Editorial

I have just had a week off from all things library with the family, hence this bumper post now. Doing the news from the last ten or so days in one perhaps gives a clearer impression of what is going on. Which is a lot. One of the surprising things to the innocent bystander is the large number or refurbishments going on, often linked with co-locating with other services. The other thing is not so unexpected but a week’s list really brings it home: volunteer libraries are now a key part of the changing library world.

There are two contrasting non-profit stories. GLL continues their expansion, this time in Bromley, having already taken over Dudley this year on top of Greenwich, Wandsworth and Lincolnshire. They’re also involved, less happily, in Lambeth. The other story is from Suffolk, which is – while still a non-profit – a very different beast to GLL, being a library mutual. Their independence and undoubted innovation has not saved them from deep council funding cuts. The irony that they have received a big Arts Council England fund, which they can’t use to help the shortfall, is sadly a familiar one. Finally, I’ve received emails after the post on Carillion losing Hounslow, pointing out that the company have recently suffered a major share slide (from 301p to 71p) and that other councils have cut contracts with them too. Many strongly suspect Hounslow will not be the only library contract they will lose.

Changes

Ideas

National news

  • ACE reports show libraries help older people – BookSeller. “New research from Arts Council England has explored the “important contribution” public libraries make to the well-being of older people. Published today (19th July) and drawing on new research, existing data and case studies, the four reports demonstrate the contributions libraries make to a range of national and local policy areas, including “place-shaping” – the promotion of the general well-being of a community and its citizens – and the well-being of older people.” … “Discussing the documents, Darren Henley, chief executive at Arts Council England, said: “We commissioned this series of reports to research, test and emphasise the role of libraries in their communities and in people’s lives. They show the important contribution libraries make to a range of national and local policy areas, including place-shaping and the well-being of older people. I hope these reports will be used by both library services and our partners to inform decisions and inspire future work”
  • Bedtime stories – Dreams. “Select the categories you care most about to find the best picks for you, from our list of 150 brilliant bedtime reads.”
  • A core dataset for libraries – Libraries Taskforce. A wish list of what information is desired on English libraries.
  • Game library camp – August12th at British Library. “A game themed Library Camp, as a warm up to International Games Week in the autumn and to inspire librarians to host their own game events. Library Camps are unconferences aimed at librarians, but open to all with an interest in libraries. We’ll be using #GameLibCamp17 to discuss the event on Twitter etc.”
  • Library data day – “We are organising a library data day, to be held at Liverpool library in November. This will include open pitches for discussions, classes on data and software skills, and practical opportunities to share ideas. This isn’t a signup form, but we’d like to get an idea of what you’d be most interested in covering”
  • Palmer offers free library tour with Barrington Stoke – BookSeller. “
  • Tom Palmer, whose books are published by children’s book publisher Barrington Stoke, is offering his services through a “#LoveLibraries2017” tour after libraries pitched to the author their event ideas.  He will visit libraries at various locations including Warrington, Alsager, Widnes, St Helens, Plymouth, Chester, York, Barnsley, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Salford, West Bromwich, Crewe and Dudley”
  • Reading groups, libraries and communities: an exploratory study – Libraries Taskforce. “‘I hope the powers-that-be that read the report understand the importance of the work that we do.’ A reading group facilitator. What part do reading groups play in the services that libraries provide for their communities? How central is their role and what do libraries do to foster them? Two years ago, we set out to explore these questions, spurred on by our own experience as members of a reading group and our awareness of the huge growth in reading groups that had taken place in recent years”
  • Scoping of a vision for a sector-wide portal providing access to research and the evidence-base for the information profession. Specification for a small-scale research project – CILIP. “The aim is that CILIP will become an authoritative source of data and evidence about information management and libraries by 2020 and an active partner in providing a research and evidence framework for the sector as a whole.” £5k.
  • Shining a Light on Welsh public libraries – Guest Post – Alyson’s Library Blog. “This a guest post by Jenny Peachey, Senior Policy Officer, Carnegie UK Trust, and author of the report where she writes about the findings and particularly about Wales.”
