Archive for April, 2019

The Library Book, The Public and the Mighty Ducks

Editorial

I’m a sucker for books and films telling me how great libraries are. One of the best books I’ve read recently is The Library Book by Susan Orlean, due to a number of factors. The first is, of course, the fact that the author clearly loves libraries but also there is the ongoing whodunnit thread of who burnt the library as well as it being an introduction to the US library system both now and the past. For this reason also, I’m looking forward to watching The Public. Mind you, I’ve always liked Emilio Estevez, even in the Mighty Ducks. You can always tell it’s been quiet news week (Brexit? Local elections?) when I slip in a film or a book in the editorial. Don’t tell anyone …

Changes by authority

National news

  • 13 Nonfiction Books About Real, Live Librarians – BookRiot. “librarians are like ninjas: easy to overlook yet extremely effective. Any modern library worker will tell you that they don’t spend their days behind the desk reading. In fact, books are only a slice of what librarians do. (In my humble experience, actual library work involves a heck of a lot more spitballs.) That said, let us enjoy these 13 nonfiction books about librarians. As we do, let’s raise a glass to those who show the world how to operate the printer fifty times a day.”
  • Celebrating libraries in the digital world – Libraries Week. “Libraries Week is a celebration of the nation’s much-loved libraries. In 2019 we are celebrating the role of libraries in the digital world. Libraries Week 2019 will celebrate and explore how libraries are engaging communities through technology, building digital skills and confidence, encouraging digital participation and inclusion, supporting health, wellbeing and education and supporting local business and enterprise. Libraries Week 2019 will take place 7-12 October. Library staff and supporters can register now to take part and stay up to date as more details on this year’s campaign become available.”
  • CWA Brings Writers, Venues and Book Groups Together in National Crime Reading Month in May – Time To Read. “NCRM, which has run for a number of years, is a unique literary festival that is held throughout the UK in May to celebrate the crime genre, both fiction and non-fiction. The festival, which is organised by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and the Crime Readers’ Association (CRA), sees authors staging events including talks, recitals and ‘in conversation’ evenings in venues ranging from libraries to pubs, theatres  to town halls.”

Axiell Selflib
International news

  • Eire – Do your shelf a favour and get back into your local library – Irish Times. “With free access to books, mags, DVDs, web access, talks and courses – and no more fines for overdue items – Ireland’s libraries are hoping to double their membership to 1.5m”
  • Ghana – Reading Spots Ghana Provides Solar Powered Library To Ekawso – Modern Ghana. “Reading Spots Ghana, has provided the people of Ekawso with a solar-powered community library as part of its aim of providing educational resources for all schools and adults in the area. According to Mr. Ampoma Patrick, a representative from the Ghana Library Authority, less than two percent of children in primary two are able to read fluently in the Ghanaian and English languages.”

  • USA – Book BotMountain View. “Book Bot is a book pick-up device that will allow residents in a test area to return library books and other library materials to the Mountain View Public Library from their home once a week. Book Bot is one of several applications of Personal Delivery Devices developed as part of a project within Google’s Area 120 workshop for experimental ideas.  This project is part of the City of Mountain View’s pilot program to allow the use of Personal Delivery Devices …”
  • USA – Emilio Estevez Goes Public In His Library Love, Homelessness Concerns In New Movie – Forbes. “Libraries – long the world’s repositories of knowledge and books trying to find new roles in the Information Age – these days are having a bit of a moment. First there was The Library Book, the latest from New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean, whose The Orchid Thief became the unlikely film adaptation Adaptation. In The Library Book, Orlean looks at the 1986 arson of the Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Branch that burned half a million books and damaged another million. Along the way, Orlean examines  the fast-changing but still essential role of libraries in public life in a time when smartphones provide a bottomless well of information and entertainment. Earlier this year, Orlean was featured guest in the L.A. library foundation’s annual fundraiser.Now comes a new movie, The Public, about a different role that has been thrust upon many libraries, as a flash point in the nation’s homelessness problems. The film is debuting in 250 theaters across the country on Friday.”
  • USA – Paramount TV, Anonymous to Adapt Susan Orlean’s ‘The Library Book’ – Variety. ““Susan has created a captivating narrative that is part mystery, part magic, and part love letter to the dedicated stewards who fight to keep these beloved institutions alive,” said Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount TV. “Each day at the library, the human drama that unfolds among staff and patrons of every socio-economic level – funny, sad, inspiring, unexpected – speaks to the highs and lows of our country right now, and we’re excited to bring these stories to life on screen.””
  • USA – Project Outcome: Gather Better Data – Princh. “Outcome measurement is one way for library staff to collect data from patrons about the value of public programs and services. Because library staff do not always have in-depth experience in evaluation, they could find themselves unsure of how to write an outcome-focused assessment after collecting patron feedback. For example, staff know that a program like Storytime can help improve literacy of children, but the specific data to reinforce this knowledge is not always present.”

