• Age, disability and the digital divide – Infoism.  “It is, of course, the higher earners who presume that everyone has the internet, based purely on the fact that all their peers have.  Perhaps if they looked beyond their circle they will see that many of those lower down the pay scale not only do not have internet at home, but also have never even accessed the internet.”
  • Book burning party – Book Burning Party (USA).  An upbeat guide to the controversial campaigning tactic to keep the library open in Troy, Michigan.  Controversial because it made people angry and children actually break down weeping.  On the other hand, it got people talking and apparently tripled the vote.
  • Library of the year nominations – BookSeller. Nominations are: Edinburgh City Libraries/City of Edinburgh Libraries and Information Services, Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library/Norfolk County Library Service, Orkney Library & Archive/Orkney Library & Archive, Stockton Central/Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Wotton Fields Library, Northampton/Tribal Group PLC.  None of these were deemed worthy of appearing at the Future of Library Services conference.
  • Why I’m going to Harvard to argue that libraries are obsolete and why you should help me do it – Virtual Dave (USA).   Another interesting American post, using debating as means to sharpen up campaigning arguments.

Local News

  • Barnet – People’s protest – Save Friern Barnet Library Group.  “The Save FBL Group remains angry and disbelieving of the actions of Barnet Council. We have now learned that between July 2011 and February 29th 2012 (the day of the Scrutiny Meeting) no meetings at all took place between Barnet Council and artsdepot to discuss a landmark library. We have also learned that Barnet Council, who insisted that the Save FBL Group proposal must cost a maximum of £10,000 per year, will be giving the Hampstead Garden Suburb Volunteer Library £25,500 this year alone. This once again demonstrates the continuing contempt shown to our community.”
  • Calderdale – Reduced library opening hours criticised – Todmorden News.  “At last week’s town meeting, Todmorden town councillor Frank McManus moved a motion calling on Calderdale Council to restore the recent cuts. Fellow town councillors agreed that the reduced opening times were regrettable.”
  • Croydon/Lambeth – Upper Norwood Library latestvia Alan Gibbons.  A list of the great amount going on to help save one of the best libraries in London.
  • Gloucestershire – Councillor Noble is let off misconduct charge: again – FoGL.   “County Councillor Noble led a review of libraries, which, in my view, misled councillors and the public, and was declared illegal in court and cost the people of Gloucestershire hundreds of thousands of pounds. The council is apparently happy to sit on its hands rather than admit it was a huge error-strewn blunder. I call this decision a whitewash.”

“GCC LOST a judicial review as they failed to consider, and mitigate, the impact on the vulnerable, yet still they fail to take any blame or any responsibility for their failings. GCC had “no comment” because their conduct and processes are impossible to defend. They know that no one will hold them to account though isn’t that right Mr Vaizey and Mr Hunt, LGO and DCMS?”

  • Councillor cleared of misconduct in libraries review – This is Gloucestershire.   “Councillor Antonia Noble, former cabinet member for library services, led a scheme to axe 10 county libraries which was quashed in November when a High Court judicial review found the authority did not consult vulnerable users. Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries (FOGL) member John Holland launched a formal complaint in June last year, claiming councillor Noble had misled people by implying the impact of planned closures in the county’s most deprived areas had been taken into account. At a council standards committee meeting last week, members found she had not intended to mislead anyone and that her words had been open to “misinterpretation”.”
  • Oxfordshire – Distant Thunder – Tim Griggs (press release).  Tim Griggs will be “speaking at Oxford City Library at 1.00 PM on World Book Day, Monday 23 April. He will be talking about the parallels between today’s world and the late Victorian era evoked by his novel. ‘Both were dominated by empires still huge but teetering on the edge of collapse,’ he says, ‘both were paranoid about external threats, particularly those with religious links. Both were riven by internal dissent.”
  • Worcestershire – Have your say on Kidderminster Library plans – Shuttle. “Plans could see the art space and Steinway grand piano moved to the library’s first and ground floors to make way for offices housing 90 desks and 139 staff from adult and social care and children’s services.”