Public Libraries News has moved over to a new design today.  The main aim is to allow for an increase in pages and thus an improvement in the ease for the reader in finding the material that they want.  I hope the whole screen looks cleaner and more professional too.   My thanks to Rabbitdigital Design for their help.  Please send me any feedback on the “new look” that you want.  It would be really appreciated.  Also, any suggestions for added material – now that I have the expansion space – would be welcomed.  Thank you, and keep on supporting those libraries.


Today we have the Economist pointing out what we all knew: that the Big Society in libraries more often than not means people having to volunteer or see a much-loved service close.  There’s also a great article from Carnegie and some changes, not always for the better, locally.




  • Cycling for libraries 2012, day 7 – Kirjastokaista (Finland).  “Cycling for libraries is a politically and economically independent international unconference for librarian and librarylovers, and a bicycle tour. Cycling for libraries supports grassroots networking, and internationalism, physical and mental well-being of library professionals, and “last but not least” the crucial role of libraries for the society and for the intellectual and scientific education in general.”
  • Historic manuscript sale “vandalism” – Independent.  “Professor MacCulloch, presenter of BBC series A History of Christianity, said that breaking up the Mendham Collection, which has been held in Canterbury Cathedral since 1984, would undermine academic research. The Law Society of England and Wales, which was bequeathed the collection by Sophia Mendham in 1869, decided to sell 300 books from the 5,000-strong collection despite an agreement allowing the cathedral and university to keep the books until December 2013.”
  • This is how you build a labyrinth out of 250,000 books – i09.  “A vast labyrinth of 250,000 books, entitled aMAZEme, was installed on The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall between 31 July – 25 August, as part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World with MasterCard.”
  • Other America: giving our poorest children the same opportunities as our richest – School Libraries Journal (USA).  Author with great experience of inner-city USA has no doubt where money should be spent.  “no matter what the economic ups and downs may be at any given moment, public school libraries in destitute communities need not just sufficient but extravagant funding. If there’s a single thing our state and federal governments could do to stir up a love of learning in our poorest children, it would be to take a good big chunk of the massive sum of money that’s now being wasted on the testing industry”
  • Today’s public libraries: public places of excellence, education and innovation – Carnegie Corporation of New York (USA).  Libraries are going from strength to strength due to their being public spaces, study spaces and being willing to change.
  • Unpaid armies: A big society is being built, but not in the expected wayEconomist. Public libraries are used as the main example of volunteers replacing paid workers as an alternative to closed services.  “The things that have really boosted it are recession and austerity. According to the Conservatives’ blueprint, social action was supposed to follow from increased localism and the empowerment of communities. With a few exceptions, this has not yet happened. Instead recession has created more idle hands, and cuts to valued local services have given those hands something to do. In practice, the Big Society is a rescue mission. No wonder politicians do not talk about it much.”





Local News


  • Brent – Leader of Brent Council branded “disgusting” for accepting Olympics tickets – Brent and Kilburn Times.  Library campaignes unimpressed that Leader accepted free Locog tickets for opening ceremony and did not offer them to less advantaged.
  • Society of Authors backs campaign to save Kensal Rise Library – Brent and Kilburn Times.  “Lindsey Davis, chair of the Society of Authors, has penned a strongly worded letter to Sir John Vickers, the warden of All Souls College in Oxford, who own the building. “
  • Bridgend – Library plan “bad for the town and for customers” – Wales Online.  Users not impressed with move of library from central location to within leisure centre at edge of town.
  • Derbyshire – Save our unique library – Glossop Soul. “Scandalous waste of public money. Ideal location, easy parking, lovely light room. If it moves and there is no immediate parking it will cut number of users considerably.The library in Glossop’s Victoria hall is unique and part of Glossop’s heritage that we must not lose. I bought my house on the basis it was near the library. The library is part of our heritage linking the past with the present and the building plays a major part in creating a community hub.It’s a perfectly small and friendly library housed in a lovely building. The current location has car parking, is close to the town centre, and makes good use of an historic building. I don’t accept any of the current arguments in favour of moving it elsewhere- the reasons don’t stack up.”
  • Durham – Library hours in spotlight – Hartlepool Mail.  “A Durham County Council consultation on changes to opening times at libraries, including in Peterlee and East Durham, begins on Monday, August 6, and will run until Friday, September 28. People who use the mobile library service, which stops in 37 communities, will also be invited to give their views on where it should stop in the future. The council is reducing opening hours and changing its mobile service in response to significant Government funding reductions, which mean it has to save around £180m between 2011 and 2017.”
  • Essex – Keeping in touch – Essex Council.  Short video shows the many services Libraries provide and how you can access them.
    Gloucestershire – Library campaigners will not to be taking further legal action against Gloucestershire County Council
    Stroud News and Journal. Campaigners “who successfully battled to save four of Gloucestershire’s libraries as well as its mobile service have announced that they will not be pursuing further legal action against the county council. ” … “However, a spokesman for FoGL said they still had ‘serious concerns’ about GCC’s latest library strategy. “There remains a real danger that some of our county’s most vulnerable residents will lose out on access to this important and cost effective public service, which pre-cuts, cost GCC just one per cent of its annual budget,” said the FoGL spokesman. Rather than pursuing further legal action, however, the group said that its concerns would be better addressed through the Department for Media Culture and Sport.”
  • Sheffield – Little Library – Sheffield Council.  “In Sheffield we are committed to providing the best possible library service to all our residents and this includes our hard to reach groups. To help us achieve this goal we have an early year’s vehicle which we call the Little Library which we use to visit our hard to reach families.  With the aid of our Little Library we can signpost families to their local library and give them an insight to what we provide.”
  • Staffordshire – Library books a new chapter on the roof – This is Tamworth.  Service looks to save money by installing solar panels on library roof, amongst others.  “Solar panels are the latest in a series of recent innovations, including a brand-new computer library management system, self service kiosks and free Wi-Fi, aimed at transforming Staffordshire’s libraries into a service fit for the 21st century.”
  • Wakefield – Council’s library closures will cost group its own – Wakefield Express.  Library “knit an natter” group will need to finish when Outwood Library closes.
  • Westminster – Outcry surrounds proposal to “bury” Marylebone Library in side street basement – Ham and High.  “The Grade II-listed library in Marylebone Road is set to be sold to London Business School and relocated to Luxborough Street below a housing development. A playground will have to be bulldozed for the 19 homes and subterranean reading room. This has sparked anger among campaigners who gathered more than 800 signatures to have the play area refurbished.” … “The borough’s Labour group has accused the Conservative-led council of trading in an iconic building for what will become a “second-class service” to save money.”