• 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”.”
  • Bogota’s miniature public libraries will make you want to move to Colombia – Grist (USA).   “Reading fans in Colombia, especially the capital city of Bogota, never need to worry about being without a book on a beautiful day. There are nearly 50 of these perfect little library kiosks scattered around the city’s parks, and 100 across the country.  The mini-libraries are part of a joint program run by the city’s parks and a literacy organization. Volunteers staff the kiosks, helping patrons check out books and organizing activities and homework assistance for kids. There’s probably some theft, accidental or on purpose, because that always happens in libraries — but there aren’t any dudes masturbating at public computer terminals, so it evens out.”
  • Brazil prisoners reading books to shorten their sentences – Telegraph.  “Brazil will offer inmates in its crowded prison system a novel way to shorten their sentences – cutting four days for every book they read.”  
  • Care costs could close libraries, say councils – BBC.   “A crisis in funding care for the elderly could lead to the closure of parks, libraries and public toilets, according to council leaders in England and Wales. The Local Government Association has warned that funds will have to be diverted to “plug the gap in care funding”. It said an agreement was needed on how to pay for elderly care. The LGA said it was “absolutely united” on the issue.”
  • Extinction timeline – Ross Dawson.  Famous extinction timeline had libraries disappearing in 2020, eerily similar to the LGA’s claim yesterday that the service may end by the end of the decade without a change in government plans [thanks to Ken Chad – Ian]
  • Guest post #14: Listening to users, by Abby Barker –  Envisioning the Library of the Future (Arts Council England).  Points out the need for libraries to listen to its users, be responsive to local community needs.  “Reading this, you might say that much of what I imagine the library of 2022 will look like is already happening.  You’re right. We have a wonderful library service in this country, why change it beyond all recognition, just so that we can say we are progressing? Providing local councils listen to library users, fund the service properly and respect the librarian profession the library of 2022 will be a brilliant place. I can’t wait to visit!”

“The first thing to say is that volunteer-run public libraries are not automatically excluded from PLR. Where a volunteer-run library continues to operate under the local authority public library service then PLR continues to apply. PLR would only not apply were a library branch to be closed by the local authority and reopened under new management by a voluntary or other group entirely independent of the local authority. So, for example, in North Yorkshire several branch libraries are now run by volunteers but remain part of the county library service and it continues to be possible for PLR to collect book loans data from them. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your second question…. My understanding is that in situations where PLR does not apply, under UK copyright law unless a library is a ‘prescribed’ library it would need a licence from the author to lend a book out. But the situation may also depend on the wording of an author’s contract with his/her publisher over what the publisher is entitled to do by way of selling the author’s books.” Dr Jim Parker on  Public Lending Right and volunteer libraries – Voices for the Library.

  • Michael Morpurgo launches Olympic storytelling programme – Telegraph. “Children will get a medal if they read six books for ‘Story Lab Summer Reading Challenge’, as Michael Morpurgo launches the London 2012 Festival Olympic event at British Library.” Article contains picture of Mr Morpurgo in front of  a huge StoryLab banner…. “Miranda McKearney, Director of The Reading Agency, introduced Story Lab: The Summer Reading Challenge 2012 – the UK’s biggest books event for primary-aged children that aims to get them visiting libraries and reading during the school holidays.”

“Morpurgo joked to the children: “Go to your libraries and read at least six books this summer. All six books have to be mine! If you do read books by other writers you will still get a medal, as long as you read six of them. But I will be really upset!””

  • Public libraries today: give a helping hand to someone less fortunate – Yuckelbel’s Canon (USA).  Blogger suggests people use public libraries in order to keep them open.  “We can’t let this wonderful institution called the library cease to be and, even if you don’t need one so much these days, somebody who isn’t as lucky as you sure as heck will. Think about it and make the decision to show you care. And, as I promised, it won’t cost you a cent.”
 Skipton Rewind Club sing – CILIP Libraries Change Lives Awards
“Congratulations to all involved in the Skipton Rewind Club and to all the projects nominated for this award.  Libraries and librarians really can make a difference in local communities and all of the nominated projects demonstrate that they really can change lives for the better.” Voices for the Library
  • There is another way for cash-strapped councils: let the community take control – Mail. “By 2020 the LGA says there will only be enough money in the public purse to fund social services, street cleaning and waste removal. This means libraries and community centres, already considered an optional extra in many parts of the country – although not by residents – will go to the bottom of the pile and more and more will have to close down.  Yet aren’t these services also essential to a civilised society? Even if the technologically-minded are already able to access all the information accumulated throughout the ages at home on the internet – and much disinformation besides – can the lonely pursuit of cyber surfing ever really compare with the sheer physical pleasure of browsing the shelves in an old fashioned library, discovering a volume you didn’t know existed and settling down to an intimate relationship with its well-thumbed pages till the very last word has been savoured?”.  However, writer dislikes the increased noise and reduced space in her local library.  She sees a hopeful possibility for funding in millionaire philanthropists.
  • We need a plan b not a plan e –  Bring Your Noise (USA). Library buildings cannot win the Ebook war: either libraries gain public lending right to Ebooks and so no-one uses buildings any more or libraries don’t gain PLR and everyone migrates to commercial ebooks and no-one uses buildings any more.  Therefore “What if we remove ebooks from the equation? Why not focus on the things that are within our control–things like programming, classes, library as publisher, customer service, unique collections, upgraded facilities, community partnerships…you people out there on the front lines know better than me what makes your libraries special and what could make them even better for your communities and the people in them. Is it really ebooks?”  
  • Why libraries are a smart investment for the country’s future – Time (USA).   “…a keen awareness that libraries have been vital engines of America’s social mobility from their earliest days. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and former New York Public Library president who raised a $327 million to revive the institution in the 1980s, led an afternoon panel discussing libraries’ foundational importance to a democratic America. Gregorian’s central point: the Library of Congress is and must continue to be the “guardian not only of our nation’s memory but of humanity’s.” … ““We should emphasize that libraries are not frills. They are not luxuries, but a sacred component of American education and American democracy.”

