I am delighted to say that I have received special permission to link to a free edition of the Library Campaigner, the regular magazine produced by The Library Campaign.  This edition includes, as well as regular pieces, the following articles:

  • Library of the Future.  A report on the recent Arts Council workshops by Patricia Richardson.
  • March On.  Looking at the Speak Up for Libraries conference and lobby of parliament in March.
  • View from Planet Ed.  A look at what the Minister for Libraries said, and didn’t say, at the “Future of Library Services” conference in June.
  • The E-book challenge/E-book future.  Argues e-books don’t mark the end of local libraries.
  • How to improve literacy: and much else.  Alan Templeton shows the link between libraries, literacy and much else.

Feel free to download this edition by clicking here especially as it has a joining form on Page Two.  The Library Campaign has been going for years but can only do its work if it receives funding so do please consider becoming a member.  Also, it’s the only way you will get to read the next copy …


  • ACE launches online library consultation – BookSeller.  “a spokesperson for Arts Council England said: “An online survey is an efficient and cost-effective way or reaching a large number of people. And, alongside this online element, we are also undertaking focused research in face-to-face workshops with members of the public in various parts of the country, so that we have a wide range of people contributing to our discussion and developing ideas. We want to understand what the public value about libraries and we recruited participants for these workshops so that they broadly represent the general population.”

“ACE is being totally unrealistic.  A very significant proportion of library users are from the older generation and those on below average earnings.  It is those categories of persons which were/are primary targets of the RaceOnLine and GoOn(Line) projects, designed to improve internet skills for the digital age and incidentally utilising public libraries to achieve their  purpose. The consultation is deeply (and legally) flawed and likely to prove valueless.  If the workshops are based on a similar ethos they aren’t going to provide useful input to the process.  The impression I have formed of ACE is, for instance, of an organisation which has no idea of what conditions prevail in deprived areas, where access to public libraries is vital but is now being frequently denied. I suggest that ACE’s people stop wasting money and read Public Libraries of New Zealand – A Strategic Framework 2012 – 2017.   That way they might discover what a public library service is about, at less cost to the public purse.” Geof Dron

  • Are Dewey’s days numbered? Libraries nationwide are ditching the old classification system – School Library Journal (USA). “With only a moment to spare, the librarian suggests that Zack look above the shelves for the big “Making Stuff” sign, and then search the labels under “P” for paper. A few minutes later, he’s grinning at Sue, holding not only a book about origami, but also one on sewing that he snatched from a nearby shelf. “That was easy!” he boasts. “And I found more things I want to do, too!””

Banned Books – Bill Moyers (USA).

  • Cafe survey results – Lis-pub-libs.  Survey of cafes in four different library authorities.
  • E-book plan spells trouble for public libraries– UK Authority. “Ministers appear poised to reject calls to allow public libraries to charge for e-books – raising fresh fears that more libraries will close.”
  • LSE buys Women’s Library – BookSeller.  “Professor Craig Calhoun, director of LSE, said: “It is of vital importance that strong historical collections are maintained and I am proud that LSE has been able to step in to keep the Women’s Library open. There are numerous synergies between the Women’s Library collection and LSE’s existing holdings. Combined, they will undoubtedly make one of the best international collections for the support of research on women’s lives and gender issues.”
  • Mysterious book sculptures arrive in Wigtown– Telegraph. “Ten mysterious sculptures, meticulously created out of books, have made their way to Scotland’s national book town, Wigtown. The sculptures were found in ten cultural institutions in Edinburgh between March and November last year. The artist behind the sculptures is unknown and the pieces were left with a message that included the words ‘in support of libraries, books, words, ideas …'”
  • New license plate encourages drivers to “Support Kentucky’s Libraries” – Lane Report (USA). “Kentucky’s public libraries welcomed more than 20 million visitors last year who checked out more than 30 million books and other items,” said Beshear. “It’s clear that Kentuckians love their public libraries, and now they have another way to show their support.” The new plate is available at any county clerk’s office with a $25 application fee. At the time of issuance, an optional $10 can be paid to fund library science scholarships.”

