• DCMS accused of “incompetence” over PLR confusion – BookSeller.   “The Society of Authors has joined ranks with the shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis in criticising the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for the lack of guidance given to councils and volunteer-run libraries on paying PLR. The DCMS has now clarified that only libraries run by local authorities will be covered by public lending right (PLR) legislation. Jarvis has accused the government of “incompetence” for failing in its duty to make clear the position over volunteer-run libraries and PLR at an earlier stage. There has also been confusion over whether volunteer-run libraries would be in breach of copyright legislation by lending out books.”
  • Idea Stores: the next generation – Designing Libraries.  Review of the Tower Hamlets changing of “libraries” into “idea stores. “After the largest-ever public consultation on the future of libraries, the team identified that local people wanted libraries to broaden their remit. Tower Hamlets had recognised their potential and had fixed on the library service as a key partner in a broad learning offer to stimulate regeneration and foster inclusion. They also realised the name ‘library’ meant little to many of the local community to whom the stock of old libraries in run-down buildings had little to engage or offer.”

“what is the key secret of your successful formula? If we were to single out a factor, we would say it is the attention we have always put on people (customers, staff), not just on things (buildings, books). Ten years on, and we still continue to receive many foreign delegations who study our model. As dozens of libraries around the country close or severely reduce their services, can the UK library world learn from the Tower Hamlets model?”

  • Library e-book lending fears: myth or reality – Society of Chief Librarians.   A very timely and easy to read note from the SCL on the matter of ebooks in libraries.
  • PLR and volunteer-run libraries – Society of Authors.   “DCMS has now confirmed that it is their understanding that the new community libraries are not covered by PLR, as they are outside the statutory library service. Under the Council Directive authors are entitled to equitable compensation for any such loans. However, it seems that the Government may have failed in its obligations to enact appropriate UK law for this purpose.” We feel that the government must provide clearer direction on how PLR might be paid if the volunteer-run libraries share the same Lending Right Scheme as council-run libraries.”
  • You cannot do more with less: Less for libraries mean less for our communities and they deserve more – Librarian by Day (USA). “Our communities are continually demanding more from us – more formats for content, more space for things like games, meetings and creating both digital and physical things. These are all great things, things libraries should be doing. At the same time libraries are also getting less – less financial support, less public opinion support, less consideration, less support and partnership from big publishers and producers, and chosen less often to partner with other organizations and businesses.There are many ways to address these issues but one of the most important ones is stop saying we can do more with less. Because we can’t.”


Local News

  • Barnsley – Expanded library reopens – Doncaster Free Press.   Wombwell Library reopened after Council one-stop shop and welfare rights scheme move in.  Some upgrading of library inc shelving on wheels.
  • Dudley – Halesowen, Cradley and Long Lane library users invited to meetingHalesowen News.  “Library users and Dudley Council often clash when facilities are changed or modernised and the refurbishment of Cradley Library has led to complaints about the removal of the old fashioned counters.”
  • Halton – Libraries taking part in Time to Read scheme – Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News.   “Prizes of up to £100 are on offer to those who take up the Reading Rewards Adult Reading Challenge. The scheme, promoted by Time To Read, is part of a regional programme to encourage adults to be an inspiring example to their children and promote family reading. By offering rewards for reading three, six or 10 books, Time To Read, a North West partnership of librarians, hopes that adults will enjoy being challenged to try a different kind of book this year.”
  • Hounslow – Heart of Darkness: a user perspective – ElizCro.  Hounslow libraries (run by private company) appear to be less run down than Croydon ones but less events and more emphasis on volunteers.  Hounslow Library lost study area in refurbishment so no quiet place to study.  Not enough staff for number of customers.  Self-Service machines “How sad to see the parents of a small child borrow a pile of picture books from a machine with no librarian to engage with the family or the child, to offer encouragement, offer suggestions or pass on information about an event. It was similarly sad to see adults drift in, browse, borrow and leave without engaging with anyone.” Nice children’s area.  Only three staff on duty in whole Central Library.

“The big question is… Are councils, such as Hounslow, Wandsworth and Croydon, so inept and incompetent at running basic services efficiently, such as libraries, that private companies are chomping at the bit to snap them up, for profit?”

  • Lambeth – Criticism as libraries shake-up is approved – South London Press.  “A town hall has agreed to continue funding 10 libraries in a borough, despite budget cuts of £750,000. Lambeth council’s cabinet gave the go-ahead to its “Co-operative Libraries Plan” on Monday, but some people have said smaller libraries will suffer in the shake-up.”
  • Lincolnshire – Council moves to calm fears of library closure in Skegness – This is Lincolnshire.  ” “Even people who seldom, if ever, use libraries are very keen that they should be retained. “There is absolutely no intention either of closing Skegness Library or of relocating it. It has an extensive range of books and provides computers and other resources, plus excellent customer service – all of which are highly appreciated.”
  • Portsmouth – Launches the nation’s largest ever library card scheme – About My Area.  “Portsmouth is set to become the first city in the UK to automatically issue free library cards to all school children, aged between five and 16 years-old. With the support of schools across the city, the council will be handing out over 23,000 library cards. Results from 2011 National Literacy Trust review show that 3 in 10 children do not have books at home.” … “Currently there are 7,500 active library card users in the city aged between 5 -16 years old. This new scheme will see a further 15,500 young people with their own card ready for use in any of the city’s nine libraries.” “”Portsmouth libraries have also scrapped late fees for children under 16, and are planning to transform two more libraries to give residents a brighter and more engaging future.”

“Schools Minister, Nick Gibb said: “I am delighted to support Portsmouth’s drive to ensure all children and young people have the chance to foster a lifelong love of reading from an early age. Giving pupils a library card will encourage them to discover the joy of libraries and the wide range of books and advice they offer. This is an excellent initiative.”

    • Residents will get their say on library move after petition – News.   “Bowing to people power, Portsmouth City Council has agreed to a full consultation on whether to move Paulsgrove’s library. Yesterday a petition with more than 1,000 signatures was presented to a meeting of the full council by the chairman of the city’s Labour party, Cllr John Ferrett. His group has been campaigning against plans to move the library from its current home inside a community centre in Marsden Road to an empty council office in Allaway Avenue. It has joined local people in objecting to the choice of a smaller building for the new facility – down from 114sq m to 74sq m – and the lack of investment compared with the new Southsea library.”
  • Trafford – Volunteers to help run Hale library – Manchester Evening News.  Plans to use volunteers to staff Hale Library have been approved after more than 30 people came forward to help. The council announced earlier this year that Hale and Old Trafford libraries would be staffed mainly by volunteers as part of budget plans to save £16m. The plan caused outcry in the community.” … “Two full-time equivalent paid members of staff will remain at the library to work alongside the volunteers”