Main things today include a response from CILIP Council to the post written yesterday.  Being I have taken the decision to leave CILIP (it’s simply too expensive for me to justify considering reductions in real salary over the last few years) I have refrained from voting but I do urge any of you who are members to vote.  It’s not quite as important as that referendum thingy happening in Scotland at the moment but, you know, if you’re feeling left out of that one …

I was surprised to see that the proposed cuts to Wirral were so deep.  To reduce opening hours of fifteen out of twenty one libraries to just ten hours per week is going to have an impact.  The council argues that at least it is not closing them or passing them to volunteers and it is a sign about how bad things have gotten nationally that this will be seen by many as a reasonable position.

If you’re looking at raising money for your library service then the opportunity via Locality to be involved in their pilot programme on income generation in libraries may be useful.  Worth a look.



Effective Governance for CILIP – A response to Tom Featherstone and Bob Usherwood

By Nick Poole, a CILIP Councillor, former Treasurer and member of the project board for the Governance Review

“I am writing in my capacity as a CILIP Councillor and a member of the Governance Review Board to respond to the blog ‘2 Past Presidents express fears over CILIP Governance proposals’. In good times, and particularly in bad, the relationship between a professional community and its professional body is a profoundly important one.  It is a relationship built on trust and confidence. Long-standing members of the profession need to feel that there is an acknowledgement of and continuity with their core values.  Newer entrants need to see their professional body standing up for their interests, campaigning on contemporary issues and looking ahead to the future with clarity and confidence.  External partners need to feel confident that the professional association genuinely reflects the concerns and priorities of the full extent of their membership. Tom Featherstone and Bob Usherwood pose the question ‘to whom does CILIP belong?’ The answer is simple, it belongs to us all.

I am proud to have served as a Councillor of CILIP, as its Treasurer and as an active supporter of the library and information profession.  I hold a fundamental belief that strong, transparent societies are built on knowledge and accountability, and I am excited about the role of the CILIP community in driving future prosperity and helping to improve peoples’ lives.  I have been proud to be involved in genuinely open and consultative processes like the one which delivered Defining our Professional Future, the excellent Professional Knowledge and Skills Base and most recently the review of CILIP’s governance.

As set out in the article ‘How CILIP works’, CILIP is a Chartered Institute, a charity and a professional body.  Both CILIP Council and its Leadership Team are tasked with managing the organisation while operating within the bylaws and guidance which pertain to each of these identities.  The Governance Review was carried out in plain sight, through a process of open consultation which supported the proposals (see the outcome of the consultation at here pp24-51),  and with the necessary oversight and with considerable regard to these requirements.

The result is entirely democratic, entirely compatible with CILIP’s legal status and – more importantly – with its role as a champion and advocate for the entire library and information profession, and with a clear way for CILIP’s purpose, vision and values to be determined by members.  It balances representation, where there is always a majority of elected Board members, with access to the requisite knowledge, expertise and influence to have a real impact on the prospects of our community.

I know that in everything that CILIP does it owes due regard to everything that came before.  I have been aware throughout my time on CILIP Council that it is a profound privilege and responsibility to be able to contribute to the future development of this profession.  We have a fight on our hands to raise the standard for value of the library and information professions in every walk of life.  In so doing, I profoundly hope that CILIP’s community will vote to adopt the governance model it needs so that we can all move on in a spirit of unity and address the real causes of the challenges we currently face.”