  • Tale Full of Fact and Fiction – Leon’s Library Blog. “Much has been made within the profession of the need to adopt a positive narrative approach. In this, libraries are no different from other organisations, and the story we tell about ourselves drives the collective identity of the service. It also shapes the perception of how those outside libraries view us. So adopting a positive approach to tell the story of an organisation, or in this context the library sector, is a widely acknowledged and effective strategy for influencing others. This is the driving force behind calls to move beyond the negative aspects of austerity in which the defining theme had been one of cuts and decline in the sector. The inclination for a different narrative has gained particular urgency as continuing public sector cuts challenge not only library budgets but also the very identity and  value of public libraries.”

An online bookclub from Axiell Advertisement
International news

  • Canada – Halifax Public Libraries looking at vending machines to check out books – CBC News. “Halifax Public Libraries issued a tender Friday requesting bids from manufacturers or distributors for machines that can dispense books. Each should be able to hold 100 to 150 titles and be able to scan a library card.”. Two machines in community centre already “used by about 600 people who check out almost 10,000 titles a year”
  • Croatia – Health tips under library parasols: a summer activity from Public library Fran Galović (Croatia) – Naple Sister Libraries. “Since 2008, during summer months, the program Health tips under library parasols has been gathering citizens with doctors and nurses under parasols on the terrace in front of the library building. The advantage of library location in the main city square within pedestrian area is used to attract a wider public for the healthcare issues.”
  • Denmark – Should a library be more community focused? – Princh. “In general, the library’s purpose is slowly switching towards being more community focused. Libraries have started observing their user behavior and wishes and adapted their services based on these insights.”
  • Ghana – The Experience that Inspired Poet Kwame Alexander to Open a Library in Ghana – Parade. “It was an invitation from Juanita Britton to join a group of writers and professionals traveling to a small farming village in Ghana in March 2012 that would change Alexander’s life. Witnessing the coronation of Ms. Britton as the Queen Mother Botwe Nana Adobea II of Konko village was an experience he will never forget. Alexander was excited about visiting the local schools too, where he could spend some time reading to the students.”
  • Sweden – Sweden’s Libraries Destroying Pippi Longstocking Children’s Books Because of Racist Phrases – Breitbart. “The libraries in the municipality of Botkyrka have culled editions of Astrid Lindgren’s ‘Pippi in the South Seas’ where there are obsolete expression that can be perceived as racist, but Botkyrka Library have also bought the publisher’s new edition of the book from 2015 where the obsolete expression have been replaced by more contemporary expressions.” [Rightwing US news sites often run this sort of story to suggest politically correct censorship while at the same time agreeing with banning library views about things they don’t like e.g. Drag Queen Storytime for kids at the library — What in the name of Captain Kangaroo is going on? – Fox News – Ed.]
  • USA – Denver Public Library offers personalized reading lists based on tattoos – 9 News.”All day Monday, tattoo photos were posted on the library’s Facebook page. Librarians would then comment on the posts, with their thoughtful recommendations. “It’s really to connect readers with books in a persona way and recreate the feeling they have from books, and movies, and music that they’ve loved in the past,” said Hana Zittel, one of the librarians who responded to the hundreds of comments users left on the library’s page.””
  • USA – Public Libraries and Podcasting – Public Libraries Online. ““Public libraries can—and many already do—use the podcast platform as an efficient and easy method to share news and information, promote programs and services, and distribute other important content to their patrons.”Podcasting offers a unique experience to patrons that traditional promotional methods do not. Program flyers and social networking have been working effectively for libraries for quite some time now; however, promoting by way of podcast has been gaining traction. It’s also a more personal experience for listeners. It may not put a face to a name but it at least puts a voice to a name”

Local news by authority

  • Aberdeenshire – Sensory kits introduced at Aberdeenshire libraries for children with autism – Evening Express. “The equipment, which costs £695, includes a blackout pop-up tent, rotating lights, a space projector, vibrating cushions and handheld sensory items. These all work together to help create a friendly environment for youngsters who are on the autism spectrum.”
