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Perhaps the following authorities who have withdrawn between them 53 mobiles in the UK since April 2011 can help:

Bexley – 1 mobile withdrawn Oct 2011.
Blackburn with Darwen – at least one mobile withdrawn in 2011 – Article.
Bristol1 mobile – From 1st April 2012.
Calderdale1 mobile – Article.  From 1st April 2012.  
Central Bedfordshire – Article – Council’s sole mobile library is stopped.
Ealing – Article – One mobile lost.
Gloucestershire – Article – Homelink mobile serving elderly people’s homes stopped.
Hampshire – Article – 13 mobiles cease, four survive.
Herefordshire – Article – 2 mobiles withdrawn.
Lambeth – 2 mobiles appear to be withdrawn.
Lancashire – 1 mobile appears to have been withdrawn.
Middlesbrough – 1 mobile appears to have been withdrawn: Library list now shows no mention of mobile library which was posted as under threat in 2011.  It is therefore assumed to be closed.
Northamptonshire – 2 (out of 4) withdrawn.
Nottinghamshire – 4 (out of 7) withdrawn.   There now (Mar 2012) appears to be just three routes.
North Yorkshire – Article10 out of 11 ceased.
Sefton – 1 mobile ends – Article.
Shropshire – Article – Weekly mobile stops changed to fortnightly. 2 mobiles stopped.
Stoke on Trent – Article – 1 mobile withdrawn.
Surrey – Article – 5 mobiles withdrawn.
Vale of Glamorgan – 1 mobile withdrawn June 2011.
West Sussex – Article – 1 out of 3 mobiles closed.


“We have been asked by Geoffrey Dron of Save Bolton Libraries Campaign to publish the following, regarding intervention requests made to the DCMS by library campaigners and the lack of response to these requests. Geoffrey asks campaigners to contact him if they feel joint complaints ought to be made on behalf of the affected groups to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Please read his full request below for further details….” Library closures: challenging the DCMS – Voices for the Library.

  • One year on, does sharing services work? – Guardian.  Three London boroughs decided to merge services, including libraries.  “We are now on track to save £40m a year across the three councils by 2015/16, and this financial year we will jointly make £7.7m of savings.” … “we’ve proven that tri-borough working can actually improve services for local people. Our residents can now borrow books from any library across the three boroughs, expanding their choice to more than one million books, including specialist collections like the Westminster music library and the fashion collection at Chelsea library.”
 Protests in Madrid against the suggested privatisation
  • Teacher’s concern over reading for pleasure – BBC.  “More than two-fifths of UK teachers say children are turned off reading for pleasure by the time they finish primary school, a survey reports.” … “three-quarters (74%) warned that pupils did not spend enough time reading outside the classroom.”

“The librarian is an active intermediary between users and resources. Professional and continuing education of the librarian is indispensable to ensure adequate services.” UNESCO Public Library Manifesto

  • We want good local services for all – Guardian.   “The reality is that the government’s “right to choice” and its “community right to challenge” (enabling voluntary groups to force local authorities to open up procurement) are a cover-up for privatisation by the back door. If this goes ahead, private companies will make a killing from taking over our services while everyone else suffers.Readers, if you want a right to good, local, publicly provided services insteadof a “right to choice”, you can tell the government how you feel, by this Friday, 22 June, at” Signatories include Alan Gibbons and Ian Clark (Voices for the Library).

“To think of a library as full of books is to think of a university as full of meat. A library is full of thoughts.” Allain Moose (Via Twitter).

  • Weather the storm – ALA (USA).  Infographic showing how well US public libraries are doing despite 40% reporting decreased funding for the third year in the tow.  Interestingly, 62% report that they offer the sole local public access to the internet.  American libraries are clearly ahead of their British counterparts in the services offered:  76% offer ebooks, an amazing 39% offer e-readers.  They also appear to be ahead in other areas such as QR codes.


