• Ghana needs e-library facilitiesVibe Ghana.  “Mr Monu, who made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the benefits of e-libraries are enormous. He said it is about time Ghana gets e-library facilities, to allow the public libraries to acquire latest editions of reference books and magazines.”.  The end comment suggests different priorities … “He said the greatest challenge of his outfit is the lack of fence wall, which has opened the premises to the nefarious activities of hooligans, while stray animals also disturb clients who patronise the library.”
  • Jarvis asks Vaizey “Are you a champion for libraries?” – Dan Jarvis MP.   “Shadow Culture Minister, Dan Jarvis today questioned Ed Vaizey at the dispatch box. Jarvis challenged his counterpart on the issue of libraries by asking the Minister, “With no Vision, no strategy, no urgency – from a Minister who is fast becoming the Dr Beeching of libraries, does he believe he has a responsibility to act as a “champion” for libraries across Government, and if he does – how would he assess his performance to date?”” … “During the exchange in the Chamber, Vaizey avoided the question and instead referred to his stance on the Wirral, in which the then Labour Government intervened to order an inquiry into the closures.”
  • Library closures and the public sector equality duty – Elisabeth Laing QC.  “Elisabeth Laing QC gave this paper at the 11KBW Cuts, Closures and the Public Sector Equality Duty – developments, particularly as applied to library closures seminar on 21st March 2012”.  Examines recent public library legal cases.  Points out possibility of challenging closures under new Localism Act legislation.  See also The Public Sector Equality Duty by Joanne Clement.
  • Professional development advice for academic librarians – Guardian.  Long article with relevance for public libraries as well. 
  • Speak Up for LibrariesWe Heart Libraries.  Summary of the day, along with some great pictures.
  • Speak Up for LibrariesEarly Day Motions.  45 MPs have signed up (33 Labour, 4 Lib Dem, 4  DUP, 2 SDLP, 1 UUP … and 1 Conservative).  “That this House recognises that public libraries are important community spaces and a vital public resource; acknowledges that many are under threat due to wide-scale budget cuts; is concerned about the impact of closures on social inclusion, social mobility and society more generally; welcomes the formation of Speak Up for Libraries, a coalition of national organisations and library campaigners that is leading a delegation of supporters from around the country to Parliament on 13 March 2012 in order to highlight the vital role that library services, run by professionally trained and qualified staff, play in the community and for individuals; and therefore calls on the Government to undertake a thorough assessment of the state of the public library service and develop a national vision for the service.”


Local News


  • Cambridgeshire – Job Details: Community Library Assistant – Cambridgeshire Council.  Our vision is to maintain a high quality public library service, as well as developing our role as Community Hubs, working in partnership with a range of other organizations and community groups.”
  • Camden – Campaign group on brink of Keats Library survival deal – Camden New Journal.   “After months of discussions and worries that a deal might fall through, The Phoenix group has reached an “agreement in principle” to take over the running of the library in the wake of Camden Council’s decision to stop managing it.”
  • Cumbria – Penrith Library closing for switch to self-service – News & Star.  “The county council, which operates library facilities across the county, said there would be no change to staffing levels when it goes self service. “The changes are based on the success of Carlisle library, which became self service in June 2011,” a spokesperson said. He said the self-service facility would allow staff to concentrate on helping customers find books and use computers, plus deal with general inquiries.”
  • South Gloucestershire -Read all about it, libraries are tops – This is Bristol.   “South Gloucestershire’s library service has been voted one of the best in England by those who use it. A survey of more than 4,000 people revealed that 96 per cent rated it positively, with particular praise for staff helpfulness and the range of books on offer.”
  • Leicester – Cultural deficit – This is Leicestershire.   “This, in the week following the decision of our Lord Mayor and council to close down other well-used libraries in the city, with their good selection of books, computer use, ever helpful staff, coffee mornings, book readings and other functions. Apparently a cupboard full of books and one part-time member of staff is considered adequate replacement.”
  • Lincolnshire – Villagers threaten to boycott new library at Saxilby over staffing – This is Lincolnshire.   “But villagers have vowed not to use the facility. They argue the new site will no longer have the personal touch because all three of the current library’s staff have been asked to work elsewhere. Instead, the new library will be managed by bar staff already employed at the community centre. There will also be self-service machines. Campaigners also say the use of a bar, local sports clubs and fitness classes at the centre will lead to noise and “rowdy behaviour”.

“Currently, volunteers work two hours on a Wednesday morning at the library. At the new site, they are being asked to work 14 hours between them each week. Volunteer Jane Kent now says she is considering quitting. She said: “We were told at a meeting in September that we were not becoming volunteers to replace other people’s actual jobs. That’s the condition on which many of us agreed to do it.” Saxilby resident Elaine Parry said: “As far as I know the new facility is going to be a third of the size of the current one – what good is that?”

  • North Lincolnshire – Library opening hours cut after plans are rubber-stamped – This is Scunthorpe.   “Proposals for North Lincolnshire Central Library in Scunthorpe to lose four-and-a-half hours a week and Ashby Library to open for five-and-a-half hours less every week were first put forward in October.” … “After a consultation period, the decision has now been taken to go ahead with the cuts, which will save North Lincolnshire Council £16,000 per year. But a rethink on plans to open Barton Library for longer on an unstaffed basis means it will now open for an additional three-and-a-half hours each week instead of six hours, as originally suggested.”
  • Wirral – Hoylake: then and now – BBC Things To Do.  “Local historian Jim O’Neil will be talking about his new history book, “Hoylake Then and Now” which compares old and new photographs and provides a fascinating insight into the town’s past.” at Hoylake Library.