Editorial

Two conflicting stories this post. One is the story of libraries facing a big cut in usage over ten years, which I’ve covered in previous posts. The other is how Waterstones has made a dramatic comeback.  Now, Waterstones and public libraries are very different to each other – even Daunt could not have coped with the cuts some libraries are being forced to take and would probably have been driven to madness by council bureaucracy – but there are things that libraries can learn from him.  This is that local control over bookstock is important. You need to have experts choosing for particular libraries to match the needs of local communities.

Driven by budget cuts, many library authorities have forgotten the need for tailored local stock and farmed out book purchasing to large library suppliers. While (very importantly) saving on staff time and cost, this necessarily means a loss of that local connection and, also, a downgrading of the librarian role, with often the loss of professionals who have spent decades learning what goes best where. Sadly, thus is lost one of the many unique selling points (USPs)  that a public library once had, and some still have, that have been lost in the drive for efficiency.  I’ll be coming back to other disappearing USPs in future posts – councils appear in some ways to have spent decades removing them – but for the moment it’s great to see Waterstones rediscovering theirs, not least because I love bookshops more than any other high street outlet. Well, except libraries of course.

Changes

Ideas

Media mentions heatmap

This shows longer term trends in authorities than this post alone:

  • Lancashire (23), Plymouth (19), Birmingham (8), North Yorkshire (8), Swindon (7), Warrington (7)

National news

  • Balancing the books: how Waterstones came back from the dead – Guardian. “With a mixture of tough love and an unshakeable belief in the power of the physical book, which seemed quixotic in the era of e-readers and online discounting, Daunt began to turn things around. He closed underperforming stores and fired 200 booksellers, at the same time as declaring that his managers would be given back responsibility for their own stock, because what sold in Hampstead might not go down well in the Highlands. One of his boldest moves was to inform publishers that he would no longer do business through sales reps and they could no longer buy window space – which meant turning his back on £27m a year.”
  • The Girl on the Train is the UK’s most popular library book – BBC. “The psychological thriller was borrowed 72,827 times between July 2015 and July 2016 – or around 200 times per day.” … “Although Hawkins had the number one book in libraries, she does not appear among the top 10 most borrowed authors. US crime writer James Patterson was number one on that list for the 10th year in a row, followed by children’s favourites Julia Donaldson, Daisy Meadows, Roderick Hunt and Francesca Simon.”
  • Invest in libraries, not phonics tests – Guardian / Letters. “The problem is not insufficient phonics teaching, as some claim. It is insufficient access to books. For many children of poverty, their only source of books is the library. Research also tells us that better libraries are associated with better reading test scores. The implication is obvious: invest in libraries and librarians, not in phonics tests.” see also The local library helped me become a novelist – Guardian / Letters.

“Without the local library and Miss Blackwell, the librarian, I would never have encountered Moomintroll, Narnia, John Masefield’s The Midnight Folk or George Macdonald’s At the Back of the North Wind – all of which have contributed to the successful novels I have, as an adult, produced. I very much doubt that phonics would have had the same creative influence on my career” Salley Vickers

  • Libraries minister promises to act if councils cannot justify cuts – Guardian. “Local authorities will face government action if they cannot justify library cuts, libraries minister Rob Wilson told librarians, peers and MPs at a packed meeting in the House of Lords to mark the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries (APPG). In his strongest statement yet in defence of library services, Wilson said: “Councils really need to make these decisions based on robust evidence rather than being ad hoc and reactive.” He added: “I also expect councils to consider a full range of funding and delivery options before making significant cuts” … “At the House of Lords meeting, Cilip chief executive Nick Poole highlighted the role libraries play in community health and welfare. Describing librarians as “an army of 90,000”, he said they made “a profound contribution to the social and economic fabric of our great nation”

There is still time to be considered as a speaker at this years CILIP Conference (56 July, Manchester) with the Call for Papers closing on 10 February. CILIP is looking for papers to cover two strands of the conference – Future Trends and Workshops. Both strands will have six outlined topics and are designed to attract a specific section of the conference audience, and each will have their own aims, objectives and outcomes. Speakers are entitled to free entry to the conference for the day of their presentation/workshop. For more information on how to submit a paper www.cilipconference.org.uk/call-for-papers” Lis-pub-libs post.