“closures are ‘unnecessary and avoidable’ if planned spending on things such as a £2.2million refurbishment of town hall meeting rooms is cut out.  He has written a letter to Coun Julie Dore, leader of the council about the matter and said: “Ecclesall, Totley and Stannington Libraries are all within my constituency and I know just what fantastic community assets they are. Closing them is unnecessary and avoidable. “I have called on the wasteful Labour Council to shelve their expensive pet projects in the Town Hall, so that closing our popular local libraries can be ruled out. “The previous Labour government brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy. So at a time when money is scarce we can least afford council leaders who prioritise spending millions on refurbishing town hall meeting rooms over keeping our local libraries open.” Nick Clegg: Sheffield library cuts are “unnecessary and avoidable” – Postcode Gazette.

  • Vaizey fancies games console for his office – Oxford Mail.  ““I was encouraged not to, in case it looked frivolous. But I think I will renew my campaign. I have a television so why can’t I have a games console?” [I forebear to comment – Ian].
  • Work and training employment plans needed says author – BBC.  Includes piece on Eco Computers which runs several London libraries: “Social enterprises like Eco-Computers in Deptford, south London can create work for people. They don’t want charity or grants: they want contracts. With real clients they can create real work and real training.”


Local News

  • Croydon – Wandsworth confirmed in last three to run Croydon’s libraries – Inside Croydon.  “The final bidders, as we predicted, are Greenwich Leisure, John Laing Services (a subsidiary of the company that is already in bed with Croydon over the £450 million URV property speculation deal) and Wandsworth. Eight-year contracts are on offer, although the local Labour party has suggested that were they to win power in 2014, they would seek to cancel the deal.”
  • New Addington library plan sparks fears for future – This is Croydon Today.  “Plans to relocate the estate’s library have been defended by council bosses, amid fears that users could be left with just “a couple of shelves” of books. Councillor Tim Pollard, who is in charge of the borough’s libraries sector, admitted that there may not be as many books available once the move from the library into the CALAT centre on Central Parade is complete.”
  • Dorset – Burton Bradstock Library handed to volunteer group – BBC.  “Burton Bradstock Parish Council and the Friends of Burton Bradstock Library have taken over the lease for the building in the village. Dorset County Council will hand over the running of the library to the group in the coming months.”
  • Hounslow – Tories brand consultation “a sham” – Chronicle series. “Opposition councillors say the consultation was flawed because as it was conducted during the Olympics and summer holidays – ensuring a lower response – as well as being ‘under-advertised’ and over-shadowed by a council tax benefit consultation of the same appearance.” … “Opposition councillors say the consultation was flawed because as it was conducted during the Olympics and summer holidays – ensuring a lower response – as well as being ‘under-advertised’ and over-shadowed by a council tax benefit consultation of the same appearance.”
  • Leicestershire – Loughborough library closes for £1.3m revamp – BBC.  “Leicestershire County Council is making Loughborough library, in Granby Street, bigger to enable three of its services to operate from one site.” … “Once work on the library is completed, the local studies collection will be brought down to the ground floor, new adult learning facilities will be available and a multi-sensory area will be created.”
  • Lincolnshire – Long Sutton residents not letting up over library – Guardian series.  “Protestors who raised a 500-name petition to keep Long Sutton Library where it is are asking supporters to maintain pressure on the county council. Sarah Gander handed in the petition to this month’s full county council meeting and says the library is still in danger of being moved to much smaller premises in the Market House.”
  • Use of volunteers in Lincolnshire library service draws heavy criticism – Louth Leader. “The increasing use of volunteers and plans to cut mobile libraries drew heavy criticism at last week’s Louth Area Committee meeting. Coun Eddy Poll, executive member for cultural services at Lincolnshire County Council, said the use of volunteers had been a ‘great success’. “Librarians are trained professionals, we don’t have volunteer fighter pilots,” said one member of the public. “We lose an awful lot if we lose solid professionals.” … ““We have to manage a decrease in budget, we have not cut libraries and are the only authority in the country not to close a single one,” said Mr Poll.” [This last statement is not accurate, many authorities have not closed a branch, although many of course have – Ian]
  • York – Charity idea to run York’s libraries – Press.  “A charity could be set up to run York’s libraries and help meet a £250,000 savings target. City of York Council today launched a six-week consultation asking for residents’ views on the city’s library service, including where they should be based, what they should provide and whether people can volunteer to help operate them.”

“The authority – which must cut its libraries budget by ten per cent next year – has also suggested a “community benefit society” could be formed to manage libraries on its behalf. It would be council-funded but, if set up as a charity, would be eligible for tax breaks and other grants and financial support, in a similar vein to York Museums Trust.”