Editorial

I’m off to France for a week so there won’t be a new post for a few days and Twitter is likely to be quieter too.  Here’s hoping for a quiet week full of good news. Wishing you a good few days.

Changes

National news

  • About Book Week Scotland – Scottish Book Trust, “During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.”
  • Free tools promoting better engagement – an offer from Leapfrog – Libraries Taskforce. “Our project principal investigator, Prof Leon Cruickshank, introduced Leapfrog. It’s a unique research partnership between Lancaster University and the Glasgow School of Art, funded for 3 years by AHRC creative communities programme. This has resulted in new collaborations with engagement professionals, health professionals, librarians, young people in care, and community members. As part of this work 19 projects have been initiated across the North West of England, Scotland, and the Highlands and Islands. Through working with Lancashire libraries, positive research outcomes have included methods of co-designing ‘tools’, their use and adaptation, and benefits that resulted from them are innovative approaches to community engagement.”
  • International Games Week – Libraries Taskforce. “Libraries have been using games to attract library users for far longer than most people realise. Often considered a new development, games have a history in libraries at least as far back as the Victorian era when there is evidence of libraries using billiards and chess to attract users. Today libraries are using games to engage, entertain and educate their users across the LIS sector.” Legal and Governance, Trustee Workshop – 10th November 2017, Birmingham – Community Libraries Network.
  • Libraries lead the way on diversity and community integration – CILIP. “The CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award for excellence and innovation in the UK library sector has shortlisted four library services that run successful initiatives around the wellbeing, diversity and inclusion agendas. The shortlisted libraries in Suffolk, Kirklees and Glasgow and the prison library at HMP Norwich are driving integration and social cohesion and improving the health and life chances of individuals in their communities”
  • One hundred and two – Leon’s Library Blog. “The following guest post is from @ALibrarian1 on Twitter who has to remain anonymous due to censure they would incur for speaking out about their experience dealing with library volunteers. I accept that this will not be the experience of everyone who works with volunteers and neither does it detract from some of the great work they do in libraries around the country. However, it will resonate with many library staff, especially those who have had volunteers foisted on them as a means of keeping the whole jallopy chuntering along”

It’s obvious that most of the volunteers don’t really know or understand what public library staff do. They aren’t intending to start a career in libraries, they haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it in the same way an applicant for a job vacancy would. There’s a deeply ingrained idea that all we do is lend out books. “I’ll come and volunteer, but I just want to tidy books” is a regular comment. We have volunteers who refuse to do anything involving computers. I wouldn’t have recruited them, it would be impossible to employ a member of staff who said that, but it’s up to the committee to decide who is recruited. I just have to find them something to do.

  • Prosper: Creative United’s business support programme for the arts, museums and libraries – Creative United. “Anyone can book Prosper masterclasses, workshops and webinars. These training sessions will take place across England. “
  • Taking Part 2016/17: quarter 4 statistical release – Gov.uk. “In 2016/17, 34.0% of adults had used a public library service in the 12 months prior to interview. This is significantly lower than in 2005/06 (48.2%) but similar to 2015/16 (33.4%).” … “The proportion of adults who had used a public library service at least once a month has decreased from 24.3% in 2005/06 to 16.0% in 2016/17″ … “Since data were first collected, public library use has been significantly higher for females than males. In 2016/17, 38.3% of females had used a public library service in the 12 months prior to interview compared with 29.6% of males.” … “Unlike other cultural sectors, public library use is higher for the Black and Minority Ethnic group than for the White ethnic group.” … “In 2016/17, public library use was highest in London (39.9%) and lowest in the North East (27.1%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (27.4%).” … “In 2016/17, 12.8% of adults had visited a library website in the 12 months prior to interview. This is significantly higher than the rate of 8.9% in 2005/06 but lower than the rate of 14.2% in 2015/16 and the high of 16.9% in 2012/13.””
  • Winning combination – 2cqr. “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of 100% of 2CQR shares by our long-term partner PV SUPA. This significant move will see 2CQR continue as an independent company, operating across the whole of the UK & Ireland. Finnish company, PV SUPA, was established in 1996 and is a privately owned Library Technology innovator, manufacturer and integrator, operating in 37 countries.”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • China – Indian professor in China explains how public libraries are benefiting Chinese society  – FYI@librarian. “Public libraries in China are serving not only as “knowledge depositories” for research, but also as centres for spreading knowledge across segments of society. Access to libraries is free and requires only an identity proof – passport for foreigners. A smart library card makes the reader’s experiences convenient and hassle-free while enjoying the library’s facilities. Membership is free and for life. For borrowing books, users need to deposit a security amount, which is refundable.”
  • Global – Transforming library services – Global, connected, rich and accessible – Princh. “We talked with Liz McGettigan, one of the organizers of Global Excellence Tour 2017 who shared with us the main conclusions and some important takeaways” … “There is a need for standardisation and rationalisation of national and local digital library service delivery. I wanted to identify common processes, industry best practice, open standards, and common components” … “Forget whatever preconceptions you have of public libraries and imagine what a national partnership network of library/tech/skill centres could deliver. We have publicly owned buildings and spaces across the country. Potentially a fabulous, statutory network of places across the country entirely devoted to our literacy, tech skills, to our social, educational, health and cultural wellbeing.”
  • New Zealand – Christchurch city council spent $14k on finding a name for new library – New Zealand Herald. PR firm “recommended the English descriptor be A Place of Discovery, which would be used mostly for communications and marketing.”. Council refuses: “”I can’t accept that we’re going to build a public library in the city, that doesn’t have library on the outside of it.””
  • USA – ‘Racist propaganda’: Librarian rejects Melania Trump’s gift of Dr. Seuss books – Washington Post. “The first lady, who is increasingly carving out a public profile for herself, chose the classic children’s book and nine other Dr. Seuss titles to send to an elementary school in Cambridge, Mass., in celebration of “National Read a Book Day.” But a librarian at Cambridgeport School refused to accept the gift, criticizing Trump administration education policies and images in the books.”