  • Library cuts reflected in 30% drop in adult visitors over a decade – Guardian. “Campaigners say fall in adult visitors over 10 years shows ‘it’s time to stop talking about the dismantling of library services and instead to demand action’” … “Of the four cultural sectors surveyed in a new Taking Part report on adult engagement in culture, libraries were the only sector to suffer a steady and severe decline in visitor numbers over the 10-year period” … “Desmond Clarke, former director of Faber & Faber and leading critic of cutbacks to services, said the figures show the government-appointed Libraries Taskforce needed to focus on improving book stock. “The Taskforce needs to take its head out of the sand and properly research all the reasons why so many have stopped using libraries and then work with chief librarians and the Arts Council England to put in place an effective plan to reverse the decline,” he said”.  CILIP says ““We’ve put a solution on the table that can deliver the transformation and efficiencies needed to sustain library services nationally and the government has ignored it”. SCL points to digital increases. see also Library usage falls nearly 30% since 2005 – BookSeller. Tim Coates says importance of books has been undervalued in libraries, which are now paying the price. and also Public Library usage stats down again, hmm I wonder why? – Stop the Privatisaton of Public Libraries.

“Perhaps the SCL has not properly analysed all the available data, identified the trends and taken fully on board what the data is showing. Presumably, there is a purpose to collecting the data to allow everyone to monitor performance and to identify significant changes. Issuing a press release every year listing the most used libraries, tells us nothing” Desmond Clarke

  • Living Knowledge Network gets underway – Libraries Taskforce. “Following discussions with Norrish Library, British Library staff, and Living Knowledge Network partners, we decided that the first skills sharing day would focus on experience and best practice around working with children under 12 and hard to reach families. The day also provided an opportunity for networking. Ultimately, we wanted to think about how, by working in partnership, we could do more for this group of people.” … ” agreement was reached that partnerships with other local community and cultural organisations are extremely important as they expand the reach of libraries in relation to who they can engage, and improve the range of activities that can be delivered.”
  • A New Vision for the Future of Public Libraries:  Progress, Strategy, Innovation and Collaboration – Public Policy Exchange. “This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for local authorities, government departments, the library sector, shared services teams and other key stakeholders to examine the Government’s latest policy initiatives and explore how libraries can remain a vital local resource – innovating, collaborating and adapting to deliver a whole range of services.  “
  • Not Waving but Drowning – Leon’s Library Blog.  “It’s difficult to take a balanced view of public libraries at the moment. Concentrating overly on bad news around closures and cuts appears so much doom-mongering. Equally, highlighting only positive news stories smacks of pollyanna-ism. Obviously, both aspects exist and will differ from region to region, authority to authority, and even community to community within relatively close proximity. Amongst the cuts there is still opportunity to find examples of good practice, valuable partnership working,  and innovation within the sector.”
  • Open Letter to Councillors – CILIPS. “In a few weeks’ time, you may be voting in Council on the budget for your authority in 2017/18. It is possible that the budget proposals in front of you will have an impact on the public and school library services for which your Council is responsible. We write to respectfully ask that, in deciding on any such proposal, you take full account of the benefits and value our libraries deliver….”
  • Public Libraries 2015/16 – Presentation produced by Tim Coates using CIPFA data covering number of libraries, visits, loans, expenditure,
  • Reading outcomes framework toolkit – Reading Agency. 70 pages showing how to help reading development [Almost certainly therefore going to be a “case too long, didn’t read” for practitioners but includes useful sample questions for surveys – Ed.], see also Evaluation matters – Arts Council England. “Evaluation is about reflecting on and improving your practice: mapping where you want to get to, finding out if you are getting there and indicating how you should change what you are doing if you’re not. It’s how we know whether our work is making a difference and helps us find out how to do things better. Evaluation can also help make the case for investment: if we know the outcomes that result from our work it is easier to explain why the activity should be funded.”
  • Riddell calls for probe into school library provision – BookSeller. “for a probe into school library provision in the country. At the event to re-launch the group in the House of Lords on Tuesday night (31st January), Riddell said: “I hope one of the things that this APPG will do is pressure the government to actually look into the school library provision. “Let’s get some data and find out what the provision is and then we can actually do something about it. We should use this as an opportunity to go forward, we have got the chance to have a generation of brilliant engaged readers, and that’s what we all want.””
  • Terry Pratchett docudrama reveals moment author realised he was ‘dead’ – Guardian. “He was the son of a mechanic and a secretary, and got a job in his local library after being inspired by The Wind in the Willows – a time, he wrote, when he “was probably at my happiest”. “

