Some more good news today as new library opens in Meopham. In other news, we have Aberdeenshire spending £370k before deciding moving libraries/leisure centres into a separate trust would not save money and abandoning the idea. That’s an impressive amount of money to waste on saving money. At the other end of the country, Cornwall continue their plans of shifting library expenditure on to more local councils in Redruth. Effectively, the town council agrees to pay for the service but it remains in many ways still part of the county scheme. This model has to be very tempting for library providing councils – but perhaps not as desirable for the town councils who presumably have to raise their taxes to pay for it. Still, it’s a clever way of getting around tax caps on higher tier authorities. Finally, and I know I’m banging on about this but I like it, another library service (this time a big US city) considers getting rid of fines. Oh go on. Go on. Go on. Go on.


National news

  • A few interesting things – Leon’s Library Blog. A look at the CILIP survey showing library staff are trusted; ACE interview ; “It’s quite strange really that as the development agency for public libraries the Arts council very rarely attracts much criticism from campaigners. After all, this is the agency which is mandated to oversee libraries, direct funding to libraries, and advise the government on libraries. “; co-locations; “While not excluding the wider range of services within libraries, there are many in the sector who argue that it is the provision of good quality book stock, as part of a strong core offer, that attracts and retains library users. I count myself amongst them. But again, much more in-depth research is required to evidence this.”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • USA – Holding Pattern | Budgets & Funding – Library Journal. “libraries of all sizes reporting an overall average increase in funding for operating, materials, and personnel budgets. The trend seems to be leveling out, however. While total operating budgets rose modestly, concerns over a contentious federal budget that originally sought to eliminate federal library funding, as well as new tax laws, leave libraries unsure of what the future may hold.” … “Open hours for systems nationwide have risen slightly, with an increase of 2.1 hours in 2017. But at an average of 52.8 hours open per week, libraries have a way to go before they approach 2008’s high mark of nearly 60 hours.”
  • USA – Reimagining Libraries: The Front Door of the Innovation District – ELGL.The upper floors of the library have taken on a new life and have been transformed into modern spaces for the digital age. As if Hill were creating a new HGTV show titled ‘Extreme Makeover: Library Edition, she says “We took our fourth floor, which was used for storage, and cleared it out to create a maker space.” Hill aims to have “the things you’re seeing on TV, the stuff you’re reading about and that everyone is talking about” are present in the downtown branch. Now, patrons can get hands-on with 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, virtual reality, and photography studio.” … “On the second floor, along with the recording studio, Hill envisions a full commercial kitchen where young people can learn simple culinary skills and gain crucial nutritional knowledge. “
  • USA – San Diego may eliminate library fines to avoid cutting off poor– San Diego Union Tribune.””  … “While fines encourage many library users to return items on time, city officials say they actually do more harm than good by discouraging some patrons, especially those with low incomes, from continuing to use the library.”

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