National news

  • The ‘Amateurisation’ of Public Libraries – Leon’s Library Blog. “The 2015 CILIP AGM takes place on Thursday 24 September at CILIP Headquarters and unlike previous years is a fairly low key affair estimated to take just over two hours. As usual I would urge all those members who cannot attend to at least use their proxy votes. The two areas that have grabbed my attention are the proposal by Andy Richardson and Anna Brynolf (below) and the, as usual, ever increasing subscription rates. The unnecessary increase in subs is something I argued against last year but it seems that Cilip is determined to treat members as milch cows despite the job losses and limit on public sector pay. This is a matter I will return to in a future post.” … “[involvement in Liverpool] this is a precarious position for Cilip. Any move to find a solution which involves volunteer libraries will be met with outrage from members and campaigners alike and will run contrary to the above proposal if passed.”
  • Best quotes on banning and censoring books – Guardian. “From Neil Gaiman to Marcus Zusak to Suzanne Collins to Oscar Wilde, we share some of the best ‘dangerous books’ quotes from novels, authors and campaigners defending our right to read any book we want to, as part of our dangerous books weekend we’re running with Amnesty International
  • ‘Essential’ councillors understand ‘value’ of libraries – BookSeller. “CILIP noted that some authorities have been able to strengthen their reserves during the period of the report, but still urged councils to consider retaining a quality library service as a means of avoiding significant cost increases elsewhere in their expenditure before building up reserves.”
  • Lori Anderson: Libraries are sanctuary of the mind – Scotsman. “My love of libraries remains undimmed and so I was pleased when it was announced this week that a series of pilot schemes will be rolled out in local authorities around Scotland designed to slip a library card into the tiniest of mitts. Glasgow City Council has just announced that, from 7 September, it is to give a library card to every single child at birth, with the first wave targeting areas with low levels of literacy.”
  • Privatisation of public libraries: reasons in favour and Privatisation of public libraries – Reasons against – Public Libraries News. Updated and expanded pages on the advantages and disadvantages of for-profit companies running public libraries.

International news

  • Colombia – Colombian ‘Lord of the Books’ fills library with trashed textbooks and fairy tales – Orange County Register. “Gutierrez started rescuing books from the trash almost 20 years ago, when he was driving a garbage truck at night through the capital’s wealthier neighborhoods. The discarded reading material slowly piled up, and now the ground floor of his small house is a makeshift community library stacked from floor to ceiling with some 20,000 books, ranging from chemistry textbooks to children’s classics. He says books are luxuries for boys and girls in low-income neighborhoods such as his, with new reading material at bookstores too expensive. There are 19 public libraries in Bogota, a city of 8.5 million, but tend to be located far away from poorer areas.”
  • France – Jungle Books: Calais migrant camp’s newly opened library needs books – Verso. “Verso London is sending books to Jungle Books (or Livres de la jungle in French), the makeshift library at the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle. Mary Jones, who set up the library, wants to add more books in the native languages of the migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and hopes that eventually, the camp inhabitants will run the library. Besides stocking around 200 books, the Guardian reports, “the library supports a school that offers classes to the refugees and asylum seekers that live in the camp.”
  • Netherlands – Promoting the Importance of Public Libraries with Augmented Reality – Layar. “The Reading & Writing Foundation (RWF), an organization based in the Netherlands, has recently used the Layar Creator to make use of Augmented Reality in its communications. In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of public libraries as modern learning hubs, RWF has launched Public Libraries 2020 (PL2020). The project aims to spark a movement recognizing and supporting the contributions of public libraries, focusing on three areas: social inclusion, digital inclusion and lifelong learning. This June, the organization launched the (e)publication “Libraries Change Lives”, a collection of interesting data insights and inspiring stories from libraries across Europe”
  • USA – Denver Library brews a month of craft beer, coffee and tea events – Denver Post. “BrewHa!Ha! kicks off next week with two beer releases plus lessons on brewing kombucha and herbal potions. There are also coffee tastings throughout the month, lessons on cooking with beer and coffee, a book club and a concert by Cop Circles and Thug Entrancer. And for those already imbibing at breweries and coffee houses, there will be deals throughout the city in September from 32 partners. Getting a deal is simple: Just show your library card.” … “The library system has had a 47 percent increase in attendance at programs such as those offered in BizBoost and more in the past year, Henning said. “What people don’t always think about is all of these special events, the DIY classes that we offer,”
  • USA /Global – Librarians on Bikes Are Delivering Books and WiFi to Kids in “Book Deserts”– Good. ““Food deserts” refer to low-income areas where convenience stores are often the only viable food source and fresh produce is a rarity. But nutritious foods aren’t the only thing kids need to thrive and grow. Many of these undernourished kids also live in so-called “book deserts“—areas without easy access to libraries and reading material to nurture their imaginations and development (just think of the 12-year-old boy in Utah who asked his mailman for junk mail to read because he couldn’t get to a library).” inc. wifi enabled trailers, handing out donated books.
  • USA / Global – Outside the Lines Campaign Reintroduces Libraries to Their Communities – Public Libraries Online. “A mobilization of over 170 libraries and organizations around the world are set to participate in Outside the Lines week, an initiative that aims to reintroduce libraries to their communities through bold events and innovative campaigns. The weeklong celebration, running from September 13-19, has received backing from EveryLibrary, America’s first political action committee dedicated to raising funds for library initiatives.” … “The point is to do something that reflects your local community and showcases how libraries are relevant to people’s lives, highlighting how libraries can inspire, support creativity, and bring people together. “

