• AAA adds voice to PLR transfer opposition – BookSeller.  n a submission to the consultation launched by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport into transferring the administration of PLR away from the current Registrar, the AAA has backed the body, praising its cost efficiency. The AAA also criticizes the suggestion that PLR functions should be transferred to the British Library, the government’s preferred choice, arguing that the Library does not have authors’ interests at heart.”
  • Celebrate Your Library project – Voices for the Library. Looks at a project to interview library users and all their reasons for why they love their local library.
  • Colombia has 100 tiny libraries in public parks – Good Culture (USA).  “It’s no secret that ink-and-paper books are going out of style [with those who can afford it, possibly – Ian], mostly due to the rise of e-readers but also because fewer people are reading in general [which is an indictment of modern society that needs addressing not accepting – Ian]. And considering that the print book industry is pretty bad for the environment [library books are more environmentally friendly than e-books due to the materials that go into e-readers – Ian], maybe that trend isn’t all bad. Still, not all is lost for fans of old-fashioned books—especially in Colombia, where tiny public libraries are operated out of parks all over the country.” … “they hold about 350 books each, and they’re operated by volunteer librarians who organize activities and help kids with their homework. They’re only open 12 hours per week”
  • Inside the quest to put the world’s libraries online Atlantic. “The Digital Public Library of America wants to make millions of books, records, and images available to any American with an Internet connection. Can it succeed where others have failed?”
  • Library World Records –  “fascinating book first published in 2004 after research work began on the book in 2002. The book was further extensively updated in a second edition in December 2009. Library World Records provides hundreds of intriguing and comprehensive facts about ancient and modern books, manuscripts and libraries around the world.”
  • Sunland Park Library Director, facing cuts, accused of voter fraud – Library Journal (USA).  “Vargas allegedly registered a non-resident to vote in the municipal election and told her to vote for former mayor-elect Daniel Salinas (also in custody on charges including extortion, receiving kickbacks, fraud and bribery). In spite of Vargas’ unexpected absence, the library is currently maintaining normal hours, an employee told LJ.”

Local News

  • Brent – While Brent Council closes libraries, they spend £20,000 on new sculpture – ConservativeHome.  Generally the spending cuts applied by local authorities have coincided with council services being maintained or enhanced.” [This is a breathtaking opening statement – Ian].
  • Buckinghamshire – Stokenchurch library saved – Bucks Free Press.  Stokenchurch Library is set to remain open after volunteers came forward to keep it. In June cllr Martin Phillips warned in the Free Press that the service in the village could be lost if not enough volunteers came forward.”
  • Calderdale – Hundreds sign petition to save Halifax Central library – Halifax Courier.  “In just two hours, nearly 1,300 people signed a petition aimed at persuading Calderdale Council to retain Halifax Central Library and Archives.” … “A previous petition attraced more than 16,000 signatures, said trust chairman Dr John Hargreaves.”  Council wishes to sell land to developers. £57k Ipsos Mori poll commissioned to see how people feel about move of Library to Piece Hall.
  • Cardiff – Central Library £15.3m closes after glass shatters – BBC.  “The internal pane suddenly burst into pieces on the fifth floor of the £13.5 million building. It is expected to reopen next week after all internal glass panels are covered with a protective film.”
  • Gloucestershire – Assurances given over running of Berkeley Library after community takeover – Gazette.   “Jim Parker, PLR Registrar, said that while Berkeley Community Library would not be covered by PLR, as it is outside the statutory library service, it would be able to loan books normally.” … “But Johanna Anderson, spokeswoman for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries, said they were angry that they had been forced to do the council’s work for them.”Because the council failed in their duty to the public of Gloucestershire, we had to step in and spend many hours on research and communication with the DCMS and PLR to get clarification on this serious matter, a matter that could have opened community organisations up to litigation”
  • Manchester – Let’s get Chorlton Library listed – Cllr Victor Chamberlain (Lib Dem). The City Council are planning to vacate the current building and build a new joint Library and Leisure Centre. As part of this plan the Council will give the current Library building away to property developers to help cover the costs. Whilst there is not currently any specific threat to the building its future is uncertain once it has been given away. Therefore it is important that our Library building is protected for future generations. “
  • North East Lincolnshire – Library users in NE Lincs get new technology – PR Urgent.  “North East Lincolnshire Libraries has chosen to replace its existing library management system with Axiell’s Open Galaxy and has chosen a new customer-facing interface: Axiell’s 24/7 digital library website system, Arena.” … “cover images of DVDs and CDs being embedded in the new catalogue”
  • Surrey – Ten Surrey libraries to be run almost entirely by volunteers – Third Sector.   “The council said that more than 300 volunteers had already been trained to run their local libraries. The scheme is expected to be operating in all 10 of the libraries by April. It is understood that one paid staff member would be contracted to cover 20 per cent of the libraries’ opening hours. No job losses among existing library staff are expected.” [My understanding is that there will be job losses, although these may  be voluntary redundancies – Ian].
  • Tameside – Consults on major library cutbacks – BookSeller.   “Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council has put out a consultation to their residents asking for their views on library restructuring, with options including cutting the number of libraries from 13 to just two flagship libraries, alongside a £250,000 investment in new technologies.” … “Councillor Ged Clooney said: “I hope by now residents understand that the 30% cuts to our budgets that we have already sustained mean that we have to look at how we provide all our services to ensure they remain, modern, affordable and fit for the future.”

    “It is important to remember that libraries are about services not buildings”

  • Wakefield – Council has “vandalised” our libraries – Wakefield Express (Letter).  Long-term chronic underfunding of Wakefield Libraries include very low staff and book levels and a high income level. Council is trying to blame public for closures by saying that they are not volunteering enough.

“Many buildings have become very run down and at one point, circa 2011/12, the service was actually relying on book donations from the general public to survive as moratoriums on library book purchases were hit very badly.”