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:
“The cost of being an LGA member varies according to the size of an authority. In ball park terms it ranges from around 10k a year for a small district through to 70 for a large unitary authority. The LGA is a cross-party organisation, and all our public statements are agreed on a consensual basis. The largest political grouping is currently the Conservative Party and so our Chairman is a Conservative, but they do not ‘control’ the LGA.”


  • Libraries of the screen: Doctor Who – Boolean Berry: adventures in librarianship.  The First Doctor was a regular resident of Shoreditch and was presumably a library-goer back before the Libraries & Museums Act 1964 – we later see his tattered library card in 2010′s ‘Vampires of Venice’, though the fact that this is being kept by the Eleventh Doctor suggests that he’s either a shocking hoarder or hasn’t actually bothered to join any of the many libraries he would subsequently visit….”

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King

  • What would it take to make you a library activist? – Infoism.  I have heard, on more than one occasion, that people are concerned about how such activism would reflect on them in their careers.  This worries me greatly.  Is it really seen as a negative to be a library activist, fighting for libraries and the profession? That seems a pretty sad state of affairs to me.  Is it because people aren’t that bothered?  Or afraid to rock the boat? People don’t often come forward offering to help out Voices for the Library, is that because we are seen as trouble-makers?  I don’t know.  But I would be interested to know why some people prefer not to be “library activists”.  Genuinely and without judgement.”
  • Why France is shunning the ebook – Guardian.  “In contrast to the UK’s famous three-for-two deals, the French state fixes the prices of books and readers pay the same whether they buy online, at a high-street giant or a small bookseller. Discounting is banned. The government boasts that price controls have saved small independent bookshops from the ravages of free-market capitalism that were unleashed in the UK when it abandoned fixed prices in the 1990s. France has more than 3,000 independent local bookshops and 400 in Paris, compared with around 1,000 in the UK and only 130 in London. But online book giants are still eating into small bookshops, many of which struggle to stay afloat.The next question obsessing the market-watchers is whether old habits will change and the ebook will catch on in France. The state price-fixing rule has been extended to digital reading.”.  French ebook sales accordingly only account for 3% of the market cf. 20% in USA.


Local News

  • Doncaster – Mayor faces legal action on budget – Star.  
  • Plymouth – New ideas plea for libraries – This is Plymouth.  “Libraries could be turned into community hubs where people can not only borrow books but meet friends over a coffee, and use free wi-fi and game consoles.” … “A survey, being carried out from today until Friday July 27, will ask for comments on library opening hours, what people think about services already on offer and for suggestions on other services and activities they would like to see.” … “”The plans for modernising the library service will enable our libraries to be a council one-stop-shop for residents”
  • Woking – Revamped Woking Library opens for public – Get Surrey.   “Among the facilities available at the new lending service are dedicated separate areas for children and for teenagers, a quiet room for book clubs to meet, more than 30 computers, areas for laptop users to log on to free Wi-Fi, self-issue points and a shop.”