• Libraries are the beating heart – Teen Librarian Toolbox (USA). A truly beautiful piece of writing that everyone involved in deciding on the future of libraries, especially the politicians, should read:

… “For 19 years I had the distinct honor of living in Ohio communities with thriving libraries that beat loudly as the heart of their communities.  And now I live in a community without one (I commute 45 minutes to work).  There is no magic in the air here, just commerce and industry and asphalt.  There is no smell of leather and paper.  Dreams and magic don’t waft in the air.  Children don’t sing and shake eggs as their parents sit together and participate in community.  Everywhere you turn it seems we are running out of money; but what happens when we stop our beating heart from beating?  What happens to our communities when we shut the doors on the past and put out the flames of the future?  What happens when we get rid of our librarians who teach our children to sing and dance and shake an egg and love a good story?  What happens when we forget to think and dream, to ask and to answer questions?”


  • Library politics and agenda-setting – Walk You Home. A look at the dangers of trying to be outside of the political arena in the libraries world, that library professionals and graduates should be politically aware and that even organising events are political. “Access to and use of public libraries is political. Wanting to keep them is political. Making a conscious effort to make the event accessible for people with disabilities is a political choice. These aims are valuable, and it’s more than just important, it’s imperative, that the inherent, unavoidable, political values being promoted are acknowledged.”.
  • Underestimating the value of a branch library – North County Times (USA). “The library was closed a year ago, temporarily, we were told. And now, we are told that there are “more valuable” uses for the space than a library.” … The city council would do well to revisit the calculation that a little more revenue is more valuable than a neighborhood library. It seems the majority of the council is seriously underestimating how much our community values its library.”
  • Zadie Smith defends local libraries – Guardian. “Zadie Smith has described local libraries as “absolutely essential” as campaigners in the UK battle to protect the hundreds of branches which are under threat of closure.”.  Includes Public Libraries News figures on threats.  Also mentions the Speak Up for Libraries event in November.  “The Speak Up For Libraries [conference] is to provide a larger voice for those who feel they are on their own,” said campaigner Mar Dixon, who is helping organise the conference. “The idea is to empower library campaigners (from small villages to large cities across the country) with knowledge on their rights and options to save libraries.”  Some interesting comments, including some that show there needs to be concerted effort to show how important libraries still are in the digital age.
  • Zadie Smith “owes life” to libraries – BookSeller.

Local News

  • Brent – All Souls College, Oxford: Return Cricklewood Library to the community that built it –  “The local community is working to save Cricklewood Library for the community, to continue encouraging literacy, lifelong learning and research, by establishing a self-funding, mixed use building, including a community and children’s library. In order to do this we are asking All Souls to return the building to the community. ” Petition.
  • Camden – Part Time Librarian – Gumtree.  Vacancy. “An exciting opportunity for a dynamic qualified Librarian to help set-up our systems, train our volunteers and day to day running of our community library. 17.5 hrs per week, 9:30am-7:30pm(variable). This post will require regular evening or weekend working.  6 Month, initial Contract. £21-24,000 (inc LW) depending on experience. ” [Deep moral maze stuff this – Ian.]
  • Croydon – Public rejects any move to undermine Upper Norwood Library– Inside Croydon.  “89%: That is the massive majority surveyed who object to any suggestion that Croydon Council could abandon the 112-year-old joint agreement for funding and management of the Upper Norwood Joint Library.” … “The council published the results of its survey yesterday, demonstrating overwhelming public support for the public library service ” … “Croydon will now find it very difficult not to find a formula for providing its full £189,000 annual funding and reconciliation with Lambeth for the future running of UNJL.”
  • Customers back disputed Upper Norwood Library – East London Lines.  “The results of a long-running consultation, released on Wednesday, showed that 83 per cent of library users believe that cutting its funding would have “significant negative impact” on their lives.” 2000 asked.  Detailed  look at what is at stake and the history so far of the tragic threat to what is apparently one of the best run libraries in the country.
  • Council told to preserve Upper Norwood Library – Guardian series.  “Only one per cent of the 2,071 respondents to the survey said there would be no impact on their lives.” … “Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “I hope we have made it quite clear throughout this process that we had no pre-conceived solution in mind.”
  • Isle of Wight – Public buildings up for sale – Isle of Wight County Press.  “The list includes school buildings deemed surplus to requirements following the schools reorganisation, plus libraries, youth centres, public toilets and mental health day centres closed following last year’s public service cuts.”
  • Liverpool – Central library reaches new heights – Liverpool Council.  “Construction of the top of the new build element of the scheme is now complete and includes a brand new 1,880sq ft glass dome which is 26 metres above ground level, and a beautiful roof terrace which overlooks the city. The £50m scheme began in the autumn of 2010 and so far work has included demolishing the 1950s Brown Library and the 1978 extension.”
  • Manchester – Selling off library books on eBay brings in £12,000 for Manchester council– Manchester Evening News.  “Old stock from Manchester libraries has been passed on to a firm to be re-sold on websites such as Amazon and eBay. In the last two years, thousands of old books have been sold by the city council.” … “Lancashire firm Revival Books pays on collection and then picks which ones are worth re-selling. Many of them are then placed online or sold elsewhere and the rest are pulped.”
  • Swindon – Library staff rise to the challenge – Swindon Advertiser.  “After encouraging almost 100 people to complete the challenge, the council’s library service has received a bronze award and will receive a certificate at an event marking five years of the challenge, which will be held in London in November and attended by authors Adele Parks and Andy McNab.”
  • Wigan – Tyldesley Library gets MP Andy Burnham’s vote – Bolton News.  “We would like to thank the staff of the Library, and all the volunteers who helped throughout the week, also the Wigan Cultural Olympiad, our local Councillors and everybody who gave donations so that we were able to hold so many events,” said Friends spokesman Jill Davies. “MP Andy Burnham opened the show and he stressed the need for libraries to stay open, a sentiment echoed by the Friends. We trust that Tyldesley 2012 will show the community what can be done.””
  • Wolverhampton – User comments to Paul Uppal MP – Finchfield Estate Community Hub.  “Drop-in at Finchfield Library today with Paul Uppal MP. About 40 people came along and took the opportunity to pass their concerns about Finchfield Library’s future to Paul. FECH were well supported by people helping to hand out ‘mythbusters’ and other information. Thanks to all who kindly offered their time in support of our library. One excellent idea which a local resident bought along was to ask people a simple question. What do libraries mean to you? Here are some replies …”