  • Dawn of the Unread – Common Libraries (Guest Post). “Each comic in the serial has libraries, archives or bookshops at the heart of the narrative. This is because we believe that physical books still have an integral role to play in education and so want to raise a debate about their function in the twenty first century. Our target audience is reluctant readers – better known as the ‘youtube generation’ – although the embedded content enables readers to go deeper into the text and address different nuances of learning. At this point, astute readers will be wondering: what on earth has a digital graphic novel got to do with physical books and libraries? The next paragraph is for you.Dawn of the Unread has a unique gaming function in that users have to perform four tasks at the end of each chapter. Scores are recorded on a virtual library card. The person who scores the highest features as a character in the last chapter. The tasks are: GO – visit a location. This is recorded via GPS. BWAINZ – answer multiple choice questions. READ – get a relevant book out from the library. CREATE – upload a story inspired by the chapter and view it on one of four screens (two in London, two in Nottingham).”
  • Income Generation for Public Libraries: Pilot Programme – Locality. “Locality is pleased to announce that a demonstration programme to prototype and learn from new approaches to income generation will commence this Autumn, funded by Arts Council England, and is now soliciting expressions of Interest from local authorities and social enterprises that are interested in participating. Deadline 3rd October.” … “Locality is pleased to announce that a demonstration programme to prototype and learn from new approaches to income generation will commence this Autumn, funded by Arts Council England, and is now soliciting Expressions of Interest from local authorities and social enterprises that are interested in participating. Five library service commissioners/providers will be selected In October 2014, and will benefit from expert input to develop and implement their ideas in practical settings over the months ahead.”
  • Librarian Ben has a story to tell to Westminster – Brighouse Echo. “Ben Lawrence has been sharing the joy of stories, songs and rhymes as Calderdale Council’s Early Years Librarian and Bookstart Co-ordinator to Westminster. He was invited to speak at a reception for MPs in the House of Commons, due to the success of the Council’s work to engage children with books, rhymes and songs from birth. He talked about his role and the difference that libraries make to children and families across Calderdale. The invite came from Booktrust …”
  • Response to the Rural Libraries Report – Voices for the Library. “Basically the report paints a picture of a free for all based on your ability to access funding streams and your success at raising income and attracting and retaining volunteers. If you have the skills, time and knowledge then you win and if not you don’t – in other words the rigours of the market place. It’s no longer a ‘comprehensive’ county or country wide service, it’s a post-code lottery service.” … “Voices strongly believe that public libraries as a statutory service shouldn’t be opened up to the market and shouldn’t have to attract ‘investment’, if they were properly tax-funded, resourced, supported and staffed then they would flourish.”
  • Welsh council workers stage mass lobby of the Assembly over job and budget cuts – Wales Online. ““Leisure centres will close, libraries will shut, day centres will be depleted and there will be significant levels of job losses. As council leaders we believe that every politician in Wales and the UK, at whatever level and in whatever Government, has a duty to ensure this does not occur.””


  • Cocaine found in Vatican librarian’s car – Guardian (Italy/Vatican/France). “Bedridden cardinal’s aide entrusted vehicle to two men, who bought drugs thinking they were protected by diplomatic plates”
  • Dealing with Mentally Ill Library Patrons – Public LIbraries Online (USA). “Knowing what to do is difficult. I have only been working in libraries for about six years, but have witnessed some interesting situations. A couple of these folks seemed threatening, others were not, so what’s a librarian to do? There is no correct answer; it is a balance between respecting all who walk through that door and also being mindful of the safety of staff and other patrons. These informal tips are offered in addition to those above, and are based on personal experience.”
  • Libraries That Matter – Project for Public Spaces (USA). “There are plenty of unsung libraries that embody a very different and more compelling vision of what it means to be a public place. They may fly under the radar as architectural landmarks, but they still garner respect, praise and even adoration on account of their innovative management and programming–as well as design that supports a multitude of different uses. They are taking on a larger civic role–balancing their traditional needs and operations with outreach to the wider community–thereby contributing to the creation of a physical commons that benefits the public as a whole. If the old model of the library was the inward-focused community “reading room,” the new one is more like a community “front porch.””
  • New York City Public Library Branches Need $1.1 Billion in Repairs: Report – Wall Street Journal (USA). “The report argues that the city has a “broken funding system” in which libraries rely too much on discretionary funds from City Council members. It calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to create a citywide capital plan for libraries and double capital spending on libraries over the next 10 years.”
  • Outside the lines – USA and Canada. “Libraries are dynamic centers for engagement that help everyone in your local community be their best. To shift perceptions, we need to demonstrate how the library is more relevant than ever before. Let’s not just tell people how libraries have changed; let’s show them.” … “During Outside the Lines, organizations from across the U.S. and Canada will host either an event or campaign that helps people understand how libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement and are more relevant than ever to people’s lives.
  • RFID usage in Dutch and Belgian Public Libraries – Mick Fortune (Belgium, Netherlands, Global). “Eemland – is one of a number of new cultural ventures in the Netherlands variously bringing together libraries, archives, museums, art galleries and theatre under a single roof. I have already waxed lyrical elsewhere about the first of such ventures that I saw in 2012 in Bilbao – the Alhóndiga. In the Netherlands “Kunsthuizen” (Culture Houses) are springing up all over the country creating vibrant new spaces that are clearly very popular with their clientele.” … “Almere possesses a truly stunning library. Innovation is everywhere – from the simple genius of the Serendipity Machine to the “Boekstart” briefcase received by every new reader upon joining the library.” … “the bullet-proof book drop iTrack designed and built to ensure that only library items are returned through the sliding panel protecting the book drop. The area next to the library has its share of anti-social inhabitants during some periods of the day and no-one wanted to risk empty beer bottles, or worse, being delivered at 3am! A valid reader ticket must be scanned before the slot will open to allow the deposit of returned items” … “In Tilburg the retail model that has proved so popular in Alemere was in once again in evidence ” … “Gouda’s library was an uplifting experience for me and shows what can be done even in times of austerity to create vibrant public spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

