• Book spend of 31p speaks volumes – Times Educational Supplement.   “According to the government, authors such as Dryden, Keats and Dickens should be at the heart of school life. But far from valuing literature, secondaries are spending as little as the cost of a packet of crisps on new books for their pupils each year. A survey by the School Library Association (SLA), which asked more than 1,000 library staff in secondaries about their budgets, found that one academy spent just 31p per pupil each year on books and another only 62p, compared with the £14 for secondaries recommended by charity Booktrust five years ago.”


 Allow porn in public libraries – Fox News (USA).


  • Ebooks and bookshops – Phil Bradley’s weblog.  “The eBooks saga is continuing to run and run, as we all knew that it would. The latest entrant into the field is the Booksellers Association chief executive Tim Godfray. Apparently, libraries are once again targeted as a major enemy – who knew that we had such power?” … “Bookshops are failing – not because of libraries or eBooks – but because they have proved themselves totally incapable of adapting to the current market.” … “I’m sick of libraries being tied to the whipping post, and being seen as the enemy by publishers and booksellers alike. We’re an easy target, and because of that it leads to sloppy and lazy thinking.”
  • Frances Gregory Library by Adjaye Associates – De Zeen. Beautiful new library in USA: lots of glass. “Behind the glass outer skin, the chunky timber boxes give depth to the walls and create a row of window seats at the base. A floating roof overhangs the walls and shelters a plaid-patterned ceiling of glazing above a double height atrium.”
  • In praise of the public library – Westmount Examiner (Canada).  A long post praising public libraries in general and New York Public Library in particular.  “cutbacks will continue to take their toll. Libraries, while vital in allowing easy access to books for those who can’t afford other means of acquiring them, will continue to remain at the bottom of the priority list. And in the battle between cost-cutting and welfare most governments have clearly picked sides. It’s up to those who value the public library system to take on the fight and show their support any which way they can. Because, at the end of the day, what will be lost if the library fades into obsolescence will be immeasurable.”
  • Library study puts price on services’ value – Toledo Blade (USA).   “With voters set to decide on a levy for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in November, the library system has published a study that aims to quantify the value of the services it provides, which administrators hope will bolster support for the tax request. The assessment, conducted by a University of Toledo economist, places a number on the library’s economic value and return on investment, calculating how much the library contributes to the local economy and how much the library’s services would cost users if they paid market rates.

“The study determined that for every dollar of the library’s $35.3 million in its 2011 budget, Lucas County residents derived $2.86 worth of benefits in 2011.”

Local News

  • Inverclyde – Greenock Watt Library discovers literary “treasure trove” – BBC.  “A literary treasure trove has been discovered in a hidden cupboard at a library in Inverclyde. The rare book collection was discovered by archivist Neil Dickson at Greenock’s Watt Library. It includes a 1538 edition of letters by Roman philosopher Cicero and an 1827 illustrated edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost – one of only 50 copies.”
  • Harrow – My letter to Harrow councillors in favour of library privatisation – Stop the privatisation of public libraries.   “I read with amazement your amendment to the motion put forward by Cllrs Macleod-Cullinane and Osborn, are you really in favour of the privatisation of your Library Service? I find this an incredible position for Labour Councillors to take …”
  • Isle of Wight – PenFriend helps blind readers – Isle of Wight County Press.  “PenFriend devices, have been introduced at Ryde and Freshwater libraries as part of the annual Make a Noise in Libraries campaign, organised by the Royal National Institute for the Blind to improve access to library services. The devices allow talking books to have audio labels attached to them, which can be used by visually impaired people to help them select the talking books they want to borrow.”
  • Islington – Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson lays down reading challenge to Islington’s youngstersIslington Gazette.   “Writer and Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson visited Lewis Carroll Library in Copenhagen Street, and read to pupils from Vittoria Primary School in Half Moon Crescent. She officially launched this year’s Summer Reading Challenge which gives children, aged four to 12, a target of finishing six books in the holiday.”
  • Norfolk – Help for out-of-work teens in King’s Lynn and Gaywood, West Norfolk – Lynn News.  “Norfolk County Council children’s services has launched a drop-in service at Lynn and Gaywood Libraries between 3pm and 5pm on alternate Thursdays. The service, for 16 to 19 year olds, is designed to assist in job hunting, creating and updating CVs, developing interview skills, find apprenticeships or arrange a careers guidance appointment to identify further training courses.”