Local news by authority

  • Barnet – Barnet’s new improved “Zombie” Libraries – Email to DDCMS received. “Councillor Reuben Thompstone has sucked the life out of every library in Barnet until the entire Barnet library system is now dead.”
  • Bournemouth – Bournemouth libraries staff are now employed by Poole council – Bournemouth Echo. “The merger of library services was approved earlier this year in a bid to save a projected £566,000 by 2019/20 through restructuring, without reducing the public library service required by statute. Council officers have been holding meetings with library staff and trade union representatives through the summer, and earlier this month Bournemouth Libraries staff were formally transferred into the Culture and Community unit at Poole, with a new joint management team in place.”
  • Bradford – Decision on the future of Burley Library put on hold – Ilkley Gazette. “Parish Council has agreed to defer a decision on the sale of the village’s library for six months until fully costed alternatives can be explored. The poor state of the building had led parish councillors to put forward a plan to sell the library for development with the proceeds used to redevelop the Queen’s Hall to include some form of library facilities. However this plan was opposed by campaign group the Save Our Library Site who wish to retain the library in its current location”
  • Brent – Joy as Cricklewood Library campaigners smash their fundraising target – Brent and Kilburn Times. “Friends of Cricklewood Library had until 11.59pm on Monday to raise the money or lose a £40,000 pledge from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. After a campaign they have raised £2,000 more than their target, which will go towards fully refurbishing the library in Olive Road. Sally Long, of FoCL, said: “It’s all been absolutely terrifying but it just shows how much people care around here. ”Someone put in the last £3,000 which made it go over”