International news

  • USA – Libraries are for everyone – Hafuboti. Some excellent free-to-use images for libraries, now available in multiple languages. “I’d love to know if you or your library end up using any or all of these signs either in the comments here, or by emailing me at hafuboti@gmail.com. Otherwise, I just plan on making high-pitched eep! noises if/when I come across one of these in the wild (like as a profile pic or some such thing).”
  • USA – Study Shows $2.628 Billion in Economic Benefits from Texas Public Libraries – Texas State Library. “The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has released a study showing that Texas public libraries provide $2.628 billion in economic benefits to the state. Collectively, in FY2015, Texas public libraries were found to offer a sizeable return on investment. For every one dollar spent, libraries offered $4.64 worth of services, resources, and economic opportunity to communities. “The study quantifies what most Texans understand. Our public libraries bring tremendous value,” said TSLAC Director and Librarian Mark Smith. “Libraries function as key engines of economic vitality in their communities.” Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Business Research IC2 used a data-intensive process to document and quantify economic benefits. The findings showed that libraries produced $976 million in direct economic activity and more than 11,000 jobs in FY 2015 were dependent on public library expenditures.”

Local news by authority

  • Barking and Dagenham – Barking Learning Centre – Barking and Dagenham Council.  Centre includes job centre, conference centre, citizen’s advice bureau, digilab, a children’s nursery … and a Spa.
  • Bath and North East Somerset – B&NES Council says ‘no books being sold as part of Bath Central Library relocation’ – Bath Chronicle. “figures from less than two years ago suggest, across the board, 70 per cent of people use the authority’s libraries to borrow or rent books. The council has also denied it is selling books as part of the move from the Podium into Lewis House on Manvers Street.”
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Library protesters to gather outside Bath Guildhall and Moorland Road Library – Bath Chronicle. Includes photographs of local protests of a hundred or more people.
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Local residents invited to give their views on proposals for Bath’s new modern library – Bath Echo. “Council say the joint library and One Stop Shop in Keynsham is already proving the success of the integrated modern library approach. Because of this, they are planning to move Bath Library to a new, modern, refurbished location opposite the new Bath University innovation and study centre on Manvers Street – close to the rail and bus station, and Southgate shopping Centre. The library is not closing, just moving.
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Protesters ‘ashamed of city’ over plans to move Bath Central Library – Bath Chronicle. “Protesters armed with megaphones and banners took to the street outside the Guildhall to air their views against planned changes to the library service in Bath. Described by one protester as an “oasis of peace,” the current library is set to move into the One Stop Shop next year with the city’s other libraries also likely to be affected by changes to the service. Moving the central facility to Manvers Street will cost more than £2 million of the council’s £6 million modern libraries budget, but from 2020 the move will save Bath and North East Somerset Council £800,000 a year, the authority says.”
  • Bradford – Bradford Council warned that funding cuts ‘may lead to closure of some organisations’ – Telegraph and Argus. “… deputy Council leader, Councillor Val Slater, said the authority valued the voluntary and community sector but it was facing increasingly difficult decisions and had already had to cut areas such as PCSO funding, economic development, bin collections, mobile libraries and street lighting. “
  • Bristol – Clifton ‘library of things’ plan proposed – BBC. “Campaigners want to turn the building, in Clifton, Bristol, into a one-stop shop for a host of everyday items. The Friends of Clifton Centre and Library (FOCCAL) told the Bristol Post the project would benefit people with limited space at home. They hope turning the service into a “library of things” will protect it from future cost-cutting measures. Clifton library – which recently had its hours cut – also hosts craft sessions and relaxation classes. ” … “Ms O’Rourke said she also hoped people would volunteer to help run writing workshops, craft classes or just organise board game sessions for the elderly or lonely with cheap tea and coffee for sale.”
  • Bury – Just 2 choices in consultation over libraries as closures loom – Bury Times. “users and community groups raised concerns at a Bury Council cabinet meeting, as councillors passed a motion to cement plans to close the majority of the borough’s libraries. Portfolio holders moved to begin a public consultation period on the proposals for services in Bury. But the public will only be able to have their say on two options — which one member of the public gallery criticised as Hobson’s choice.”
  • Bury – Public consultation opens on Bury Council’s libraries plan – Bury Times. “… public consultation period on controversial plans to close the majority of libraries in Bury has opened. Residents are invited to have their say on the two options put forward by Bury Council regarding the changes. The options are to substantially reduce the number of library buildings while developing new ways to enhance the overall service, the council says. Under both options, Bury Council proposes to create a ‘core’ team and a ‘community’ team, which would concentrate on developing digital services, information and learning, reader development and working in the community.” [Options are simply on how much to close:, and that down largely  to the survival of one library: “no cuts” is not an option. so it’s debatable if this is an actual consultation – Ed.]
  • Cambridgeshire – Council insists there are no plans to close libraries despite rise in use of online services – Hunts Post. “In figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request, The Hunts Post found that between 2013 and 2014, some 166,551 books were loaned from Huntingdon Library. From 2015 to 2016 though, this figure dropped by more than 30,000 books to just 132,709 that year, with picture books the most popular genre to be taken out since 2013 … Despite this, Cambridgeshire County Council, which runs the libraries, says there are no plans to close the buildings and move services totally online. “
