Archive for June, 2012

Closed Library Crazy Golf

A typical library in Giantsville

The picture appears to show a typical 1970s library.  Look more closely and you will see it appears to be in a bad state of repair like so many these days.  Hang on, there’s boarded up windows and doors.  Ah, it must be one of those closed libraries we have heard so much about.  But no. Now, look more closely. Those paving slabs around it are huge and that has to be the world’s largest bicycle wheel behind it.  So, what’s going on?  All is revealed … More >

Special Report: Ed Vaizey’s most important speech since he took office

Ed Vaizey, the Libraries Minister, made his most important speech on the subject for two years todat at the “The Future of Library Services” conference.  He then went on the Front Row radio programme and said several more interesting things.  The full text of the radio programme can be found at the end of this post and I would recommend everyone with an interest should read it.

Public Lending Right Blues … and some new libraries


  • Authors call for “a library in every school” – Guardian.  the campaign, run by writers’ body the Society of Authors and backed by a mass of writers, publishers, academics, librarians and education professionals, is asking schools minister Nick Gibb to make it a statutory requirement for every primary and secondary school in England and Wales to have a library, on the grounds that “there are proven links between reading and attainment”.” More >

Public libraries “may disappear by the end of the decade”

CommentThis apocalyptic headline is due to the Local Government Association (LGA) throwing the gauntlet down at the Government today.  It warned that services like libraries would need to effectively end if the Coalition continues with its proposed cuts to local councils ….  More >

“Vital for communities”

After the news that the Local Government Association will be running a workshop on libraries at their conference and will soon be producing a report on the responses to the cuts in public libraries, I have received some queries from readers about the cost of a subscription to the LGA for a local authority.  One or two people have also questioned if the Association could be said to be in charge of the organisation.  The LGA responded to my queries on this subject very quickly and I print their reply in its entirety: More >

Cutting edge indeed: the LGA on libraries.

The influential LGA have released details of a session at their annual conference this week. The session concerns how councils are changing library services in response to budget cuts.  It should be read in conjunction with this press release by the LGAabout a new report.Please find below a description of the LGA libraries session, I have included a list of the speakers.  All three come from councils which are boosting volunteers in their libraries and reducing paid staff.  On the plus side, one can at least be thankful that there is not a speaker from Brent. More >

Winnie the Witch backs library campaign


The item which most caught my eye today was the discovery that the LSSI chief who had said two years ago that “you come to us, you’re going to have to work” has just come back from a 112 day round-the-world cruise.  See more at Stop the Privatisation of Public Libraries who spotted Mr Pezzanite’s holiday blog post.  However, the thing I liked most while searching the library news today was this poster below ….
Superb Wootton Fields Library Group poster, produced by Korky Paul with permission of Oxford University Press.  See also BBC article.  Follow on Twitter at @woottonlibrary.  Sign petition here. More >

9 libraries under threat in Wolverhampton

Suggested actions

  • Plan your complaint to the DCMSSee this post.
  • Re-open Friern Barnet Library. “We need to reach 7,000 signatures for our petition to be debated at a full Barnet council meeting. Last year we broke the 3,000 mark. Please be aware you do NOT need to live in the Borough of Barnet, and it takes just 60 seconds to sign. Petition text: “We the residents, students and workers of Friern Barnet, are petitioning Barnet Council to Re-open our local library. Friern Barnet Library in its present place and shape is an integral part of community life in the surrounding area. We want a cheerful Local library. This is a chance for Barnet Council to show they are listening to local residents and reverse the bad feeling caused by the closure of this lovely library.” More >

A mobile for Northern Italy


“As you know the last Earthquake in Norhern Italy in May and the continuous tremors have distroyed or damaged many small public libraries in the regions of Emilia and Lombardy .  Now there is the problem to restart the local library service in different situations. In few cases it would be very useful to have one or more bibliobuses -like available ( used … not new of course …) to front the readers -users -scholars emergence in next months in some communities . In others the way- as a container, for example- to transfer and temporarly stock books everywhere for some months. Do you think any of you living in countries around Italian boundaries could help us in this , borrowing or giving in whatever way a similar solution to this crucial problem? Please , if you have information or a good idea about my request above mailto

Perhaps the following authorities who have withdrawn between them 53 mobiles in the UK since April 2011 can help: More >

Bravery-based librarianship

There’s an interesting piece today by the always impressive Ned Potter on practicing “bravery-based librarianship”.  He uses the controversial fake Book Burning campaign in Troy, Michigan as an example of a daring campaign that made a big impact.  I must admit to being less in love with the campaign than he is – it stooped to falsehood and this sits ill with the whole point of libraries.  However, it did the business, the library got its way and won the battle. We can use the example as an inspiration but perhaps not to directly emulat More >