“Dutch citizens pay an annual fee to join the library and often pay additional charges to borrow certain types of materials. Those that cannot afford the fees can apply for assistance. Typically libraries offer a range of tariffs. One I saw in Tilburg charges between €39 and €60 per year depending on length of loan period, number of books to be borrowed etc.”

  • RNIB Launches Overdrive, A New Digital Audio Library For People With Sight Loss – BookTrade.Info. “The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched RNIB Overdrive, a simple and portable digital audio library service which will open up a greater range of titles to blind and partially sighted booklovers. RNIB Overdrive is the charity’s second listening library, complimenting RNIB’s long-established flagship service Talking Books. For the first time people will now have greater independence in choosing which titles to read from RNIB’s growing collection of more than 23,000 high-quality, unabridged audiobooks, and more choice in listening on their computer, smartphone or tablet.” … “In a 3-month trial of RNIB Overdrive earlier this year, RNIB found that 147 out of 150 blind and partially sighted testers of varying ages and with different levels of digital confidence were able to choose, download and return titles of their choice when given the right support. It also showed that 70 per cent of trialists would recommend the service to a friend” [which means nearly one third would not – Ed.].

UK local news by authority

  • Bristol –Redesign of the Library Service – Introductory Presentation and Discussion – Bristol Council. Presentation of chief librarian giving overview of library service, in the light of expected budget cuts, emphasising the need to move towards digital and reduce physical presence.
  • Calderdale – Council cuts to reach £100 million by 2017 – Halifax Courier. “The level of cuts which have been required have equalled 33 times the total budget allocated to libraries across Calderdale. “
  • Leicestershire – Leicestershire County Council needs to make extra £40m savings as cabinet looks to reduce Melton Library opening hours – Melton Times. “The news comes as the council’s cabinet considers cutting opening hours at 16 of its busiest libraries by 20 per cent. Community groups would be called on to run smaller libraries, including Asfordby, Bottesford and East Goscote, with support from the council.”
  • Leicestershire – Village library is vital for community’s wellbeing – Leicester Mercury/Letters. “I and many other people in Fleckney are passionate about keeping our library open. The friends of Fleckney library organised a paper petition of 1,300 signatures and have signatures on an online petition. They came out in force to the sports centre expecting to be consulted but were sadly disillusioned.” … “You assume we would be able to raise large sums of money year on year to keep a library open and to expect someone to have overall responsibility for volunteers and keeping it on track is unrealistic. To expect people to help in a library with no librarian having had only two afternoons’ training is unrealistic. To tell folk there are libraries in Market Harborough, Wigston and Oadby when many people do not have access to a car and must rely on a poor bus service is insulting.”
  • Lincolnshire – County council leader Martin Hill apologises over handling of library consultations – Lincolnshire Echo. “However Councillor Hill insists that proposals to change current library services, set to save the authority £2 million along the way, are the best way forward. It comes after UKIP county councillors this afternoon pushed for his resignation and a public apology over the situation, revealing a motion due to go before Lincolnshire County Council on Friday, September 26.” … “UKIP county councillor Victoria Ayling is proposing the motion for a vote of no confidence, and deputy UKIP group leader Robin Hunter-Clarke is seconding it.” see also Letter: Let’s see evidence of your ‘open mind’ – Rutland and Stamford Mercury. “Can I remind Coun Worth that so far he has not handled the library cuts with an “open mind”. At the Judicial Review the judge ruled that the original consultation was flawed because the Executive of Lincolnshire County Council had decided what they were going to do before going out to consultation. Nick Worth and the rest of the Executive refused to listen to any other proposals that were put forward, and the Expression of Interest from Greenwich Leisure was dismissed out of hand.”
  • Lincolnshire – We would like the Lincolnshire County Council Executive Committee to do the decent thing by the residents of Lincolnshire and resign – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. Petition. “This call for your resignation is due to (a) you misleading us, your electorate, regarding the timing of the decision making process, (b) the way in which you then mishandled the consultation regarding the Library service and (c) due to the amount of electorate’s money you wasted on a consultation where the decision had already been made by the Executive Committee.”
  • Merton – Council ask West Barnes residents what they want for their library – Merton Council. “The council is carrying out further consultation with the local community on what facilities they would like to see in a new improved West Barnes library on the same site. The consultation will take place from 12 September to 24 October 2014. Residents can give their feedback on the council website or by filling out a questionnaire available at West Barnes or any other Merton library.”