Local News

  • Gloucestershire – Book lending rights do not apply to volunteer libraries in Gloucestershire – Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries.  ” We begged Gloucestershire County Council that if they insisted on volunteer run libraries they at least consider them as part of the statutory provision so that they would be accountable to tax payers and library users. Gloucestershire County Council refused and made it very clear that they wanted to wash their hands of these libraries and to be in no way responsible for them.
  • It has been bought to our attention today that this may mean that these volunteer run libraries  may not be able to lend out books to their library users as they are not covered by the public library lending licence, as explained here.”
  • Hillingdon – Yeading library closes door for refurbishment – Gazette series.  Yeading Library has closed its doors as it undergoes a £750,000 refurbishment. The library, in Yeading Lane, is due to reopen in October after its facelift, with new books, more computers and a lighter and brighter interior. There will also be a Starbucks coffee shop in the building.”

“We are bucking the national trend for library closures; where other authorities are closing libraries and reducing services, Hillingdon is investing in making the service even better as we know that our libraries are highly valued by residents.“We have a commitment to improve all 17 of our libraries by 2014 and the feedback we have received so far about the 11 already completed has been very positive.”

  • Lambeth – Head of Lambeth library service leaves ahead of consultation report –  Guardian series.  “Praveen Manghani resigned his post at Lambeth Council last week to pursue a new role with an arts organisation, the council confirmed. The announcement comes as campaign groups await the findings of a borough- wide consultation into how Lambeth’s libraries will be run in the future following significant budget cuts.”.  Campaigner Laura Swaffield says ““Things are going through council that we do not like. [Officers] are lavishing attention on the centre of the borough in Clapham at the expense of the north and the south – both Streatham and West Norwood libraries have been neglected for years.” In 2011, Lambeth’s libraries had the lowest user satisfaction ratings of any London borough. West Norwood library and the adjoining Nettlefold Hall remain closed after thieves stole copper from the roof of the buildings. “
  • Peterborough – Library to close for a week before new facility launch – Telegraph series.  “Orton Library will close for a week next month while it gears up to move into a new modern facility. The old library will close from Friday, July 13 to Thursday, July 19. Customers are being reassured that no books will be due for return during the closure. The new facility, adjacent to the Ormiston Bushfield Academy, will open on Friday, July 20. An official launch will be packed full of events including storytelling, a ‘40 Years On’ display and even a visit from Horrid Henry. Heather Walton, Library & Customer Services Manager said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused during the closure. “However, the wait will be worth it as the new library will be a modern, user-friendly, bright venue with lots happening.””
  • Surrey – National conference speech sets our vision for libraries – Surrey News (press release).  Leader of County Council David Hodge argues in favour of volunteer-run libraries running alongside funded larger branches in order to provide the best service possible with a severely reduced budget.
  • Wirral – Crime writers at Moreton Library – Wirral Council (press release). “Martin Edwards, author of the Harry Devlin series of detective novels, and Michael Walters, who has written the Inspector Nergui series of thrillers will answer questions about their work and sign copies of their books at Moreton Library on Monday 2nd July from 7pm. The evening will provide a unique insight into the two writers’ methods and approaches to writing fiction. … Crime fiction is incredibly popular, with the top ten books borrowed from UK libraries in 2011 all crime or mystery novels.”
  • Worcestershire – We can save libraries: by sharing with police – Worcester News.  “Libraries in Worcestershire could be shared with police or relocated to schools as part of a plan to avoid them closing. Bosses at the county council have insisted they will “not do a Gloucestershire” and are on track to avoid any shutting down.” … “The council wants to cut £1.8 million from the libraries budget, 28 per cent of the total, by culling staff, reducing opening hours and sharing facilities with other bodies.”