News that catches my eye today includes the Telegraph article regretting the loss of the old Birmingham Library. Apparently, it was originally designed to be in marble.  The author compares the new, somewhat more showy building, as resembling a lego ferry.  Hmmm. They’re obviously more down to earth in East Sussex, where they have announced the first ever permanent second-hand bookshop within a library.  The most exciting news, though, is nothing to do with withdrawn library books but rather that,  the pro-library book sculptor has struck again in Scotland and has announced she (for it is a she) has produced five more works as part of Book Week Scotland.


  • Community libraries: threat or opportunity? – Local Government Chronicle.  “Community libraries aren’t a new idea. Back in 2006 the Big Lottery Fund invited local authorities to apply for funding with the aim of helping libraries to consider new ways of working as well as to improve accessibility and service provision” … rest of article behind paywall.
  • Despite ruin, library offers books and community – New York Post (USA).  “…the community libraries are there — if only in the form of a bus, parked in front of the gutted, muddy Peninsula branch. Days after the storm laid waste to four Queens Borough Public Library branches in the Rockaways, a colorful mobile library bus has hummed just outside its former location on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, offering warmth, power outlets, emergency information and books. ” … “All fines were forgiven. “People have other things to worry about,”

“The library is consistent — it’s in the category of post office,” she said. “So it’s comforting that the library is functioning and open.” She picked up a paperback. “I’m going to hunker down for the weekend and just read myself happy,” she said, smiling.”

  • In digital age, most teens still use the library, study finds – New Jersey (USA). A look at the Pew Internet Study. “”We’re busier than ever,” Amy Sears, head of youth services at the Teaneck Public Library, said. More teens are reading because of popular book series like the Hunger Games and Twilight. And rather than discouraging reading, technology is helping teens stay up-to-date on their favorite authors.”
  • Libraries should be part of life – Telegraph.  “The demolition of Birmingham’s Central Library next year will leave a gaping hole in the city – despite the ostentatious new Library of Birmingham building, writes Bernadette McNulty. ” … “I’m glad so much investment is going into a project that is not a shopping centre. Danny Boyle is right that our cities need more than Wetherspoons and Walkabouts.” … “I hope the new library is as cherished as the old one, but for me there will always be a tragically gaping hole in the fabric of the city. “
  • Library Camp London – Librarian “unconference” announced for March 2013.
  • Library closures inquiry: campaigners respond – We Heart Libraries. Excellent summary of the responses to the lacklustre DCMS Select Committee report into library closures.
  • Library that struts its stuff – This gives me hope (USA). “When a photograph of the Kansas City Public Library’s Central branch popped into my inbox, I laughed in delight. A row of enormous book spines runs along one wall of the library’s parking garage. The titles on the spines of what is called the Community Bookshelf reflect some of the interests of the city’s readers.”
  • New chapter for mystery book sculptures – BBC. “The anonymous artist behind a series of intricate book sculptures which mysteriously appeared across Edinburgh last year has produced five new works. The 10 original sculptures became a social media sensation and the artist was described as a “literary Banksy”. The artist, whose identity is still being kept secret, has produced the new works as part of Book Week Scotland.” … “Clues released online each day this week will help literary fans to track them down and win their own sculptures.”  See the original sculptures in all their glory here.

“The identity of the artist remains a secret but she did reveal in a note to Poetry Library staff that she was a woman, who believed free access to libraries, art galleries and museums made life much richer. “

  • Patrons design library cards for San Franciso Public Library – American Libraries (USA). Fiver winners from 3,500 submissions.  Some lovely images.
  • Speaking up for Libraries: campaigners gather in London – We Heart Libraries.  Summary of the library conference and links to other descriptions of the event and the presentations.
  • What to say? We can’t even look after our own libraries – Johanna Bo Anderson’s Blog.  “, KPMG wrote their report advocating the idea that volunteers with no experience should run our public libraries in the UK. As many who know me will be aware, once I finished my dissertation, this prompted me to Co-found advocacy group Voices for the Library and campaign group Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries. Since this time tens if not hundreds of our libraries have been handed, or are due to be handed to volunteers to run. Therefore, it seems rather naive of me to stand up in front of librarianship students and new professionals tomorrow to advocate the role of librarians in international development when we cannot even prove our worth in our own country. This makes me very sad and really stumped as to what I really should be saying tomorrow.”


East Sussex Eastbourne Library opens the “first ever” permanent second-hand bookshop in a public library on 7/12/12.

Local News

  • Cumbria – £50m cuts threaten “frontline services”– Northwest Evening Mail.  ““We have closed no children’s centres, libraries or fire stations, all the kinds of things the public need every day. “But, there will come a time in the next year to 18 months when we are going to have to look at those frontline services, and say can we afford to keep 48 libraries open or 30-odd fire stations?””
  • Longer opening hours for three South Lakeland libraries – Westmoreland Gazette. “A council spokesman said the use of new technology and staff working more flexibly had made it possible to improve access to services at no additional cost. “
  • Dorset – £1 peppercorn rent for Charmouth Library – View Online.  “Chairman of the Friends of Charmouth Library, Hazel Robinson, has now completed the purchase of the freehold of the building, and the facility will now be known as Charmouth Central. Funds are still sought to help cover much-needed repairs to the roof of the library, to remove asbestos-containing vinyl tiles and for the installation of full central heating.”
  • Glasgow – Mitchell Library is hub for Book Week Scotland events in Glasgow – STV. “This is the first ever Book Week Scotland which aims to celebrate everything about books and reading. And for head of Glasgow libraries Karen Cunningham Book Week is imperative to highlight the importance of books and libraries. She said: “I don’t think there is anyone in Glasgow who isn’t aware of the Mitchell. “During Book Week we are going to challenge perception that libraries are always quiet places. We have an absolutely stellar line-up of authors throughout the week. “Libraries are absolutely fundamental. We are reading a lot about the effects of the closure of library services. We just want to make sure that libraries are appreciated for what they are, vital hubs of information.”

“During Book Week 150,000 copies of My Favourite Place – a work about Scotland’s best loved places written by the public and leading authors and artists including Michael Palin, Alexander McCall Smith and Alasdair Gray – will be given away in libraries, bookshops and museums aroundthe country.”

Northumberland – Wooler -Old library converted to affordable housing.  New library expands and wins awards … but “fraught with possible problems”.

  • Rotherham – Most Rotherham libraries to stay open after consultation – Postcode Gazette.  “The new plans involve keeping Kimberworth Library open, and changing opening times to reflect current usage. ”  Kimberworth Park not so lucky. “The changes to opening hours across the Borough from 2013 will see five libraries increase their hours, two stay the same and seven see slight reductions. “
  • East Sussex New chapter at the Eastbourne Central Library Eastbourne Herald.  “The first ever permanent second-hand bookshop in a public library in East Sussex will open its doors to customers early next month. East Sussex County Council’s Library & Information Service will open the ‘Bookends’ bookshop at Eastbourne Library in Grove Road on December 7. The shop will sell second-hand books, DVDs and CDs plus greetings cards, stationery and gifts.”.  Name chosen in public contest.
  • “Bookends” Eastbourne Library shop to open soon – East Sussex Council. ““As well as installing the new shop, we’re refurbishing the foyer area and improving lighting in some areas of the library,” said Councillor Freebody. “We’re also refurbishing the committee room in the library which is available to hire at reduced rates for local community groups.””