The library is proposed to be developed on the current site and will be bigger in floor space with a community hall and public toilets, all of which local residents have been asking for. The development is very positive and is needed as the current library is drawing to the end of its operational lifespan. We will get a brand new library and are currently in the process of consulting with residents on what they want in their new library. Whilst the article published is factually correct the heading is misleading but does draw interest” [NB. previous press reports on Merton were misleading in this regard – Ed.]

  • Merton – Keep an eye out for a library popping up near you – Merton Council. “Library Connect is a project set up to create pop-up libraries in vacant shop premises and other venues across the borough. With full details and times being announced this month, upcoming Library Connect locations already planned include the Wimbledon Piazza in late September, Centre Court Shopping Centre in October and South Mitcham Community Centre in November. Library Connect will take the library experience to new places on a temporary basis providing a range of books which can be loaned out as well as activities for all the family. People will be able to browse the internet and there will also be free WiFi as part of the service.”
  • Oxfordshire – Volunteers will run half of county’s libraries by 2015 – Herald series. “plans to save costs by having 21 of the county’s libraries run with the help of volunteers. They were introduced after the council’s original proposal to close a significant number of facilities sparked widespread protests. County councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, the cabinet member for cultural and community services, said the volunteering model would be introduced in all the libraries by January.”.

“They will have to have a constant stream of reliable volunteers and the places which are going to be most reliant on volunteers are the most rural parts of the county. “I know that in Burford they were struggling to find people, but they are going ahead. “For the sake of the libraries I hope that it does work.” Judith Wardle, Oxfordshire campaigner.

  • Solihull – New Shirley Library opens – Council webpage. “The brand new Shirley Library and Solihull Connect walk-in service is now open.  Located in the new Parkgate development, it offers a range of services under one roof supporting learning, reading and digital experiences”
  • Staffordshire – Consultation to be held over the future of Knutton Library – Stoke Sentinel. “Campaigners fighting to safeguard the future of their local library are being invited to a consultation on the facility’s future. Staffordshire County Council’s Let’s Talk Libraries consultation event will roll into Knutton Library tomorrow.”
  • Stockton – Women getting into business in Tees Valley – Business and IP Centres. “Throughout this week commencing 15th September, libraries in the Tees Valley will be hosting a packed week of events called Women Into Business. The week will feature a range of fantastic workshops on topics such as ‘The Great Business Bake Off’ and ‘Beauty into Business’ for aspiring and existing female entrepreneurs across the region. Another example of a great Enterprising Libraries project! Find out more here
  • Wirral – Consultation pack – Wirral Council. “We are one of the only Councils to not close any libraries. We believe this is the right decision as libraries play a hugely important role in any community. However, maintaining 24 libraries in their current form in a borough as small as Wirral is clearly not possible in the current financial climate. This option would see our community libraries, which are smaller and less well used, 15 in total, reduce their opening hours to an alternating 2 or 3 days per week, 10am-2pm. This option would NOT affect central libraries or libraries with One Stop Shop facilities included. These hours would be implemented on an alternate basis – so that on any given day, at least one library in a constituency area would be open. This option brings the benefit of major savings, while at the same time keeping all 24 of Wirral’s libraries in operation. It also gives us the opportunity to actively seek community involvement to potentially increase the libraries opening times and use in the future – rather than closing the facilities permanently.”