• Brief history of American bookmobiles … in pictures – BookRiot (USA).  From the first (1910) mobile – a carriage with books in it pulled by a horse – to the latest PC-laden mobile conferencing articulated lorry, the history of US mobile libraries.
  • Children’s literature needs our libraries – Guardian. Schools and libraries, higher education and libraries need to work closely together.  Joint public and university libraries like the Hive and children’s story museums go some way to help this … “At a time when reading skills are more important than ever to determining a child’s future options in life, we are lucky that children’s books, picture books, poetry and nursery rhymes are available in wonderful variety to our children. Libraries keep that variety alive.”


“As we enter the run-up to another new school term, I’d like to correct the misconception that the library is a dying institution. Public libraries have suffered severe cuts in recent years, but we have also seen them evolving into new and often more significant forms, thanks to the commitment and innovation of those in the sector and everyone who recognises the library’s essential place and function within the community.”

  • Floor walkingStop the privatisation of public libraries. Blog suggests that floor-walking – in its simplest form, where library staff walk around the library and check to see if people need help – is not wanted by the public and is part of a worrying move towards the retailisation of libraries.
  • How should academic libraries communicate their own value? – Guardian.  ” too often users fail to appreciate that the resources they use online are only available to them because the library has purchased them. This is aggravated by confusion about what an academic library is. Researchers actively using library resources online may not think of themselves as using the library because they have not recently visited the building.”
  • Top ten books parents think children should read – Telegraph. “The findings mark the opening of The Hive – Europe’s first joint University and public library.” … “The survey also revealed that one in five 18 – 24 year olds would pretend to have read a book to impress someone and that 35 – 44 year olds are the most avid library visitors – nearly half of the age group say they visit the library.”
  • What the Dickens is your child reading? – Mail.  “‘It is interesting to see that most of the popular books to pass down the generations have strong moral messages entwined in them. The books that feature in the top 10 all provide thought-provoking content and characters, so it is clear that parents value these books for providing challenging thoughts which can last a lifetime.

Local News

  • £25,000 Pyramid (Our Library) Appeal – Friends of Barham Library.  “While we continue to run our Volunteer Library from the shop premises at 428 High Road Wembley (near Argos) our ambition remains to get back to the original library building in Barham Park.” … “The Council seems determined to stop community uses. They have decided to rent the building out on “commercial terms” and are asking rent of £14,000 + service charges. We estimate that with rent, service charges, business rates, insurance and utility costs we would need around £25,000 a year to run a library from the building.”
  • Kensal Rise Library campaigners halfway to fundraising target – BookSeller.  “So far, the Friends have raised more than £28,000 in less than a week. Ultimately, they hope the library will be self-sustainable.”
  • Hertfordshire – Libraries to give introductory courses in social media– Review series.  Users “soon be able to be trained how to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter at their local library. Introductory lessons in social media will be available alongside basic computing sessions from next month.” £5 but free for concessions.
  • Sheffield – Library services: Crosspool residents asked to give their views – Crosspool News.  “Some of the savings will have to come from our library services. Whilst trying to protect frontline services, we cannot guarantee that they will be untouched given the scale of the savings which will be required.”
  • Surrey – Action group to decide next move over volunteer libraries – Camberley People.  Group disappointed by council decision to go ahead with volunteer-run libraries.
  • Fight to save Surrey’s libraries comes to Kingston – Community Upon Thames.  Lib Dem says ““There are no expected financial savings in 2012 – 2013 in the Library Service as a result of Community Partnered Libraries proposals and there are noexpected annual savings as a result of the Community Partnered proposals.” Cost-cutting had always been the implied argument for the plan to replace paid library staff with volunteers. It was always an unfair argument, considering that the unregulated financial sector precipitated the economic crash and yet, public services, vital to vulnerable sections of society are to take the toll.”
  • Libraries plan approved by councillors for the third time – Surrey Comet.  Council says “”The 10 libraries becoming community partnerships account for just 6 per cent of all library use and have limited opening hours. We’ve found a way to help smaller libraries thrive as we continue to adapt to the changing demands of library users, who are now using the online library more than three million times a year. Volunteers can now take a library that is closed three days a week and open its doors daily.”