Local news by authority

  • Birmingham – Alice and the Library Tree – Storytelling and music combine in a new commission for Sutton Coldfield – Brumpic. “Combining storytelling and music and created by local children’s opera company B’Opera, this new work will explore the wonder of libraries and how they inspire curiosity.”
  • Carmarthenshire – Library users to benefit from new system – South Wales Guardian. “The council is the 17th of 22 library authorities in Wales to adopt the new SirsiDynix Symphony Library Management System. “
  • Cumbria – Best selling crime writers lift the lid on their work – Mail. Author visits.
  • Dorset – New signs for council buildings and libraries cost £8,800 – Dorset Echo. Dorset Council changes logo.
  • East Sussex – Update on Pevensey Bay Library – Eastbourne Herald. Volunteers may take over closed library. “campaign. Since the closures only two have reopened, run by the communities they serve. A spokesperson at Volunteers Network said, “Although there is local interest in taking over all of the libraries and reopening them, many have had legal or financial issues to be resolved, and organising community run libraries is not an easy task. “
  • Essex – County Hall: 50 groups interested in running libraries – Gazette News. “The plans show 19 libraries out if the 74 in Essex are earmarked to be run by community groups. County Hall has now confirmed more than 21,000 people responded to its consultation held earlier this year. There have also been 50 ‘expressions of interest’ by groups wanting to take over the running of libraries.”
  • Lewisham – Lewisham Library redevelopment study due next month – News Shopper. “Lewisham Council’s feasibility study into whether it can redevelop Lewisham library and build rented council homes or cut staff hours to fund a £450,000 shortfall is due on May 8. Proposals to cut staff hours in 2020 were put on hold while the council looked into whether rented council housing on-site could help pay for a new library.”
  • Rotherham – News: New chapter for Rotherham’s Central Library? – Roth Biz. “Rotherham Council is seeking views from residents and library users about the possibility of moving the Central Library back to a more central location in Rotherham town centre. Currently based within cultural space at the Council’s Riverside House, which opened in 2011, the central library holds the largest collection and range of lending materials in the borough. It was previously housed on Drummond Street alongside former council offices that were demolished to make way for the Tesco Extra.
    The Council has now said that it is considering moving the library back across town into a new community/cultural hub that could be located opposite Tesco in the Markets, which is due to be developed as part of the Town Centre Masterplan”
  • St Helens – Youngsters learning to write in libraries with children’s author – St Helens Reporter. “Mark Powers, known for the Spy Toys series, will pass on some of the tips of the author’s trade in the workshops called Show, Don’t Tell.”
  • Staffordshire – Libraries gear up for Staffordshire Day celebrations – Staffordshire Newsroom. “Author visits, quiz nights, local heroes competition, guided tours and arts and crafts activities are amongst the events already lined up for this year’s celebrations.”
  • Old Stafford library could be turned into flats – Express and Star. “an application has now been submitted to Stafford Borough Council to convert it into 10 apartments and a bar and restaurant. Eight of the apartments will be located on the first floor and the remaining two on the ground floor. “
  • Stirling – Stirling pensioner wants pro-Scottish independence paper reinstated in libraries – Daily Record.
  • Suffolk – New opening times for Brandon Library – East Anglian Daily Times. “The new opening times will see the library open for longer on Wednesday afternoons, but closing earlier on Friday evenings. The changes, approved by the libraries board and Suffolk County Council come following calls from customers and will come into effect from May 20. Suffolk Libraries confirmed however it will remain closed on Monday despite the longer opening hours and that future events are unaffected.”
  • Wrexham – Wrexham Library services help with Universal Credit – Leader. Online resources publicised. “It is the second time William Todd has clashed with Stirling Libraries over the availability of the ‘Scots Independent’. The last time was the late 1980s. The 70-year-old, from St Ninians, said that up until two and a half years ago he had been able to read a copy of the ‘Scots Independent’, first published over 90 years ago, alongside a variety of daily national newspapers at a number of Stirling district libraries. He recently wrote to Stirling Library HQ to ask why he can no longer access the monthly title which had been distributed to libraries for free.”

 

That London Library By Euston

Editorial

Interesting to see that the British Library, based almost entirely in one big city in the South East of England, is considering opening up a “British Library North” in Leeds. About time, as anyone can attest who has had to travel hundreds of mile to visit a place that apparently serves the whole nation but in fact is almost entirely based in London and charges the heck (or, in BL terms, “full cost recovery”) out of other libraries (don’t dare use the word “provincial”, you hear me?) to borrow something it got given for free. It’s been good to see the British Library start to wake up to its wider role in the last few years, with 13 business and intellectual property centres in libraries around the country and a group of 22 library services (out of more than 200) it works with on some projects, but there’s a lot more that it could do before I stop thinking of it in my mind as “That London Library By Euston”.

Great to see more fines being removed, with one authority going fine-free and two more removing children’s fines. Something more confusing was the debt that York Explore somehow ended up owing to the council but, that’s OK, because the council is paying them an extra amount of money to allow Explore to pay it back. I think. My head hurts.

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