Sometimes you come across something so right that one needs to tell everyone.  Such a moment came when I had a look at the brilliant Edmonton Libraries brochure explaining what they do every day.  Through several beautifully produced pages it helps library staff and campaigners around the world with a few tips on how to do it themselves.  I have placed it at the top of the “reasons for public libraries” page as it so neatly does the job for me.  In fact, I could have saved myself some time and just used it instead, if its existence had previously been known to me.  If your library is not like the one described within, ask your councillors why not. Perhaps it’s because libraries in this country have never produced anything like it.

395 libraries (319 buildings and 76 mobiles) currently under threat or closed/left council control since 1/4/11 out of c.4612 in the UK (for the complete list by area see the page “Tally by local authority”). Librarian professional body CILIP forecasts 600 libraries under threat (inc. 20% of English libraries).  The Public Libraries News figure is obtained from counting up all reports about public libraries in the media each day.


Councils must chase up their missing tax London Evening Standard.  “Unpaid council tax means that councils make up the shortfall either by taxing their conscientious council taxpayers more or by cutting services. Before local authorities cut care for the elderly or close libraries, they should ensure that they are collecting the tax they are owed. In these straitened times, it’s the least they can do.”

“The LfL strategy recognised the important role that the library sector plays in achieving a number of the key priorities set out by WAG in its One Wales[1] strategy, not only in the development of the culture and heritage of Wales, but also in developing the Welsh economy, providing information that can improve the health and wellbeing of the Welsh people, providing access to lifelong learning and ensuring that resources are accessible to all. In addition, libraries were identified as playing a critical role in placing the citizen at the heart of service delivery and contributing to meeting the aims described in the Making the Connections programme (2005) for public service reform and Delivering Beyond Boundaries action plan[2]“.Evaluation of Libraries for Life – CyMAL (Wales). £10.5m budget from 2008 to 2011. Benefits shown “included increased employability, improved working environment and higher levels of job satisfaction. For library users benefits have included improved environments and facilities and more knowledgeable and up-skilled staff.”

Get it loud in libraries – Lancashire Libraries.  “Get It Loud In Libraries is a unique award winning project – it is the current Love Libraries Award 2007 winner-designed to give people, especially young people who love music, a damn good time in a library; libraries across Lancashire if you are someone who cares for the small details.”.  Singers include Chipmunk, Secret Sisters.
Is the future of books and libraries intertwined? – Kaser Info Today. (USA).
Is this the tipping point for E-books and libraries?Read Write Web (USA).  
Libraries for a small community – Voices for the Library (Clair Humphries).  “These communities are local, and despite often being as small and narrow as the first library I ever knew, they deserve to be served by libraries that are local too.”
Libraries told to improve online – Public Service.  Libraries are a “top five online service” but “online council library services are often difficult to use, despite the fact that millions rely on them, research from Socitm has found.”
Santa Clarita prepares to open new library  Favourable report on LSSI’s takeover of three public libraries.  “In anticipation of opening day, the City vastly increased the inventory of library books and media, as well as service days and hours at the three branches.”.  
Trade unions and anti-cuts campaigners plan summer of protest – Guardian.  “Earlier this month Dave Prentis, the head of Unison, the UK’s biggest public-sector union, promised to mount the most sustained wave of industrial action the country has seen since the general strike of 1926, vowing not to back down until the government has dropped its pension changes.”.  Most library staff who are in a union are in Unison.
We will not be Shushed: a new method of library advocacy – American Libraries (USA). The “Save NYC Libraries” campaign has put together advocacy events including 24-hour read ins, a Zombie Walk, petition and post card campaigns, and most recently a flash mob library hug around New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Who we are and what we valueEdmonton Libraries (Canada).  Simply superb publicity brochure brilliantly explaining and describing what libraries do. The video above is pretty darn good too.

Local News

Bracknell Forest – Libraries are owed £105,000 – Get Bracknell.  “The system of fines is used to encourage customers to return items promptly. We would urge anyone who has a library book or other library item to bring it back so it can be enjoyed by others”
Bradford – Tories attack cafe plan in light of ongoing cutsTelegraph & Argus.  “It appears absurd that we cannot afford the staff to operate libraries or swimming pools, but we can staff coffee shops in City Hall. I am quietly confident that I know what residents would prefer.”
Brent – June Campaign UpdateSave Kensal Rise Library.   (1) Philip Pullman to speak on 20th July, (2) Application for judicial review now issued, nearly half of the £30,000 required has been raised, review expected when time available July-September (3) Stall at Queens Park Book Festival, stall soon at Kensal Flea Market. 
Doncaster -Ed Miliband to visit Doncaster Libraries – Save Doncaster Libraries.”Ed Miliband will make a personal appearance alongside campaigners who are not giving up the battle to save 14 Doncaster libraries from the budget cutbacks. The Doncaster North MP is visiting Sprotbrough Library, in Sprotborough Road, on Saturday July 9, from 10.15am, which is one of the branches facing the axe because of cuts imposed by the Coalition Government.”

Mr Miliband added: “These planned closures – rubberstamped by Doncaster’s mayor and his cabinet – are being proposed because cuts imposed by the Tory-led Government in Westminster are going too far, too fast. Libraries are at the heart of Doncaster’s communities, like any other town in the country, and they should not be taken away.” Doncaster – Leader’s pledge on libraries row – Star.  “the Labour leader has weighed in to the fight to stave off the closure of many of Doncaster’s branch libraries”

Gloucestershire – 17 offers to get go ahead to run Gloucestershire’s libraries and youth centres – This is Glos. The 9 libraries are Berkeley, Bream, Brockworth, Lechlade, Matson, Minchinhampton, Mitcheldean, Newnham and Painswick.  Painswick is aiming to reopen a library closed in 2009.  Two comments point out going ahead by agreeing thse plans appears to go against the current court injunction which includes the line “Transferring or agreeing to transfer any library building or lease or responsibility for running any existing library”
Hertfordshire – Cuts to library hours come into force – Hemel Today.    Some of the most serious cuts in library services anywhere, a 30% opening hours cut, will come in force from Monday.
West Sussex – Council payoffs to officers “outrageous”BBC.   Five senior officers received £1.5m in payoffs, including one who went into £130k p.a. job shortly afterwards. Same council planning to cut 1300 jobs -” the public faced cuts in adult social care services, libraries, buses and young people’s services.”