Local News

  • Brent – Kensal Rise musicians support library campaign – Save Kensal Rise Library.  Library supporters were delighted to enjoy a magnificent concert in the Wigmore Hall on Monday 18 June by the Razumovsky Ensemble and Academy. Following a celebrated concert for the library last year in Kensal Rise, the Razumovsky Academy entertained a group of library supporters….”
    • My library has no books – Intelligent Life / Economist. “”We haven’t seen you for a while…” was the cheery opening of the email from Brent Council. Its purpose: to encourage me to use my local library in north-west London. Among the incentives were a free DVD loan, a loyalty-card scheme, “well-equipped study zones” and “Story and Rhyme Time sessions”. My reply, I’m sorry to say, was deeply sarcastic. Could my non-attendance have something to do with the fact that the council had closed our library 18 months ago, and recently sent two lorries under police escort to remove the entire contents? I concluded with a quote from Byron: “If I laugh…’tis that I may not weep.” Not that I expect Brent’s chief librarian to have read Byron…. “
    • Public Meeting – Save Kensal Rise Library.  “We need to put a strong proposal to All Souls College to show them we can run the library and we need the help of everyone. Fundraising ideas; activities for the library; opening hours; volunteers to run it. We are hoping we can depend on the goodwill of the College to help us save the library but we need the support and commitment of the community to ensure that it survives….”
  • Croydon/Wandsworth – American firm limps away from race to run Croydon’s libraries – Inside Croydon.  LSSI, the American library services company which seemed set to get a juicy public money contract to run the libraries in Croydon and Wandsworth, has pulled out of the procurement process … that leaves just three of the original five short-listed bidders in the race: Essex County Council, Greenwich Leisure Trust and John Laing Integrated Services Ltd. … there is probably not the profit margin in running the boroughs’ libraries to make it worthwhile for LSSI. …Tim Pollard, the deputy leader of the Tory group which controls the council, late this afternoon confirmed that LSSI had withdrawn from the process.”

“If Croydon and Wandsworth are determined to see this through, to save face as much as anything else, it could be that by next year, Croydon’s libraries and librarians are being managed from offices in Greenwich or Chelmsford. Or by a subsidiary of a firm of builders who already have access to £450 million-worth of council-owned property in Croydon. You know it makes sense…”

  • Gloucestershire – Painswick community library opens for business – BBC.  “Painswick lost its council-run facility in 2009 but the community has used a council grant to launch its own service in an upper room of the town hall …  Gloucestershire County Council gave £32,000 to help set it up and £38,500 over four years for running costs.”
  • Hertfordshire – Self-service pilot scheme extends opening hours at Bovingdon Library – Hertfordshire County Council (press release).  Since 18 June, Bovingdon Primary Academy has been using Bovingdon Library on Monday mornings to deliver a programme of class visits for school children.  The library would normally be closed on Monday mornings, but while the class visits are in progress Bovingdon Primary Academy will open the library for members of the public to use on a self-service basis.”  Basic service includes issuing/return/photocopier.
  • Oxfordshire – Moving mobile libraries ahead – Oxford Times.   “Library service manager Jillian Southwell was asked by county councillor Alan Thompson about the possibility of the service being sponsored by a bank which could see cashpoints installed within vehicles.“It is one of the things we are looking at,” she said.”
  • Rotherham – Council to consult over library closures – BBC.  Kimberworth and Kimberworth Park libraries may close.  “Sandra Porter, treasurer of the Kimberworth tenants and residents association said it would be a “shame” if her local library closed. “A lot of people use it for the computers now and all different things,” she said. “Kids need to read. What do they expect kids to do? There’s going to be nothing left for them to do. They need books.”” … “The council said it would look to increase the opening hours of three other libraries and refocus the mobile library service. Mr Woodcock said the council would not rule out using volunteers to run parts of the service.”
  • Surrey – Free wi-fi and app as Surrey leads digital libraries revolution – Surrey News (County Council website).   “The new app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, is now the fastest way people can reserve, renew, browse for items and check their library account, both at home and on the move.” … “Inside libraries, people can now log onto free wi-fi in all branches, whether they use a library computer, their own laptop, ipad or smart phone. People can browse the web, download ebooks or even search Surrey’s online encyclopedias.” … “In another development, the council hopes to earn up to £10,000 a year through the use of Google pay per click advertising through the online library.”

“Libraries are undergoing a digital revolution and they have become more than a place to simply borrow books. It’s vital we adapt to keep up with the changing demands of the people who use them or they risk becoming obsolete. “Our libraries will always be a haven for people who want to read, study, research or simply browse for a good book. But these days libraries are so much more, whether you’re a book club taking part in a Skype chat with an author, or someone catching up with friends and family on Facebook.”

  • Wirral – Travel lighter this Summer – Wirral Council (press release).  “You can download up to 4 ebooks at a time and our operating system is compatible with most devices, including laptops, smartphone, e-readers and mp3 players. If there is a book you want to download, but it is unavailable, you can reserve the title, free of charge, and we will email you when it becomes available.”