Wigan have sold half a million pounds of antique books and Dudley Libraries has done a very nice refurb of one of their libraries.  Meanwhile, in the wider world, a US librarian calls for a broadening of the campaign about e-books and there’s a list of library “laboratories”, including one on a farm.  Also, a reminder that the important ACE Libraries consultation ends on this weekend.  It takes only a minute or do to fill in.  You know you want to.


  • 10 most amazing library laboratories – Online Education Database.  All in the USA.  “These days, libraries are much more than places to check out books (though you can do that, too) or to study. In addition to amazing collections of movies, high-tech devices, and helpful tools, many libraries also offer patrons the chance to get creative in impressive range of library-based laboratories. These labs help teen and adult patrons make movies, tell stories, create art, and even build 3-D models. Here are just a few of the most amazing library labs that exist today, though many more are in the works (you can check out a list here of new library labs building built through grants from the MacArthur Foundation) and one may even be coming to a library near you…”

“From the time I was old enough to enjoy being read to, libraries have been important to me. Books were not high among the budget priorities in my family. Had our single mother won the lottery, we would have run right down to the book store and bought boxes of books. That never happened. She bought no lottery tickets. We had no extra money. Our town had no book store. We did have a library. We also had an insatiable appetite for books. Once my brother and I could read for ourselves, we haunted the local library. Carrying a stack of books to the check-out desk, we felt wealthy.” #454 The public in libraries – This Gives Me Hope (USA).

  • British institutions – Good Library Blog / Tim Coates. “You don’t have to have been a library campaigner for long to learn how extraordinarily incompetent and deceitful the civil servants, public officials and politicians involved are.”.
  • Information privacy – Question Everything.  Questions the system where reserved books are put on open shelves with surnames in so that the public can see what other people have reserved.  Raises worries that data protection act is being contravened and that system will be worse when run by volunteers.
  • Long live paper – New York Times / Opinion Pages (USA).  “The digitization of information offers important benefits, including instant transmission, easy searchability and broad distribution. But before we shred the last of the paper textbooks, let us pause and remember those old streetcars, and how great it would be if we still had them around. “
  • Publishing: a very public library – Independent. “the business model for Oyster, a brand new digital service that does for books what Netflix does for films, and Spotify for music: in return for a monthly subscription fee, users can borrow from what it calls “an ever-growing collection of high-quality published works,” and read them on their smartphones.”
  • Three steps to speak up for libraries – Campaign for the Book / Alan Gibbons.  Publicising the the Lobby for School Libraries in Scotland and England and the Speak Up For Libraries conference.
  • Time has come to expand the scope of conflict for eBooks – Librarian by day (USA).  “we, people who care about ebook issues, need to organize about ebook issues on a larger scale than just the issues surrounding libraries. The effort that has gone into ebook issues over the last few years has been impressive, unfortunately the results have not (I am not finger pointing). One of the reasons is that, while we love libraries and are believe firmly in their place and purpose in the world, many do not, which makes libraries and ebook issues a narrow interest topic.” …

“The Truth About eBooks. Fact Sheet:

  • You can’t loan your ebooks
  • You can’t change platforms without rebuying your entire library if you want to move from a Nook to Kindle or vice versa
  • Publishers are preventing libraries from buying and loaning ebooks or charging them 300% times the cost of a print book (there would obviously be a page on the site demonstrating the value of libraries and e-book using some of the great reports out there).
  • Booksellers may be taking what you’re reading.

That’s it short, easy, factual, and a little scary.”


Local News

  • Croydon / Lambeth – Upper Norwood library funding cuts will not be reversed – Guardian series. “The scrutiny committee met last Friday after Councillor Timothy Godfrey put together 17 signatures to question a cabinet decision to offer just £75,000 a year to keep the service open. It is more than £100,000 less than the £187,000 the council currently pays towards running the library. Lambeth Council has promised to pay £170,000 towards the service. At a highly tense scrutiny meeting on Friday there were several heated exchanged between committee chairman Councillor Steve Hollands and campaigners in the public gallery, especially when the decision was made not to rethink the proposed cuts to the funding.”
  • Dudley – Library showcases £208k makeover – Dudley News. “Work on the St James’s Road library has been ongoing for the last five months with parts of the library temporarily closed off as the work progressed. However full service is now resumed as the 103 year-old historic building now boasts brighter and fresher modern furnishings, fixtures and fittings which blend in the features of the listed building. There is also a new layout, improved disabled access and updated IT facilities with free WiFi.”
  • North LincolnshireChildren’s Laureate visits Scunthorpe ITV.  “Children’s Laureate and best-selling author Julia Donaldson will be bringing some of her hugely popular stories to life through special dramatisations at an invite-only event at North Lincolnshire Central Library in Scunthorpe .”
  • Southwark – Libraries a safe haven to young people – Southwark Council. “As part of a pioneering cross-London initiative to promote street safety four Southwark Council libraries are set to become safe havens for young people concerned for their safety. ” … “Each one will put ‘CitySafe Havens’ stickers in their windows indicating to young people that they will offer them sanctuary. Signing up to the scheme also means staff at the libraries commit to reporting any crime and anti-social behaviour to the police.”
  • Wigan – Book sale raises half a million pounds – Wigan Today.  Sale of “more than 150 historic books from Wigan’s libraries has fetched half a million pounds at auction. Wigan Council’s decision to sell the treasures – 158 in total, from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries – met with opposition in some quarters as five were pre-1500 and the only copies surviving in Britain. But the cash-strapped authority defended its decision to put the items up for sale at Bonhams, in London, last week, stating that the volumes were no longer in demand and were not specific to Wigan.”

“In 2011 we restructured Wigan and Leigh’s library service, saving £1.1m and in order to fund this a decision was taken to sell some antiquarian books that are have received little or no public interest since they were acquired and are not intrinsically linked to the borough’s heritage, in that, they contain no information relating to Wigan or its people.”