  • Cambridgeshire – Petition against library spending cuts wins backing of 1,500 residents – Cambridge News. A petition opposing council plans to reduce spending on library books by £325,000 has secured more than 1,500 signatures. Cambridge residents are campaigning to get Cambridgeshire County Council to abandon the cuts to library funding as part of 2017/2018 budget proposals. A full council meeting is due to be held on February 14 where campaigners will challenge the council to reinstate funding for books and newspapers.”
  • Cornwall – Library Data – What Do They Know. Freedom of Information request shows 40% drop in visitor and book issue numbers between 2009/10 and 2014/15, 25% drop in book budget [Not the 45% decline I quoted previously in this post – Ed.].
  • Cornwall – Libraries can apply for £1,000 grant – Cornish Times. “With libraries across the county being subjected to funding cuts, RGB Building Supplies is inviting them to apply for £1,000 worth of materials as part of its Well Built Community Fund.  The fund will enable the selected library or learning centre to make improvements they perhaps would not otherwise be able to do. RGB is calling for deserving organisations to get in touch, whatever the need.”
  • Cumbria – Cockermouth Library plans agreed – Times and Star. “Cumbria County Council’s cabinet yesterday agreed to transfer the building to the town council. The existing library staff are  ll leaving, having taken voluntary redundancy, and the town council will move the tourist information centre into the building, with its staff manning both services
  • Cumbria – Reshaping the delivery model in Cumbria – Libraries Taskforce. “delivering a library service that is both county-wide yet responsive to local need is challenging. Our solution to this was to reshape Community Services. Back in 2015, we introduced a complete new structure to try to address the practicalities of running a county-wide library and archive service with over 60 library service points (including libraries, library links and book drops) and 4 archive centres within the need to maintain an overall county service.” … “we have created a much more flexible integrated service that not only reflects the county in which we work, but also is really shaped around the communities in which we operate. This hopefully is a strong platform for us to continue to deliver our services from well into the future.”
  • Darlington – Library trustees accused of conflict of interest – Northern Echo. “If Darlington Borough Council’s contentious plans to cut and alter the town’s library services are approved, the historic Grade II building will close and some of its resources will be moved to the Dolphin Centre. Following such a decision, the potential fate of the building and what would happen to any proceeds if it is sold, would lie in the hands of trustees – recently identified as members of the council’s own cabinet.”
  • Gateshead – Undercover art project hits the shelves across Gateshead Libraries – Chronicle Live. “A newly-launched project is inviting bookworms on a treasure hunt to uncover some unique artworks hidden on the pages of random books. The novel idea – the first of its kind – has seen eight artists enlisted to create “fore-edge” works. These are books which have been individually decorated so that the outside edge of their pages – which face the back of the bookshelf – form a picture when the book is closed. But the images are covered by gold gilt and only appear – apparently from nowhere – when the book is fanned. Anton Hecht is the artist who came up with the idea, and he is promising an “amazing experience” for visitors to the library in Prince Consort Road.” … “In addition to the eight fore-edge works, three “augmented reality” books can be animated and the title of one of these is given away as Robinson Crusoe.”
  • Haringey – Library campaigners in Haringey slam council’s ‘invalid’ consultation – Ham and High. “Library campaigners met outside Muswell Hill Library on Saturday fearing the opening hours across the borough’s libraries will be slashed. They said papers for the public consultation which began on December 19 only arrived in libraries on in the second week of January before a final deadline on January 22. Proposals within Haringey’s budget included slashing opening times from 57 hours to 36 at the library in Queens Avenue. Janet Shapiro, speaking on behalf of the Hornsey Pensioners Action Group (HPAG), said: “I have found out that most libraries did not get the forms for a paper response in December, and most ran out of forms. The consultation is invalidated by this.”. Council says ““While the consultation is promoted heavily online with the vast majority of responses received that way, paper copies of the consultation were available in libraries and as soon as we were aware of one library running out of consultation documents we ensured replacements were delivered as soon as possible.”
  • Herefordshire – Hereford Library re-opens after long closure – Ledbury Reporter. “The building was closed after asbestos was found on the site during maintenance work in September 2015, but modifications have taken place to modernise the library for its users. There is a suite of new PCs available to use for free and the ceiling has been raised with new lighting. WISH (Wellbeing Information and Signposting for Herefordshire) will also operate from the main library as a shared facility to make the most of the building.”
  • Kirklees – Spare libraries from latest Kirklees cuts plea – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Despite a hard fought campaign by book lovers, Kirklees Council slashed the libraries budget from £5.7m to £3.9m in 2016/17. It closed just two of its 26 branches last year but ceased funding a further 14, handing them over to community groups and volunteers to run. But libraries that were saved only a year ago could now be at threat again.”
  • Kirklees – We will work together to cope with library cuts, says Kirklees volunteer – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Clr Graham Turner, cabinet member for resources, stressed that all 24 Kirklees libraries continued to be supported by the council with staff and back-office services.” … “Chris Martin, chairman of the Friends of Heckmondwike Library, said: “We are very disappointed to hear the proposal for further huge cuts to the budget for libraries when the library service is still recovering from recent cuts and reorganisation.””
  • Leeds – Mum’s support for libraries – Yorkshire Evening Post. “Featuring in the latest chapter of the campaign is mum-of-three Kim Wood, who discovered her local library after moving to Leeds seven years ago. With her husband working long hours, and feeling isolated, Kim decided to seek out her nearest library, Oakwood. It has proved to be a real lifeline for her and her three daughters: Sophie, eight; Chloe, six; and Phoebe, four.”

“Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: “Our libraries across the city provide an invaluable service for residents, not only because of their fantastic wide-ranging resources, but also the intangible benefits they provide such as friendship which was one of Kim’s key motivations for joining her local library.””

  • Leicester – Leicester: libraries fightback – Socialist Party.But people are fighting back to save our libraries. In late 2016 a vibrant community campaign stopped the threatened closure of the city’s second busiest library, and evidently the taste of victory has inspired others to fight back. Following a recent 100-stong protest, later in the week around 150 people packed a community centre to stop the imminent closure of another local library.”
  • Manchester – The Homeless Library exhibition launches at Central Library – Manchester Council. “‘The Homeless Library’, curated by artist Lois Blackburn and poet Philip Davenport of the arts organisation arthur+martha, opened in Central Library’s Archives+ Centre and the Wolfson Reading Room on Tuesday 31 January.”
  • Manchester – Live owls are coming to Manchester Central Library this weekend – Manchester Evening News. “They’ll be delivering letters to their handlers once an hour – just like Hedwig did for Harry – at the library’s special event, A Harry Potter Celebration. And the squad chosen to emulate Hedwig’s spellbinding skills is expected to include everything from a White Faced Owl to the grand European Eagle Owl”

“Why can’t we invest more in trying to get outreach into the community to bring people to libraries rather than just cutting them and I’m sorry, going from 17 to 7 libraries is a cut. You’re slashing public services and if you close a single library you’ll be making a terrible mistake.” 

