US library lobbying, Cornish protests and 15 reasons to date a librarian

Editorial

Items of note include a third of a Cornish town signing a petition against its library reducing its hours and the sheer effectiveness of library lobbying in the USA.  Apparently, for the latter, every one dollar given to the EveryLibrary group results in more than one thousand dollars of extra funding for public libraries.  We need more of that over here perhaps, although it is quite possible our different systems would reduce its effectiveness.

The less said about the “15 reasons to date a librarian” the better, though …

Changes

More >

“A launching point into the middle and professional classes”

Changes

Ideas

More >

Celebrations, showing people what they can do … and a climate of fear

More >

World Book Day: A wonderful opportunity for libraries

 

Editorial

World Book Day has come.  This means classes of children coming in, normally in some sort of fancy dress, learning about how wonderful public libraries are.  I’ve already done a school assembly (got to love 250 children screaming “World Book Day”), opened a new school library and did two class visits (“We’re Going On a Bear Hunt” is famous but may I also recommend “Here Come The Aliens“)  … and that was just on Monday.   The Day (and, let’s be honest, the whole week) is a wonderful opportunity for public libraries to get children in as schools are so keen to get involved this week.  Indeed, it’s great when schools phone you and not the other way.  I try to squeeze as many activities as I can in and I hope all public libraries are able to do the same … and keep those statistics too.

World Book Day is all about. well, books, of course and so it’s only appropriate to mention some fairly good evidence that has come in from the US that suggests that it is not public libraries per se that are declining but rather those in the UK where book funds have been cut.  Across the Atlantic, material funds rose 2% on average in 2013 and usage went up 2%.  This tallies well with the UK experience where declines in usage appears to mirror somewhat cuts in funding. So one may wonder whether it’s not that UK public libraries are dieing: rather it appears they are being murdered or, rather, suffering from neglect.

More >

Book Blendings

Ideas

More >

“A jewel in the crown of our social landscape. As much temples for the lonely as feeding houses for the mind”

@publiclibnews IMHOlibraries are a jewel in the crown of our social landscape. As much temples for the lonely as feeding houses for the mind

— Ragged University (@RaggedTalks) March 3, 2014

Ideas

More >

Community

If you have any news, views, corrections or comments please send them to ianlibrarian@live.co.uk, thank you.

More >

Campaigners should not have to pay to protect libraries

Editorial

The Leader of Lincolnshire council has claimed that all councils who try to reform their public library service have judicial reviews raised against them.  He then went on to say that those who dare to try to obtain judicial reviews should pay for them themselves. Let’s look at the truth and implications behind the words. There have been seven applications for judicial review so far but there are 151 library authorities in England alone … so that’s hardly “all” then. One must also question the word “reform” – thirty out of forty-five libraries will be closed or passed to volunteers, expressly because of the need to cut £2 million from a £6 million budget.  So we’re not talking “reform” here: we’re talking a response to cuts of one-third. Finally, the application for judicial review may need up to £25,000 in legal aid – so what the Leader is effectively saying is that only rich people should be able to challenge the legality of local council decisions.  The Leader may have no problem with that but public libraries are famously for all groups, notably those without a few tens of thousands of pounds to spare … so his response should anger everyone who cares for public libraries and thus also care to keep the power to question those in authority who cut them so drastically.

Changes

  • Scottish Borders - Libraries/museums/halls to be transferred to new Trust to save £276k.

More >

A valuable public space that doesn’t make a profit

Changes

More >

Arts funding, refurbishment and imperilment

Changes

More >