Watchdog says PLN figures check out

There’s something quite terrifying about having one’s figures checked by an independent group, not least when those figures were recently quoted on the front page of a national newspaper and in the inside pages of two more.  This was the case today when Full Fact, funded by three different foundations, gave my work a once over in How many public libraries have closed since 2011?  Thankfully, the article accepts the Public Libraries News figures.

Doncaster case lost … but does Suffolk win?


Doncaster legal case won by Mayor
Sore news for library campaigners in Doncaster today when it became clear that the Mayor could decide on libraries policy with 43 councillors voting against him, 6 for and 3 abstaining.  On the face of it, this would seem to be more akin to elected dictatorship than democracy, although it is worth remembering that in May this year, two-thirds of the Doncaster electorate voted to keep their mayoral system.  The council will now go ahead with closing two libraries and finding volunteers to run 12 more or see them close. More >

Front page of Independent for public libraries


It’s not often that public libraries make the front page of a national newspaper but it happened today (Tuesday 31st July – Revealed: the full cost of the cull of public libraries – Independent).  It quotes the Public Libraries News figures for libraries closed and under threat.

CILIP, DCMS and Dan Jarvis are quoted and it’s interesting to see their different viewpoints: More >

Dan Jarvis MP uses Public Libraries News figures to attack Ed Vaizey

Dan Jarvis, the Shadow Minister for Libraries, used figures from Public Libraries News today to challenge his supine opposite number Ed Vaizey.  The Libraries Minister has been notably inactive in his defence over the last two years, being willing to allow authorities to effectively cut their budgets as they wish.

Let’s see what Dan says and where he got the evidence: More >

$2.86 of benefits for each $1 spent, library study claims



  • Book spend of 31p speaks volumes – Times Educational Supplement.   “According to the government, authors such as Dryden, Keats and Dickens should be at the heart of school life. But far from valuing literature, secondaries are spending as little as the cost of a packet of crisps on new books for their pupils each year. A survey by the School Library Association (SLA), which asked more than 1,000 library staff in secondaries about their budgets, found that one academy spent just 31p per pupil each year on books and another only 62p, compared with the £14 for secondaries recommended by charity Booktrust five years ago.” More >

Services “being maintained or enhanced”


  • AAA adds voice to PLR transfer opposition – BookSeller.  n a submission to the consultation launched by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport into transferring the administration of PLR away from the current Registrar, the AAA has backed the body, praising its cost efficiency. The AAA also criticizes the suggestion that PLR functions should be transferred to the British Library, the government’s preferred choice, arguing that the Library does not have authors’ interests at heart.” More >

Dwindling breed


  • Author Sarah Waters fears an unhappy ending for new libraries – Camden New Journal. “A former Camden librarian who became an award-winning author has criticised cuts to local government services. Sarah Waters, who wrote best-seller Tipping The Velvet, said forcing volunteers to take over management of libraries from local authorities  showed contempt”.  Also criticised current PLR law regarding volunteer libraries but government says ““Sampling of the books borrowed is undertaken nationally and the payments to authors are administered and funded by central government. “The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have made it clear that payments to authors will not be affected.””  More >

Doncaster, Surrey, Wakefield, Gloucestershire, Brent



Ok devil’s advocate perhaps but…..libraries of all kinds –corporate, academic, schools, special , government etc etc —not to mention the subscription based (public) London Library make loans to borrowers and are not part of PLR. What’s the problem? PLR is just a sampling scheme—it doesn’t cover all public libraries anyway. Perhaps the bigger issue is no PLR (or legal deposit) on ebooks….”  Ken Chad on Lis-Pub-Libs. More >

Surrey chooses volunteers over paid staff at the same cost

In a move motivated apparently largely by a belief that it will improve the service rather create savings, Surrey has confirmed that ten libraries will be volunteer-run by March 2013.  This is the second time that Surrey has tried to implement volunteer-run libraries: its previous attempt was rejected by a judicial review.  The Council simply redid the bits that the Judge said was lacking and repeated its earlier plans.

Library pornography, cats, privatisation and PLR