  • Barnet – East Finchley schoolchildren take to Whitehall to protest against culture secretary’s cuts to Barnet library services – Ham and High. “Sixteen children aged 5-13 from several schools set up their demonstration outside the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on Parliament Street on Monday afternoon. They brought with them postcards addressed to the culture secretary, Karen Bradley, calling on her to reverse the cuts that have dramatically reduced the number of hours that Barnet libraries are staffed. Their placards attracted the keen interest of passing tourists, though not Ms Bradley, who was unavailable to meet the young protesters”
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Bath MP Wera Hobhouse calls for end to ‘shambles’ created over library future – Bath Echo. Lib Dem MP. “She said: “It’s a mess. The Conservatives decided behind closed doors to merge the Central Library with the One Stop Shop in Lewis House. But Lewis House is completely unsuitable for the Library; it would need £6m spent on it before the first book is moved. “There was no consultation, and they didn’t seek the views of the library’s many users. I’m not surprised that local people were outraged. “Now that the campaign to save the Library has grown, they’ve finally caved-in under pressure and launched a consultation, but whilst many people will be away on holiday.” The next consultation runs from Thursday 20th July until Friday 15th September online, and with physical copies of the plans at libraries across BANES.”
  • Bath and North East Somterset – New One Stop Shop and library in Midsomer Norton could save £200,000 – Somerset Live. “Bath and North East Somerset Council hopes to combine the town’s library and One Stop Shop.”
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Young and old want Bath Central Library where it is – Bath Chronicle / Letter. “Mr Frith tugs at our heartstrings. Poor old elderly – they’ll suffer if the library stays put. This is odd because the move will actually cost millions, and Lewis House will be very inconvenient for elderly people. Had Mr Frith bothered to come along to the demos, he would have found both young and old want their library right where it is. Next time you wade in to patronise young and old, Mr Frith – at least try getting your facts straight.”
  • Blackpool – Grand opening planned for café – Blackpool Gazette. Dementia friendly café at Anchorsholme. “The cafe cost £6,500 to build and is funded by Blackpool Council. It will be staffed by young people from the Centre for Independent Living, on Whitegate Drive, as they prepare to enter work for the first time.Coun Williams said: “It will be bright and colourful, with clear pathways planned out on the floor.“It’s specially designed to enable people with dementia to easily make their way around so they don’t get confused.””
  • Bradford – Exotic animals to visit libraries across the Bradford district – Telegraph and Argus. “There will be 22 Zoo Lab workshops taking place at the district’s libraries during the six-week break, allowing children to get up close and personal with a range of exotic animals. “
  • Bradford – Surprise as library is still closed – Ilkley Gazette. “The library is among 13 across the district that Bradford Council had hoped to turn into ‘community managed’ facilities from April this year to save money”
  • Brent – Cricklewood Library receives £40,000 pledge from Mayor of London – Brent and Kilburn Times.  “The Mayor of London has pledged £40,000 to help rebuild Cricklewood library. The pledge was made in a meeting at City Hall where the library was one of 25 projects successfully chosen to recieve funding. The donation now means the library is halfway to reaching its target but need to raise the full amount of nearly £120,000 by September 25 this year for its project to come to fruition. Friends of Cricklewood Library want to convert the building’s empty shell back into a working library and community hub. The group were devastated after the library in Olive Road, first built in 1929, was closed in 2011.
  • Bromley – Bromley council award contract to manage libraries to Greenwich Leisure Limited – Bromley Times. “Bromley council have decided to make the controversial move and award Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) the contract to run it’s library services, a move which campaigners are calling ‘privatisation’. The decision to award the 10-year contract was made at the executive meeting on Wednesday, July 19. The council say this will generate savings, and protect the library service . The awarding to GLL, a leisure operator which already manages a number of library services, follows a market testing exercise, with the specifications meaning that the successful provider would need to operate the existing library service, with the same number of libraries and exisiting staff. Peter Morgan, executive councillor for renewal and recreation, said: “I am enormously encouraged by this news, which effectively guarantees the future of our library service.”
  • Buckinghamshire – Detailed plans for new-look Aylesbury library – Mix 96. “We’re going to redecorate and refurbish the library, but it’s going to be much more than a lick of paint. “We’ll have a large meeting room, a small meeting room where one-to-one advice surgeries with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Age UK can be delivered. “Much better toilets, better nappy changing, new teenage area, computers, a new children’s library.”
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Winsford Library to host series of Summer Reading Challenge events – Winsford Guardian. Events listed inc. animal handling and museum partnership [Yes, it’s me in my real job – Ed.]
