“New powers that benefit communities now that the ‘right to bid’ provisions contained within the localism act are in force (more on all the rights on the My Community Rights website). They enable communities to nominate ‘assets of community value’ in their local area – land and buildings which provide a social benefit. The local authority is required to formally and publicly list these properties. If one of these properties subsequently comes up for sale, the local community will be able to ask for a ‘moratorium’ – a pause – of up to six months to raise the funds to bid to buy it. The list of properties could include an eclectic range of sites – the recreation ground; the last pub in the village; the library; or, even, the local theatre.” New Start


  • Libraries: a lifeline for young people Monday Dew.  ” So where can an unemployed 18-year-old go, when education and work are out of the question? The library.  And that is exactly where I went, when all my cards were out. These places helped me transform myself from a directionless dyslexic to a confident aspiring writer. They provide space for people to study, free access to books, computers, film and music. They help spark our brains, give people new pathways to career choices and the chance to learn new things with out paying nine grand a year. Don’t let these cuts take away a lifeline for people who are in poverty, especially when it is on the rise”

“Do you work in a public library, or with a community support group or charity which has experience of dealing with individuals in poverty? Are you experiencing poverty yourself, and finding that you have become more dependant upon your local library than you were in the past? I’m currently researching the impact of public libraries on the causes and symptoms of poverty. I am keen to access wide-ranging insight into who uses public libraries, who doesn’t, and why. I’m also looking for information on the impact of funding cuts on library services, and whether this is encouraging a misconception of public libraries as outdated and redundant. If you’re someone who never uses their public library, why not?” Public Libraries: can you help? – Rebecca M Jones Writing Services.


Local News

  • Aberdeen – Fears raised as Aberdeen libraries face closure – Evening Express.  “A WARNING was made today that Aberdeen communities face being “cut off” from the modern world as a result of library closures. It came after Aberdeen City Council agreed to consult on the “reduction of opening hours and options for closure of smaller, least used libraries”. The SNP’s education spokesman Cllr Gordon Townson said: “It is very worrying to see that the majority of these libraries serve some of Aberdeen’s most deprived communities.””
  • Angus – Claim Victorian library in Edzell could be reopened for only £5,000 a year – Courier.  “Members of Edzell Library Action Group (Elag) say the Inglis Memorial Hall could be staffed by a mixture of paid workers and volunteers, with a minimum running costs. Angus Council’s neighbourhood services committee will consider proposals for the closed facility. This includes an £84,000 revamp to transform the Victorian building into a historical visitor attraction.” … “”While the ‘combined’ option involves some volunteer input, unlike the ‘museum’ option it does not rely solely on volunteers, which is important as people in this community already do a huge amount of volunteering. ”It would cost just £5,000 a year to staff the ‘combined’ option.”
  • Coventry – Thousands take part in Coventry libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge – Coventry City Council.  “Almost 3,000 young people aged between four and 11 took part in this year’s summer reading challenge at Coventry City Council’s 17 libraries. “
  • Croydon – Plans for Upper Norwood Library will go before scrutiny committee – Guardian series.  “At Croydon Council’s Cabinet meeting earlier in September, it was announced that the Council were prepared to offer £75,000 a year to keep the service open as well as handing it over to the community. It is more than £100,000 less than the £187,000 the council currently pays towards running the library. Earlier this year Lambeth Council promised to pay £170,000 towards the service, also a reduction on what was previously allocated. But Croydon’s Labour Councillors have called for the decision to go before the scrutiny committee”

“This compares with a Lambeth Council cut of £41,000. This reduction in funding is hugely greater than is being imposed on other libraries in either Croydon or Lambeth. “It appears likely to lead to a halving in the number of library staff, with serious implications for the level and quality of the library service.”

“The Committee meeting will take place at 6.30PM, Friday 5 October at the Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon.  A strong community presence at the meeting is required to call upon Croydon Council to increase its funding contribution based on a transparent and fair funding formula which reflects usage by residents and puts the library on a sustainable footing as we move forward with a community trust..” Upper Norwood Library Campaign

  • Croydon’s £112,000 library funding cut “flawed and unsustainable” say campaigners – News from Crystal Palace.  Campaigners complain that  decision flawed as it “compares Upper Norwood joint library with Croydon branch libraries without taking any account of the value of central services provided to Croydon branch libraries which would have to be met separately by an independent Upper Norwood library.” and it’s funding cut is justified on grounds that another authority (Lambeth) will keep its funding at the same level.
  • Written Submission: Upper Norwood Joint Library – Val Shawcross, Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark.
  • Nottinghamshire – Best-selling children’s author visits library for special event – This is Nottingham.  “Julia Donaldson will be making a special invitation-only visit to Mansfield Central Library this month as part of her national tour of libraries.” … “Children from High Oakham Primary School, in Nottingham Road, Mansfield, will go to the event to see Julia bring her popular stories to life through special dramatisations. Around 60 children, aged seven and eight, will be performing Vegetable Attack in the Dining Room – a poem by two members of staff which features Julia’s characters.”
  • Oxfordshire – Library looks at the next 50 years – Oxford Mail. ““The library is well-used and well-loved and it really showed on the day of our anniversary celebrations. We were absolutely packed.” Between 100 and 200 people attended the event, which included music from Nick Cope, an illustration workshop and rhyme time for the under fives.”
  • Southend – Council launches consultation to find out what residents want from their local library – Echo. ““The way people use libraries is changing. “More and more people are using our online services and over the past three years there has been a 12 per cent decline in the number of people visiting our libraries. “The purpose of the review will be to find out what local residents want from their library service and whether we can meet their needs more effectively in financially challenging times.”
  • Surrey – Volunteers take control of library – Surrey News.  “Local people took over the day to day running of the New Haw branch on Monday 1 October and plan to go out into their community to ask what services the library should provide. The volunteers received a welcome boost from the UK’s leading PR expert and Surrey resident Max Clifford, who said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved with the successful campaign to keep New Haw library open. I know that the library is such a benefit to so many people in the area.” … “New Haw is the first of 10 branches in Surrey to become a community-partnered library. Under the partnership, Surrey County Council will continue to provide the building, books, computers, free wi-fi and everything else associated with a library.”