Local news

  • Brighton and Hove – Book worms to be allowed to use libraries unsupervised and out of hours – Argus. “bookworms who successfully apply for an enhanced library card at Woodingdean or Portslade library will be able to use services by themselves at times when the library would ordinarily be closed. The card will allow residents to meet friends and family at the library, browse and read books, borrow and return books, CDs and DVDs through self-service machines and use computers and printers. They will be monitored by CCTV and a live audio feed with library support staff on hand via a helpline. An emergency phone line to security staff will also be set-up. ” … “bookworms who successfully apply for an enhanced library card at Woodingdean or Portslade library will be able to use services by themselves at times when the library would ordinarily be closed. The card will allow residents to meet friends and family at the library, browse and read books, borrow and return books, CDs and DVDs through self-service machines and use computers and printers. They will be monitored by CCTV and a live audio feed with library support staff on hand via a helpline. An emergency phone line to security staff will also be set-up. ” See comments as well.

  • Carillion – Lego – Facebook. “First libraries in the UK to be working with LEGO Education; bringing LEGO to our libraries #LegoLibraries. Introducing new, exciting LEGO resources such as StoryStarter, MoreToMaths, WeDo, and Machines and Mechanisms for ages 8+. Highlights of our LEGO Library launch events. Managed by Cultural Community Solutions on behalf of Croydon, Ealing, Harrow and Hounslow Councils in partnership with LEGO Education.”
  • Cornwall – Bid to save Lostwithiel library from closure – Cornish Guardian. “Lostwithiel’s library could be saved by moving it into the community centre where it will be run by volunteers. A town council working party believes it is the best option for safeguarding the book-lending service and the Lostwithiel Community Association is willing to discuss the move with Cornwall Council officials. If both sides agree to the venture, a charitable trust will be set up to oversee the management of community-led library service in Lostwithiel. Cornwall Council is intending to make savings of £1.8 million from the existing £4 million library and One Stop Shop budget, and has urged town and parish councils or other local organisations to express an interest in managing local libraries.”
  • Cumbria – Library service is unpredictable – Westmorland Gazette. “Several weeks ago I went to Kendal Library and found it was unexpectedly closed ‘due to staff issues’. Recently I have been again and found another unscheduled closure. On investigating I find that random closure of libraries across the county has been happening for well over a year and is becoming increasingly frequent.”
  • Devon – Community celebrates Ashburton Post Office and library opening – Torquay Herald Express. “Stuart and Jackie Rogers, who own and operate Ashburton Post Office, volunteered to house the library when Devon County Council was looking for innovative ways to work with local communities to improve library services.” … “Ashburton Post Office and library now open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Previously the library was open 18 hours a week and now it is open 54 hours a week. The library is still professionally run by paid Devon County Council staff and supported by a team of library volunteers.” [The article claims this is the first combined library / post office – this is untrue: there are examples of this also in Buckinghamshire and Suffolk – Ed.]