  • Cornwall – Library is next asset to transfer to town council – St Austell Voice.
  • Derby – Derby library plan under fire as Tories question council decision – Derby Telegraph. “A decision by Derby City Council’s Labour leadership to close the Central Library and potentially hand over 10 smaller libraries to community groups to run, goes against the authority’s key principles, according to opposition councillors. In the biggest ever shake-up of the city’s library services, the council says it will retain and run five libraries directlyAlvaston, Pear Tree, the Local Studies and Family History Library and the Riverside (the new Council House library) and Mickleover – and expects to save around £700,000 a year.””
  • Essex  Braintree MP James Cleverly describes Conservative election campaign as ‘a big spoonful of bitter medicine with no sugar’ – Braintree and Witham Times. “When answering a question from a member of the audience, Mr Cleverly went on to say a friend in local government had told him it would be cheaper to buy a kindle for every child in the borough than it would be to keep libraries open. “
  • Essex – Inter-Library loans & Essex – Private Eye (not available online). “Inter-library loans, allowing readers anywhere in the country access to collections nationwide, including the British Library for a small fee, have long been one of the triumphs of the public library system.  But Essex county council has now hiked up its charges making them higher than those of any neighbouring county or borough council. The charge for a standard inter-library loan increased sevenfold — from £1 to £7.  Should a reader order in a book from the British Library, they will face a charge of £22, up from £3.  A council spokesperson told the Eye:  “Borrowing books from outside Essex has always been a time-consuming and expensive undertaking.  We previously subsidised the costs incurred by inter-library and British Library loans, but due to budget pressures we had to introduce a charge to recover the money we spend on postage.  We do not profit from the charges, they simply enable us to continue delivering this service.” Meanwhile, the British Library says it charges other library services a flat fee of £13.85 for inter-library loans, and that that price includes postage.  Odd”
  • Gloucestershire – Libraries in Dursley and Wotton-under-Edge in the running for prestigious David Vaisey Prize worth £5,000 – Gazette. “More than 20 ventures from Gloucestershire’s 39 libraries are being scrutinised by a panel of judges who will award a £5,000 prize to the winner and three runners-up prizes of £1,000″
  • Halton – Halton’s libraries braced for animal antics for Summer Reading Challenge – Runcorn and Widnes World. 1063 took part last year.
  • Hampshire – Construction of a New Community Library and Development of New Residential Accommodation at The Old Bank, St Andrews Buildings, High Street, Hamble-le-Rice, SO31 4JE – Contracts Finder. “Construction of a New Community Library and Development of New Residential Accommodation at The Old Bank, St Andrews Buildings, High Street, Hamble-le-Rice, SO31 4JE – Eastleigh Borough Council, would like to invite contractors to submit a Fixed Price Tender, for the design, supply and construction of a New Community Library and Residential Accommodation as described in the Employer’s Requirements and accompanied drawings.”
  • Haringey – Highgate Library campaigners take on Haringey Council in packed public meeting – Ham and High. “A plan meant to safeguard the future of a 115-year-old library through its relocation has been condemned as “tragic”
  • Kensington and Chelsea – Kensington Council library plan on hold after Grenfell – Channel 4 News. Jon Snow reports. “In the shadow of Grenfell, plans by Kensington and Chelsea Council to lease the borough’s oldest library to the private Notting Hill Prep School may now be in the balance. After an impassioned campaign by residents to keep the library open to all, the prep school has told Channel 4 News it would welcome a review of the decision to lease the library to them. And the council has also confirmed that after the Grenfell disaster, all regeneration plans are now on hold.”
  • Lambeth – Lambeth Council refuses to listen to Carnegie Library concerns as basement cost doubles to over £1m – Brixton Buzz. “Green Cllr Scott Ainslee requested a ‘call in’ to award a contract [pdf] worth £1,255,130.07 to Forcia Ltd. This will pay for the conversion of the basement at the Herne Hill library into a book-ish gym. The request has been turned down for a hearing at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • Lambeth – Successful Carnegie library bidder still opposes gym – Brixton Blog. “The organisation selected by Lambeth council to take community ownership of the Carnegie library in Herne Hill says that alterations being made to it by the council and its leisure provider GLL are “poorly thought out” and will seriously damage a wonderful building. It also criticised the way council announced its decision. The Carnegie Community Trust (CCT) was judged by the council with “independent advice” to have submitted a stronger bid than a rival organisation, the Carnegie Library Association (CLA), that is backed by the Defend the 10 campaign which has accused the council of “stealing” the borough’s libraries. CLA has said it will appeal against the decision.”
