UK’s largest “library card for every child” scheme starts in Portsmouth


  • DCMS accused of “incompetence” over PLR confusion – BookSeller.   “The Society of Authors has joined ranks with the shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis in criticising the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for the lack of guidance given to councils and volunteer-run libraries on paying PLR. The DCMS has now clarified that only libraries run by local authorities will be covered by public lending right (PLR) legislation. Jarvis has accused the government of “incompetence” for failing in its duty to make clear the position over volunteer-run libraries and PLR at an earlier stage. There has also been confusion over whether volunteer-run libraries would be in breach of copyright legislation by lending out books.” More >

Digital Economy Act could “pull the plug” on library internet access


  • Act risks limiting internet access in libraries, schools and universities – CILIP.   Digital Economy Act treats libraries in the same way as individuals.  This could mean “see the plug pulled on internet access across the country” which will have terrible consquences as “half of people who use the internet in a public space did so in a public library“.  Ed Vaizey’s 2011 assurance that libraries will not be covered by the Act has not come about in practice. “At a time when services across the public sector are experiencing reduced budgets and pressure to make savings, the costs of managing and monitoring the implementation of the Act and the risk of local authorities, schools, colleges and universities having their reputations damaged by being placed on an infringement list could lead many libraries to pull the plug on internet access altogether.” More >

The fate of UK’s public libraries depends on this review

At some point this week, Mr Vaizey will announce an independent review into e-book lending in public libraries. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is not important.  Consider. E-books are likely, sooner or later, to be the effective replacement for printed books.  It may not happen this year, or in five years, or even in twenty.  But it is going to happen.  More >

Making it up as they go along

Evidence from the Public Lending Right office shows that the rush to volunteer-run libraries is taking place without even basic checks to the legal.  This from Gloucestershire: More >

Public Lending Right, Manchester Stock Weeding Right?

Comment – Public Lending Right

It is clear that the legal position of non-council run libraries when it comes to their right to lend out books has not been worked out. The Public Lending Right office are strongly suggesting that non-statutory libraries are breaking the law. The Society of Authors are threatening legal action: More >

Manchester on “You and Yours” tomorrow


  • Manchester/national Listen to BBC Radio Four “You and Yours” 12 noon Thursday12th July.  “The row that’s emerged over Manchester Central Library’s decision to dispose of more than a third of its books. Academics and writers have signed an open letter calling for the library to halt the process.” 
  • Surrey – Surrey Libraries Action Movement are organising a protest outside County Hall on 24th July, 1pm – 2pm.  This it timed to coincide with the council meeting to reconsider its plans to remove staff from ten libraries across Surrey and replace them with volunteers.  “Please would you encourage as many people as you can, to come along? We would urge anyone who is not happy about the councils plans to come along – whatever their viewpoint.  Bringing placards and banners would be really good; with slogans on, that give your message.” More >

“What you are losing in a library cannot be replaced in a community”

A beautiful letter has been sent to the relevant Government ministers and Brent councillors regarding the closure of Kensal Rise Library.  I reprint it here in full and would suggest everyone has a read.  The Director of Communications at the Mark Twain House and Museum sounds like quite a character: More >

4000 petition names not enough? Local democracy in action


@ggnewed @GoodLibraries There’s no truth in these rumours. DCMS recently passed 20 successful yrs & its responsibilities continue to expand.” DCMS official Twitter account on rumours of decision to close the department. More >

Lambeth improve: Croydon/Wandsworth get closer to privatisation, Wokingham delay


  • DCMS is to close – Good Library Blog.   ” the DCMS is to close- announcements will be made after the Olympic Games (unless they make such a hash of their contribution that the closure needs to come earlier. Bye Bye Dempster and Jonathan and and all the Sarah’s and Ian’s and Catherine’s. You have comprehensively ruined the library service, so it is time to go. Oh – and bye bye Ed.” More >

Should Library ebooks be charged for?

It turns out that three different MPs are claiming that a task book on ebooks in libraries was their idea.  These are Ed Vaizey (minister for libraries, claimed in Oliver Diamond’s weekly roundup of Conservative news), Justin Tomlinson (the chairman of the All-party Parliamentary Committee on Libraries) and Dan Jarvis (shadow minister for libraries).  If nothing else, this suggests that something may finally happen, even if everyone with the letters M and P after their name claims credit for it.  More >