  • Calderdale – It’s official! Our new Central Library & Archives are now open – Calderdale Council. Although finished to a high standard it is smaller than its predecessor. Three aspects of the previously centralised service have, as a result, had to be sited at some distance from the new building. These are bibliographic services, the service to schools and the reserve book stock. Critics pointed this out from the time when the new library was proposed. The three services are now vulnerable to being discontinued without any visible change or loss being evident at the new site. I predict they will be run down and quietly dropped at some point in the future” (Email received).
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Northwich Library to transform into ‘Fun Palace’ for the day – Northwich Guardian. “Victoria Hunter, Northwich Library team leader, said: “It’s amazing to see what talent and skills are out there in the community and how enthusiastic residents, community groups and businesses are about getting together to do a great event like Fun Palaces, which are a celebration of the arts and science” see also Discover what your library has to offer during Libraries Week – So Cheshire.
  • Devon – Four-year-old Totnes gardener wins prize from theatre group – Totnes Today. “The four year old, who is a keen gardener, took part in a competition organised through the Boo to a Goose Theatre team who have been touring their Magic Garden show across Devon’s libraries.”
  • Ealing – Tories say library will massively reduce in size with books and study space lost – Ealing Today. “”The plans are mad, as it means the library space will be reduced by 64%.  The library currently occupies 2,705 square feet which will be reduced to a tiny 956 square feet thereby obliterating the sense of space that residents appreciate in their library. ”The bad aspect of the plans are the financials which do not add up. It doesn’t take an accountant to realise that the Council is giving away a more valuable unit for a less valuable one. Unbelievably, Labour views this transaction as great news for local residents. ”However, the even bigger and sadder part, will be the loss of books and valuable study space for students.  The current book stock of 124,000 items will be reduced by 71% to 35,000 items.  The 155 designated study spaces will be reduced to 65 – a 58% reduction.”
  • East Sussex –  Need to cherish our libraries – Hastings and St Leonards Observer / Letters. Council has forgotten in closing a library that some people do not have a car.  “Rather than fewer libraries we need better resourced libraries, we need to cherish the libraries we have. If we lose them the great tragedy is we can never get them back”
  • East Sussex – Opportunity to have your say on plans to close East Sussex libraries – Eastbourne Herald. Council says closing seven libraries focuses on need more than before.
  • East Sussex – Pevensey residents say ‘no’ to plans to close library – Eastbourne Herald. ““It was moving to hear from the resident that stood up and told the meeting how their autistic son has just got to the point where he can now go to the library due to the help of supportive staff and the calm environment. “Others are concerned that the local Home Library Service volunteers will not want to continue because travel times to other libraries are quite unrealistic. We have to do our best to keep this library open. It is very encouraging that all our elected representatives are of the same view.” A working group, made up of the MP, Councillors and Mrs Martin, is now seeking a meeting with the County Council team to explore options to keep the library open to the public.”
  • Essex – Essex Poetry Festival will visit 11 libraries across Essex during month-long tour – Braintree and Witham Times. “A poetry festival will visit 11 libraries across the county during a month-long tour. Essex Poetry Festival, which features some of the best of Essex’s contemporary poets, will stop off at libraries across the county for live performances.”
  • Essex – Outrage over threat to mobile libraries – Echo. “The county council has launched an online survey asking residents to give their views on how library services to locations outside of town centres should be delivered. Any mobile stops that are less than two miles away from a library building are being consulted on. Also, if there two or more stops that serve the same community the most accessed one will be kept. Which means, in Basildon borough,17 out of the 26 mobile stops are under threat.” Consultation here.
  • Lambeth – Lambeth Archives set to move to Kennington as Minet becomes a self-service ‘library’ – Brixton Buzz. “Lambeth Council is proposing to move the Lambeth Archives from the Minet Library to a new site in Kennington at a cost of £125,450. The Minet Library will be spared the indignity of becoming a book-ish gym. Instead a self-service facility will operate on the site. Librarians will be at the Minet for two hours a day. An extra £32,000 is needed to fund this. These are the recommendations in the Lambeth Archives Options Appraisal that Cabinet will consider [pdf] when it meets at the Bolney Meadow Community Centre on 2 October.”
  • Lancashire – Rallying call to reopen library – Blackpool Gazette. “It’s 12 months this week since the library in Clifton Street was closed along with that in Freckleton and others across the county as part of budget cuts by the then Labour administration at County Hall. Since then, the now ruling Conservatives have pledged to reopen as many closed library as possible, but Lytham and Freckleton remain in limbo. It is a situation compounded by the fact that St Annes Library has been closed until the New Year for repair work following a fall of debris from the ceiling.”
  • Leicestershire – Security to be beefed up at Melton Library to enable self-service access outside opening hours – Melton Times. “Council chiefs will beef up security at Melton Library so users can feel safe accessing the building when it is closed to the public as part of a move to make it partly self-service. Leicestershire County Council will save £230,000 as a result of the new set-up, which will be rolled out in 15 libraries across the county, including Melton’s Wilton Road service. Concerns had been expressed by some that they would not feel safe in a large building if they are alone with strangers.”
  • Liverpool – Calling all entrepreneurs! Liverpool Central Library holds its first Start Up Day jam-packed with advice – Guide Liverpool. “Liverpool Central Library’s Business & IP Centre will hold its first Start-up Day this Thursday, 21st September, as part of a national drive to celebrate the country’s next generation of entrepreneurs. The day will be jam-packed with free workshops, talks and events at the library to equip budding business owners with the tools to turn their start-up dreams into reality.”