  • Norfolk – Library project to tackle loneliness in Norfolk wins praise from Arts Council England – Eastern Daily Press. “Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service ran the Libraries Loneliness project to help older people feel more connected. The project was part of a wider In Good Company campaign to promote ways people could connect with their neighbours and the community. Jan Holden, head of Norfolk Library and Information Service, said she was delighted about the recognition. She said: “It is really fantastic that the great work our libraries do to support communities has been recognised by Arts Council England. It gives other libraries across the UK a good example of a great project.”
  • North Somerset – Community takes control of village library after cost-cutting review – North Somerset Times. “Congresbury Community Library, in Station Road, opened this month under the control of the parish council. Villagers gathered in numbers for a coffee morning at the library on July 8, with representatives from North Somerset on hand to officially seal the handover. The library faced an uncertain future after the district council conducted a cost-cutting survey, where it assessed how it could consolidate library and children’s centres to save money.”
  • North Somerset – Graffiti at Clevedon Library during reading challenge launch – North Somerset Times. “Nearly 4,000 children joined the challenge in North Somerset libraries last year and we’re hoping even more will take part this year”
  • North Somerset – Worle library closure date confirmed – Mercury. “The library, in The Maltings, is closing as part of North Somerset community access review, which aims to save £500,000 by 2019. Its books will move to the children’s centre in Mendip Avenue, which is expected to open on August 14. Alterations have already been made to the building to allow the library to be moved in, but customers will be able to borrow books for a longer period of time while the work is completed.”
  • North Yorkshire – Celebrations mark the reopening of Norton library – Craven and Herald. “Norton Hive reopened in April following a major refurbishment, extending the opening hours from 22 a week, compared to the previous 10. On Saturday, a grand opening will take place with entertainment and events throughout the day. Ryedale District councillor Elizabeth Shields, who chairs the Norton Community Library Group, said: “We will be showing everyone the newly-painted and refurbished library area, including the children’s area, the new kitchen and the changes to the former garage, which are now becoming two offices for rent to any community group.”
  • North Yorkshire – Real buzz at opening of Norton Hive Library and Community Hub – Gazette and Herald. “Ryedale District councillor Elizabeth Shields, who chairs the Norton Community Library Group, said the official opening was the culmination of a great deal of determination, goodwill and hard work. “
  • North Yorkshire – Volunteers help to write new chapter in story of Bentham Library – Craven Herald. “Bentham became a community-managed library in April as part of a transformation requiring all North Yorkshire libraries to be run or supported by volunteers. It moved into its new home in May thanks to a partnership between health and arts charity Pioneer Projects, volunteer group the Friends of Bentham Library and North Yorkshire County Council’s library service and Stronger Communities team. “
  • Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland libraries lose ancestry service in £5.5m cuts – Belfast Telegraph. “Family and community ancestry services are the latest victims of spending reductions, with the library service faced with an almost £5.5m budget cut over the last four years. The ancestry service offers a wide range of resources for historians, researchers, genealogists and students, as well as more general library-users.”
  • Nottinghamshire – Library looking for volunteers – Gainsborough Standard. Misterton.
  • Nottinghamshire – Take a look around Beeston Library after its £1 million refurbishment – Nottingham Post. “The Foster Avenue library now features new furniture and bookshelves, which are fully stocked with more than 10,000 new books. The library is one of four flagship libraries in Nottinghamshire and was designed and developed by Inspire and Arc Partnership after receiving funding from Nottinghamshire County Council.”
  • Orkney – Orkney library have bookface Twitter craze covered as social media competition heats up – Daily Record. “Competition for the best #bookface is fierce among libraries across the world but Orkney are more than holding their own. Library assistant Sandra Rushbrook stars in many of their best efforts, with colleague John Peterson behind the camera”
  • Poole – Now you can earn loyalty points just by going to the library…– Daily Echo. “The teen and young adult’s loyalty card is available for anyone aged between 13 and 24, and can be picked up in any Poole library. Card users can earn points with every use, and for every six visits to any library, holders will be able to exchange their points for rewards, including refreshments and free DVD and CD hire. The scheme is funded by the ‘Call for Ideas’ project, a Reading Agency project which supports groups of young people to get creative with reading and encourage their peers to read more.”
