds going to the library.”