  • Norfolk – Walk like a zombie during fun weekend at Norfolk libraries – Evening News. “A wealth of activities has been organised by staff at Norfolk County Council’s libraries which have been turned into Fun Palaces of their own. These include a zombie apocalypse in King’s Lynn, where you can learn how to walk like one of the living dead, and try zombie make-up.”
  • North Lincolnshire – £1million Scunthorpe Library investment will make it ‘more accessible’ says head of service – Scunthorpe Telegraph. ““We want to create a ‘go to’ place for information, advice and lifelong learning services that are second to none, while at the same time, retaining a strong library presence.”
  • Pembrokeshire – Campaigners lose fight after decision by Pembrokeshire National Park Authority – Tivyside Advertiser. “Newport Tourist Information Centre will be closed and services merged into the nearby local library building. The move to close the centre on Long Street and merge it with the town library building on Bridge Street will be made before February 28, 2018 following the decision made by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority at their meeting on Wednesday.”
  • Powys – Builth Library celebrates successful move – Powys Council. “The successful move of a local library in Builth to its new home in the old primary school building (Antur Gwy) was officially celebrated on Tuesday 12 September with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a celebration day. ” Powys – New chapter for Llanfair Caereinion library after closure fears – County Times. “A new chapter has opened for Llanfair Caereinion Library, thanks to a partnership between the town and county councils.” … “The arrangement means the town council will cover the premises’ costs of the library within the Institute building while PCC’s Library Service will continue to provide the books and services, supported by local volunteers.”
  • Reading – Reading council needs old books and cash for its libraries – BBC. “A Labour-run council has blamed “severe government cuts” for its decision to start accepting cash donations from the public to help run libraries. Reading council has also invited residents to give it their second-hand “best-selling books in good condition”. It said it would begin accepting donations from residents on Sunday. Alok Sharma, Reading West’s Conservative MP, said the move demonstrated the authority’s “financial incompetence”.
  • Salford – Plans to expand Salford’s Libraries are passed – About Manchester. “The money from the council’s capital programme will help the council save £1.26 million over four years through better use of technology and by locating services alongside partner organisations.” [Email received suggests previous Salford Star report misleading – Ed.]
  • Sandwell – More ‘TechPlay’ sessions on the way to Blackheath and Oldbury libraries after summer success – Halesowen News. “More than 2,000 young people attended 24 events at the borough’s six town libraries which were made possible thanks to £85,000 Arts Council England funding. The innovative state-of-the-art sessions saw children aged eight and above using and learning about the latest technology including virtual reality headsets, iPad tablets, 3D doodler pens and robotic kits.” follows the success of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which saw over 7,700 children take part. The Big Read will run for the whole of this academic year and this year’s title is Cat Burglar, by Somerset author Tamsin Cooke (pictured). “
  • Somerset – Libraries want children to read the same book – West Somerset Free Press.
  • Somerset – The library in Shepton Mallet could be moving away from the town centre – Somerset Live. “Plans to move the library in Shepton Mallet away from the town centre to the offices of Mendip District Council could be going ahead after a planning application for a change of use in the council offices was approved”
  • South Gloucestershire – Residents call for public meeting over ‘misguided’ and ‘detrimental’ plans to move Thornbury’s Armstrong Hall and library – Gazette Series. “Plans to relocate community facilities in Thornbury have been labelled “financially misguided” and “detrimental” with frustrated residents calling for a public meeting. The proposals would see the Armstrong Hall Complex, as well as the town’s library, move to Turnberrie’s Community Centre.” … “The library is so central, in a pedestrian area which is safe for children, so to move it to Turnberrie’s is not a good idea. “
  • Stoke on Trent – Read all about it! Opening hours set to be cut at Stoke-on-Trent library – Sentinel. “Opening hours are set to be slashed at a city library. Stoke-on-Trent City Council has drawn up the cost-cutting plans which will see Meir Library shut on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It means the Sandon Road facility will be closed for an extra 12 hours every week. Now users can have their say on the issue by filling in a form at the library. The latest proposal comes three years after residents successfully saved Meir Library from closure. The amount of reference materials at the facility was later reduced to save £20,000-a-year”
  • Suffolk – Suffolk Libraries celebrates as record numbers complete Summer Reading Challenge – EADT.
  • Swindon – Pensioner praises parish council’s vision for ‘thriving’ community library – Swindon Advertiser. “Margaret Ellory, 82, has praised the Stratton St Margaret Parish Council for taking over the running of the Beechcroft Road library and vowing to turn it into a “thriving community hub”. “
  • York – Bright future for York’s 90-year-old library – York Press. “York was already digitally creative and imaginative, a place of ambition and a UNESCO city of media arts. “We have a programme called Challenge Your Imagination with Explore Labs where people of all ages can see what happens when stories, tech, history and creativity collide.” Events running until mid-November include poetry exhibitions and performances, digital making and media arts, hack camps with coders and artists and short films.”
  • York – Tributes to late York author Helen Cadbury as her third book launched – York Press. “Last year Will, now senior programme manager of the New Writing Awards for New Writing North, recruited Helen for the Read Regional campaign for her second novel Bones in the Nest, which sees writers from the north appear at libraries and book events. He showed a promotional video for the campaign at the launch, in which Helen talks about her love of libraries and meeting readers. “I couldn’t think of a better person to front the video,” he said. “She had been fighting this awful illness, but was determined to take part in Read Regional. “