  • Fife – Save our libraries – Scotsman. “Fife. Its Cultural Trust – an arm’s-length body, a company limited by guarantee with charitable status – proposes to save £800,000 by closing 16 libraries and introduce an ill-defined “hub and spoke” model throughout the region. Some of the proposed closures are in villages such as Crail and Freuchie where there are no other council facilities; some are in areas of deprivation such as Abbeyview in Dunfermline and part of the west of Glenrothes.”
  • Haringey – News Update and Rally – Change. “Despite voicing reservations about taking a legal route in order to get the Council to listen to us David Lammy has signed our pro bono application and we have now sent it to the Bar Pro Bono Unit. This Unit is a charity which helps organisations to find free legal assistance from volunteer barristers. It is doubtful that they will be able to respond before the MGL is closed on Sunday 30th August but that does not mean we cannot launch a legal challenge to what they are doing.”
  • Lincolnshire – ‘Even those who declared loyalty to Stalin kept their libraries open, so why not Lincolnshire’ – Lincolnshire Echo. “as we’re currently witnessing, local Conservative councillors do actually seem rather proud of perpetrating a fully fledged assault on the service. Truth be told, Lincolnshire County Council’s desire to rid itself of its statutory responsibility to provide a properly funded and comprehensive library service has been pursued with a zeal that can perhaps best be equated with Simon Cowell’s determination, pursued over many years, to destroy the British music industry.”
  • North East Lincolnshire – Library reopening will be new chapter for community – Grimsby Telegraph. “The opening comes after the village lost its library late last year, when it and others across North East Lincolnshire were closed as part of a £500,000 cost-cutting programme  … “As planned previously, the library will be run by the Grimsby charity Foresight, which is based in Freeman Street and runs a series of luncheon clubs across the borough, including at Scartho. Foresight older persons co-ordinator Lynne Smith says the aim is to have the library open “as early in September as possible.” … “By January, the charity had 30 volunteers, mainly elderly, ready to run it. Some have since dropped out, leaving Foresight seeking replacements”
  • Southampton – Council consultation on libraries’ closure was not fair – Southern Daily Echo. “The council maintains that the majority of respondents to the public consultation supported its preferred option (closing five libraries) yet respondents were given no option to maintain all or even most of the city libraries. They could choose between five or more closures”

“we refuse to die quietly. The enormous love and passion we have for Cobbett Road Library will inspire us to continue to fight for its future as a publicly funded, council run and professionally staffed library”

  • Southend – Shoeburyness Library to open next month as two libraries merge – Enquirer. “A new chapter will be turned for the library service in Shoebury on 14 September as Thorpedene and Friars libraries merge into Shoeburyness Library in Delaware Road. Along with longer opening hours, the new library will have improved facilities including a café, free WiFi and lift access. Cllr Ian Gilbert, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “The opening of the new library is brilliant news for the town.”
  • Staffordshire – Tamworth Library’s weekday opening hours could be reduced – Tamworth Herald. “Library’s opening hours could be reduced as part of an ongoing consultation. If given the go-ahead, the Corporation Street-based library will close at 6pm Monday and Tuesday, and 5pm Wednesday to Friday.”