  • Sheffield – New library opens – Sheffield Telegraph. “Tinsley Library, hosted by Tinsley Forum in Bawtry Road, becomes the 16th in Sheffield to be run by the community.The 16 libraries were taken out of local authority control in 2014, in an attempt to save £650,000 a year. Tinsley Library closed last year after Sheffield Council’s lease on the previous building expired. The new library will initially open three days a week.”
  • Swindon – Libraries are essential – Swindon Advertiser / Letters. “Will we ever beat the evils of isolation, illiteracy, inequality and ignorance? Not if we neglect to defend the town’s library service which was established to combat such horrors. Swindon seems to emulate the example of other authorities that have been noticed by the Minister (Adver 27/01) but whose library services, nevertheless, continue to suffer a relentless demolition. This begs the question as to whether his visit will do no more than postpone a little the day when public libraries, accessible to everyone, are for us no more than a memory. It may still not be too late to challenge the defeatism, philistinism or political jiggery pokery that typify every assault on public library provision.”

#Swindon‘s first #Library Trust submits bid 2 run 2 libraries 4 @Swindonnews, and seeks talks on up to 8 if parishes & residents agree

— Dale Heenan(@dale_heenan) January 31, 2017

 

  • Walsall – Labour council axes nine libraries and blames social care funding pressure – Birmingham Mail. “Over the last 12 months, they have doubled their numbers who use the library. If this well runs library shuts it will see a part of the heart ripped out of Beechdale. Again we see Beechdale in the heart of cuts and funding losses one of the most needed and deprived ward in the borough and it appears that we are to be attacked with loss and closures again.”
  • Walsall – Petition to stop multi-million pound library closing – Express and Star. “Pelsall Councillor Gary Perry says ‘it beggars belief’ that the library, which was opened five years ago by Prince Edward, is one of nine in Walsall earmarked for closure under revised cuts by the council. Furious residents in Pelsall have launched a staunch defence of the library, with hundreds signing a petition. As well as being a fairly new library which was opened at vast expense to the council, Pelsall residents also argue that the library’s visitor figures are the highest in the borough apart from the main library in the town centre.”
  • Walsall – Pheasey Library axing punishes children and families in Great Barr, says livid councillor – Great Barr Observer. “Children and families, according to Pheasey councillor Christopher Towe, were the biggest losers on Tuesday (January 31) after Walsall Council announced it is to axe Pheasey Library. The “devastating” news comes after council bosses declared draft budget proposals, with the Collingwood Drive-based library among nine that will officially cease from use on June 30, subject to cabinet approval. And Cllr Towe fumed: “I am devastated for the people who value the facility and for those volunteers who have help build it back to a five-day-a-week library.”
  • Walsall – Walsall library closures represent sad sign of the times – it’s PlayStations over books – Great Barr Observer / Letters. “… the key here is are libraries used enough on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for the council to keep paying the bills to run them? The majority of children nowadays, especially those of a primary school and early secondary school age, would rather play a game on an iPad or a Kindle than quietly sit and read a book. It’s a sign of the times we’re in – a digital age where the term ‘playing’ means playing on the PlayStation rather than out having a kick about up the park. It’s sad but it’s reality.”
  • Warrington – Send us your #LoveMyLibrary selfies to prove you use your library – Warrington Guardian. “National Libraries Day takes place on Saturday and we’re calling on readers to mark the occasion by taking a selfie in one of the town’s libraries. “
  • West Berkshire – Confusion over parish funding for West Berkshire libraries – Newbury Today. “West Berkshire Council has asked town and parish councils to pay a combined £150,000 to help to keep them open. However, with less than two weeks until the district council makes a decision on the future of its libraries, it has been forced to admit it is unlikely to reach that target. This is because it has been hit with the news that some parishes may not have the legal power to make a financial contribution, following advice issued by The Berkshire Association of Local Councils (BALC). Under the Local Government Act, local authorities – which include parish councils – may only spend money on what they believe will bring direct benefits to their area or to all or some residents. A parish may not incur expenditure, however, unless the direct benefit will be commensurate with the expenditure to be incurred.”

  • Wigan – Library consultation draws to a close – Wigan Today. “Council bosses have earmarked making £1.4m worth of savings from its library budget but have vowed not to close any of its current sitesInstead, the town hall is proposing back-office changes – such as the merging of Life Centre and library staff – as a potential cost-saving measure. The transfer of sites to community groups will also be a consideration, officers have previously said”

  • Worcestershire – Carers libraries roadshow coming to Bromsgrove – Evesham Journal. “Worcestershire Integrated Carers Hub will hold the roadshow at Bromsgrove Library on Wednesday, February 8, from 9.30am until noon. The event will consist of informal information drop-in sessions for carers to receive information and guidance about support in their caring role.”