  • Sandwell – Fun for all the family at Sandwell’s libraries this summer – Halesowen News. “coding clubs to magic shows, virtual reality sessions to messy crafts, there is plenty to do at libraries across Sandwell this summer. “
  • Sheffield – ‘Sheffield libraries are moving with the times now, thank goodness’ – Star. “Swapping stories such as these was the order of the day when dozens of former staff gathered at Sheffield’s Central Library to mark the 10th anniversary of the Red Hats – a social group formed to keep old workmates in touch with one another. ” … “”A library is a different place now,” says Barbara. “It’s very much a community facility. When we started it was a place you went to do your homework, to find out information – things now you automatically turn to the internet for. It has in some ways diminished the role of reference libraries, I don’t think anyone would deny that. Except there are parts of society that still need that help.”
  • Somerset – Somerset County Council considers cuts to libraries budget – BBC. “Cuts to libraries are being reconsidered by Somerset County Council to save £12m from next year’s budget. In 2011, the council was forced to shelve its plans to withdraw funding to 11 libraries after a judicial review. Now the authority is considering whether to hand over the running of the service to local groups. Council leader David Fothergill said: “We have to find different models of operating libraries which may mean we won’t be operating them directly.” He said the council has had £100m of its budget cut by the government over the past few years.”
  • South Tyneside – Funding to be pulled from four community libraries which could close before end of year – Shields Gazette. “Whitburn, East Boldon, Boldon Lane and Primrose libraries have all been left hanging in the balance after cash-strapped council chiefs announced funding will be pulled in December. “
  • South Tyneside – Residents gather petition over fears Whitburn Library could close – Shields Gazette. “It is one of four which could be closed as part of cost-cutting measures. The others are East Boldon, Boldon Lane and Primrose Library. A consultation is underway by South Tyneside Council.The council is looking for community groups to take over the running of libraries – otherwise, they face closure when funding is pulled in December. The council is focusing its resources on its four multi-purpose hubs – The Word in South Shields, Hebburn Central, Jarrow Hub and Cleadon Park.A petition with 1,290 signatures to save Whitburn Library has been handed to the council during a recent meeting of the East Shields and Whitburn community area forum.”
  • Stoke on Trent – Old Trentham Library set to be demolished to make way for homes – Sentinel. Library “controversially closed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in 2014 and the building, in Trentley Road, has remained vacant ever since.” … “Since the library was closed it has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour, and the development has been welcomed by nearby residents.”
  • Suffolk – More than 50 jobs could go at Suffolk libraries due to budget cuts – East Anglian Daily Times. “Bosses have written to 52 staff telling them that their posts are under threat. Many work only a few hours a week and the job losses amount to 15 full-time equivalent posts. Formal consultation starts on the job losses at the start of next week and the service restructure is due to be in place by April next year – none of the county’s 44 library branches are expected to close and opening hours should not be affected. The restructure comes after the library service budget was cut by £230,000 by Suffolk County Council in April – and that followed a £300,000 cut last year.”
  • Suffolk – Suffolk communities are like ‘sleeping tigers’ – they will protect our libraries says outgoing boss – East Anglian Daily Times. “Recalling perhaps the most poignant moment of her entire career, she referred to 2011 – when Suffolk stood up and saved the library service from possible closure. “It was a very stressful time,” she said. “As people will remember the county council had launched a consultation asking people for their views on whether libraries should shut or not.”
  • Sunderland – Volunteers bring closed Sunderland library back to life – Sunderland Echo. “Fulwell Library, in Dene Lane, has been reinvented as Fulwell Community Library after a community interest company was formed with the help of 92 volunteers.”
  • Surrey – Why have visits to Surrey libraries fallen by almost 200,000 in the last year? – Surrey Mirror. “Deputy Manager of Redhill Library, John Miller, said the decrease in numbers is connected to the rise of internet services.”
