National news

  • ACE to research libraries’ economic contribution – BookSeller. “ACE’s last major project involving libraries was the Envisioning the Future of the Library report, released in May last year. The news of the new research project follows hot on the heels of Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s announcement of a review into the public library service led by William Sieghart.”
  • Core – Website provides access to “20 million papers” free and anywhere. Ken Chad (via lis-pub-libs) says “So…are there any public libraries that highlight these services to their public? Perhaps alongside, or integrated with, their online catalogues? Are any of the libraries that are signing up to the Access to Research initiative also signposting these other free services? If you are I’d love to hear. I was wondering if it might be worth adding a column for this in the table of library technology services on Local Government Library Technology (LGLibTech) (e.g. see
  • Entries open for the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award – CILIP. “Now in its 23rd year the award highlights and rewards library, information and knowledge partnership work that changes lives, brings people together and demonstrates innovation and creativity. The judges welcome entries from all library, information and knowledge sectors based in the UK.” … “From the entries the judges select three finalists, who all receive greater recognition and profile. Once the judges have visited the shortlisted organisations, a winner is selected and will be announced at CILIP’s Big Day event in September 2014. The winner receives a cheque for £4,000 and a trophy.”
  • Helen Milner CEO, Tinder, on the digital divide in Britain – Computer Weekly. “Eleven million people across the UK are struggling to connect to the internet. Not because of problems with hardware, bad connectivity, or even rural broadband challenges, but because they either don’t know how or are too poor to get online. A large proportion of those 11 million people live in the most deprived areas of the UK, and while the government is pushing for more public services to be digitised and placed online, this particular cross section of the country does not even have the basic means to access the internet, never mind using online public services.” … “The organisation’s network has 25,000 volunteers, and 5,000 partners that provide spaces, of which 3,000 are full centres and the rest access points. Milner says it’s the barns, buses, launderettes and chip shops – the “wacky ones” – that get press attention, but Tinder mainly works across hyper-local communities in libraries and community centres”
  • Infographic: Top Ten Reasons for Choosing a Paper Book over an eBook – Digital Reader. ” cursory glance at the statistics for the US ebook market will tell you most people are sticking with paper, and there’s a good reason for that. As the following infographic will show you, paper books fill many uses which ebooks cannot. The infographic is based on a poll conducted recently by Fatbrain, a UK-based used book marketplace. Over 1,000 Fatbrain users responded, and they revealed that the most popular reason for staying with paper reflected their emotional attachment, and not any practical use. However, right behind there are two down-to-earth reasons: learning (61%), and sharing (58%), and those are 2 answers that I can fully understand. Paper textbooks are still more useful that digital textbooks; even I will say that.”
  • U.K. Libraries Offer Free Article Access to Walk-Ins – Library Journal. Description and reaction to the Access to Research initiative which will allow free online access in library buildings to numerous academic journals.  “Open access advocate Penny Andrews, who is one of the Open Access Button student leadership team, said that while the increased access for the public was “a good thing”, she had some concerns about the implementation of the project and the lack of information about alternatives, which she described as “disappointing.””


  • Coming soon to Jurong, Geylang East, Toa Payoh public libraries: Workspace for hire – Straits Times (Singapore). “”Smart Work Centres”, or workspaces equipped with printers, photocopiers and high-speed internet access for video-conferencing have been made available” … “Users of the work centres – which will be a paid service – can also access the libraries’ collection of books, information resources and audio-visual materials, they added.”
  • IT Security for You and Your Library – Information Today (USA). A full and easy to read guide.
  • Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia – Digital Shift (USA). “While in the past, many librarians have encouraged patrons to eschew Wikipedia in favor of library databases and secondary sources, they are now starting to work together, in recognition of the fact that today’s students often rely on the Internet and Wikipedia for their initial overview. Libraries are working to make sure they are part of the pipeline so that students following the crowdsourced Wikipedia bibliography back to full-text references will find libraries as the end point if not always the starting point. The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub for improving the world’s largest encyclopedia and connecting readers back to libraries and reliable sources.”
  • Supporters declare their right to libraries – Hometown Life (USA). “With a patriotic theme, just in time for Presidents’ Day, residents and officials gathered to hear speakers and the Plymouth Fife & Drum Corps and show their support for all that libraries do at Redford Township’s District Library. The “Declaration for the Right to Libraries” is a document started by the American Library Association as part of “Libraries Change Lives,” which is designed to build the public will and sustain support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school and public” … “Signatures are being collected from signing events around the nation and will be presented in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in May.”
  • Why libraries deserve to be hip – Salon (USA). “I should not have to sell anybody on the idea that libraries are awesome. But in case you haven’t been to one lately: Libraries are awesome. Maybe you need reminding. I get that.” … “I took out a self-help book and found a sweet, supportive letter to the next person who needed it tucked within. The note ended with an encouraging “Good luck to you!” and it made me smile when I read it. The book itself, it turned out, wasn’t that hot. But the note got me through. And when I returned the book to the library I left the message there, for the next person who checked it out.”

Local news

“The thing we’ve always said we need above anything else is help from professional staff for independent libraries. It seems to be the one thing they are totally against giving us. It looks like the only thing that will keep these libraries open now is a lot of work and dedication from the public.”

  • Sheffield – Libraries to be run by community groups – BBC. “Sheffield City Council’s cabinet agreed to set aside £262,000 from public health funds so voluntary groups can bid for cash to help running costs. The idea came after thousands of people objected to council plans to close several of the city’s 28 libraries.”
  • Sheffield – We should urge council to think outside the box – Star / Letters. “As residents of Walkley, we sincerely hope our library will continue to remain a council-run service. We recognise that huge cuts from the Government have left the council with impossible choices. But there is a General Election looming. In just over a year the political landscape of the country could be very different. Councillors have recently found extra cash from a health and wellbeing budget, which they believe will allow the threatened libraries to run ‘independently’ as businesses. We would urge them to continue to ‘think outside the box’ – to find a way of keeping these libraries under council ownership, with trained library staff.”
  • Staffordshire – One week left to have say on libraries’ future – Burton Mail. “how to make libraries viable in the 21st century, as it aims to balance  continuing to put money into the buildings as attendance figures continue to  dwindle. A public consultation ends on Friday, February 28. More than 1,000 people in the county have so far given their feedback, with  those who have yet to do so being urged to beat the deadline.”