This is a great video you need to watch.  Have a listen and think about the differences between the can-do attitude of this librarian and how we should be the same.  This, let’s not beat about the bush, is an utterly fantastic talk that shows how important and adventurous libraries should be.

What to expect from libraries in the 21st century: Pam Sandlian Smith at TEDxMileHigh – Friends of the Aurora Public Library.

Highlights include a child’s puppet show (with an important point at the end), the need to say yes, and (honestly) 300 goats. The difference between timorous rules-bound UK public libraries and the well-funded open-minded US model is what strikes me as well.  This library includes a puppet stage, media room and a 3D printer.  Does any library authority in the UK have all three? I doubt it.

“You can learn anything if you make it playful”

“Would you risk jail time to defend your favourite book?”

“We are the cornerstones of democracy. Everyone has a seat at our table, whether you’re a millionaire of if you’re homeless”


International news

  • Berlin ‘borrowing shop’ promotes the benefits of sharing – Guardian (Germany). “Members can borrow anything from board games to wine glasses, fog machines to hiking rucksacks, juicers to unicycles. All they need to do to become members is drop off an item of their own. “This is not just about doing charity out of magnanimity – the shop makes sense because it’s more efficient,” Wolfert said. “We think in a decentralised way – that’s how the big supermarket chains think too.” Since its launch in June 2012, Leila has inspired imitators across the country. Borrowing shops are under development in several Berlin districts, with similar projects being set up in Kiel and Vienna.”
  • Church Converted in Library in Quebec – Fubiz (Canada).  “With talent and inventiveness, Dan Hanganu & Côté Leahy Cardas Architects gave a new life to this church located in Quebec built in 1964 by architect Jean-Marie Roy, making it a more beautiful effect library, now called Monique Corriveau in honor of the Quebec writer.” [One of the most beautiful libraries I’ve seen – Ed.]
  • Libraries Are Failing America – Federalist (USA). “Should a library be more concerned with offering a collection of resources for reference and educational purposes or should it be competing with Borders Barnes and Noble?  Because if a library is driven by market needs, we can do a better in the private sector (through a Netflix-type services, for instance); and if we’re aiming to make a cultural center where a diverse citizenry is excited about knowledge, we can still do a lot better. Right now libraries seem to offer a weird mix of what we don’t need and what we don’t want.”
  • Libraries for real life – Campaigning US website. “The  current economic climate has made libraries an even more vital part of  their communities. It’s a national phenomenon reflected in our local  library system.”.  Lists data on the use of US libraries, what they’re used for.

UK local news by authority

  • Derbyshire – More books on offer for local readers – Ilkeston Advertiser. “Derbyshire eBook borrowers can download some of the latest titles available thanks to a successful application to the Publishers Association and Society of Chief Librarians by Derbyshire County Council’s library service.  The county is one of only four areas in the country to get this privilege  and means residents will now have access to more than 1000 titles, which are not currently available in other areas as part of a year long pilot scheme.”
  • Lincolnshire – Library cuts face new probe by High Court – Spalding Today and Judicial review into Lincolnshire County Council library cuts to go ahead after High Court ruling – Louth Leader.
  • Lincolnshire – Save Lincolnshire Libraries head for London: Join us – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. “Save Lincolnshire Libraries is organising a lobby of various MPS on Tue April 8th. It is being hosted by Nic Dakin MP for Scunthorpe. A number of MPs are being invited to meet us and a room has been booked from 12.30 to 2.30. Invited MPs include, party leaders, ministers and their shadows from DCMS and Education, all Lincolnshire MPs and various others”
  • Sheffield – Calls for Sheffield Council to publish trade union subsidies – ITV. “Demands have grown for Sheffield City Council to publish a secret review of trade union subsides, as a freedom of information request has revealed that the Council continues to pay £385,000 a year for full time trade union officials. The figures were released today by opposition councillors who want to see funding prioritised instead for threatened local libraries.”
  • Swindon – Library users fear hours may be cut – Swindon Advertiser. “Concerns have been raised that the opening hours of the Old Town Library are set to be reduced once the Arts Centre is handed over to private hands.   On April 1, HQ Theatres, which runs the Wyvern Theatre, will take over the Arts Centre as part of the town’s leisure programme, although the library will remain in council control.   As it stands the library is open for 38 hours a week, with 18 of those hours staffed at the council’s expense.  However, HQ Theatres will be reducing the hours the box office is open so the building will be left unstaffed for a period of time, meaning the library will not be able to open.” … “Coun Keith Williams (Con, Shaw), the cabinet member for libraries, said: “The council is not in any way reducing the number of staff at the libraries. In fact we are increasing them so the library will be open for the same number of hours.” See also Old Town Library users are being consulted on proposed changes to the opening hours – Open Swindon.
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Concerns over tax rise and reserve figures – Barry and District News. ““Unfortunately, Labour wouldn’t listen to our reasoned amendment, while the Conservatives called for cuts in non-statutory services, which can include libraries, leisure and bus services.”