Review of “the Library Book” stresses the role of public libraries are “radical and socially equalising”.  Confirmed that Wootton Fields Library will move from school to cheaper site, in the teeth of local opposition.  Pembury Library in Kent may also move to cheaper location. 5 non-local and 6 local stories.


  • Chicago blog post part 3 – Undaimonia.  In which, Simon Barron of Voices for the Library attends the frenetic US SLA (Special Libraries Association) conference.
  • Chicago Public Library to waive overdue fines in first amnesty program for decades -Chicago Sun Times (USA). “Since January 2011 alone, Chicago’s 79 public libraries are owed $1.4 million in unpaid fines on overdue materials valued at more than $2 million. But, Bannon said some of the literary treasures the system hopes to recover have been sitting in people’s basements for a lot longer than that. “We have stuff that’s been gone for 20 years or longer. It’s very common in libraries. Somebody checks something out. They may forget to return it. Then, they choose not to return it. The fines have accumulated so high, they figure, ‘I’ll just keep the materials,’” Bannon said Monday. “A fine amnesty has two primary goals. One is to re-engage users we’ve lost who’ve accumulated fines they can’t pay. The second goal is to get the materials that are out.”
  • faceBOOK: a week in the life of a branch library – Voices for the Library.  Superb images of library users with the many different reasons why they came to the public library.
  • Gift of words: the radical and socially equalising role of the public library – LSE Review of Books.  Reviews “The Library Book”.  “As public library closures and cuts continue, any and all hands on deck to stem this rising tide are, frankly, most welcome and worthwhile. Meanwhile, the obvious thing to do – if you don’t want to fork out from your personal riches to buy this book – is to get yourself down to your local library where more than likely this, and a treasure trove of other information riches, is available to you today!”
  • Will the Olympic Games inspire a nation of readers? – National Literacy Trust.  “This summer’s Olympic Games is creating a new cohort of role models. Inspiration of a new generation is the theme of the 2012 Games. And, fantastically, inspiration to read is a key message coming from the celebrations. Perhaps it’s no surprise that with the genius of Frank Cottrell Boyce behind it, the opening ceremony featured a fabulous children’s literature mash-up. It was wonderful to see stories for children at the heart of the celebration of our nation. And it’s fantastic that projects like the Summer Reading Challenge are part of the cultural Olympic festival.”


Local News

  • Brent – Save Kensal Rise Library.  Video.
  • High Street garage could become new Pembury Community Centre – This is Kent.  “The proposal is part of a plan to move Pembury library from its current location, on Henwood Green Road, as Kent County Council looks to cut costs. Chairman of Pembury Parish Council June Crowhurst said the 292sqm site would provide an ideal location for the library and could incorporate other facilities …”
    • Hawkhurst Library tells council it wants books instead of computers – This is Kent.  “Parish councillor Margaret Brinsley, who met the council working party looking into libraries, said proposals to increase the number of computers did not make financial sense, and would have a serious impact on the number of books which could be stored there. She said: “The information they gave us is that it costs £30,000 a year to run the library but that about a third of that is used on the computers. “There are only two computers so that just seems a vast amount of money.”
    • Kent – Thamesview pupils have a story to tell – MyVoice.  “On the first day of half term, most teenagers might be slumped in front of their favourite computer game. But a group of dedicated Thamesview School students were out first thing heading for the… public library. The group of nine mixed-aged teens joined their school librarian Vanda Fox at Gravesend Library in Windmill Street to offer an Alice in Wonderland story time as part of the My Voice project, a national literacy programme.”
  • Northamptonshire – Decision finally reached over future of Wootton Fields Library – Northampton Chronicle.  Despite public protests, Council decides to move library away from existing building.  “For the past eight years, the public library for Wootton has been combined with the school library at Caroline Chisholm School as part of a PFI scheme for the school. Together the libraries are jointly known as Wootton Fields Library. The current PFI arrangement means the public library costs the council considerably more than similar libraries in the county.”.  Will move to “temporary building based at Wootton Community Centre”.  Move will save council £1 million over 17 years.  Temporary building will have same facilities and council will look towards a new permanent building in partnership with parish council.

“What we are seeing now is clear examples, such as the moving of Wootton library, of what happens when you don’t plan your finances right.”

  • South Tyneside – Library hours cut back across South Tyneside – BookSeller.  “The opening hours of eight libraries will change from 3rd September; most will see hours reduced, while some will close their doors altogether on certain days of the week. South Tyneside council is looking to make savings of £20 million across its entire budget, following an attempt to create £35 million of savings last year. The affected libraries are South Shields Central Library, Boldon Lane, Cleadon Park, East Boldon, Hebburn, Jarrow, Primrose and Whitburn.”