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Penarth children’s library is officially re-opened – Penarth Times. “The basement section of Penarth Library was officially re-opened at a packed ceremony on Thursday, July 20 by children’s author Mike Church and cllr Bob Penrose, the Vale council cabinet member for learning and culture. Pedal Emporium were also present to exhibit their paint bikes which create colourful paintings as someone pedals.”
    Walsall – Walsall library to reopen as book exchange – Express and Star. “Pheasey Library, on Collingwood Drive, will open its doors once again thanks to committed volunteers and community leaders. The service will run for two days a week at first, with the potential for that to increase depending on its initial success. Councillor Chris Towe, who has been working with residents to try and get the library building in use again, said: “Myself and the other Pheasey Park Farm councillors are very passionate about this.” see also Pheasey Library in Great Barr WILL reopen – two months after Walsall Council axed facility – Walsall Advertiser.
  • Waltham Forest – Waltham Forest Council could make U-turn on plan to close Higham Hill library in Walthamstow after protests – Guardian series. “The local authority announced plans in July 2016 to shut Higham Hill library in Walthamstow and move the service to a new Library Local “multi-purpose hub” in Priory Court. However, the move was met by anger from local residents, who said proposals would lead to a “downsizing” of the service, and launched a campaign to keep the library at his current site. The council later ran a consultation, which eventually received more than 3,500 responses from members of the public. Now, the authority’s new cabinet member for libraries, arts and culture, Cllr Ahsan Khan, says he is backing calls for Higham Hill Library to remain open. “
  • West Sussex – £65m plans for Burgess Hill town centre redevelopment move forward – Argus. “Rocking Horse Antiques will relocate to a new premise to facilitate the temporary Burgess Hill Library. The programme is being carefully managed to ensure there is no break in library services for the local community, with the temporary library remaining open from mid-2018.”
  • Wigan – Kids can code from Scratch with free library sessions – Leigh Journal. “Starring libraries mascot Ollie the Alien, the interactive games will be made available on the public computers within each library and uploaded to the Scratch website for people around the world to enjoy”
  • Wigan – Prizes to be won in Ollie’s Holiday Readathon and Trail for children at libraries during the summer holidays – Leigh Journal. “They can help mascot Ollie the Alien fill his passport while collecting prizes and certificates by reading five books during the summer holidays. Each child will receive a copy of Ollie’s passport when they visit their library. They will get a sticker every time they read a book during the summer holidays and write or draw a small review in the passport, with five earning a small prize.” [This is the independent Wigan equivalent to the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge – Ed.]
  • Wiltshire – Get children reading at summer book festival – Gazette and Herald. Malmesbury: “The free festival will run from August 1 to August 5 and hold daily activities for children and teenagers up to 18 years old, including sessions with authors such as Fleur Hitchcock, Laura James and Angie Morgan. The festival will also host creative writing sessions, a Harry Potter activity, a Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem event and book signings. All events will be free but should be booked in advance because they are expected to be popular.”
  • Wiltshire – The newly refurbished Devizes Community Hub and Library on Sheep Street is now open to the public – Wiltshire Voice. “Devizes Library complete with a new community hub is open after £330,000 was spent revamping the building and services. Wiltshire Council’s library portfolio holder Darren Henry and cabinet member for campuses and hubs John Thomson are delighted with the result which brings together office services from Snuff Street and safeguards the library.” Meeting rooms. “A new open access system will be launched later in the summer to enable people to access the building and its services and facilities outside of the normal opening hours. ” … “. The installation of the Open+ system in Calne has resulted in a 37.5per cent increase in the opening hours and access to the library. “
  • Wirral – Writing challenge for children this summer at Wirral libraries – Wirral Globe. “competition has been launched in partnership with Read Now Write Now and Wirral libraries for children aged between five and 11. Called ‘Wonderful Writers’ the competition will run in conjunction with other summer events including puppet shows, story times, craft activities and the summer reading challenge ‘Animal Agents’. The theme for this year’s competition is animals and detectives and there is a maximum limit of 1,000 words. There will be two competitions one for five to eight year olds and another for nine to 11 year olds.”
  • Wolverhampton – Bilston library move put on ice Express and Star. “The decision over whether to move a library from its historic home has been put off so the council can carry out a more detailed study of the options.”