Good news that the Government has maintained funding of Booktust, albeit minus inflation,.  This allows bookgifting to continue, which is important as many homes, as librarians sadly know, are “Argos households” where the only visible book is the Argos catalogue. A new scheme, aimed at the most in need two-year-olds (a critical age for getting used to the joy of a book) will also be introduce and is also heartily welcome, although there is no extra funding for it.  Another Government initiative is starting to appear as well: the first registering of a library as an “asset of community value”, as far a I am aware anyway, will shortly take place.  This is hoped to at worst postpone the conversion of Kensal Rise Library into flats and at best completely restore it as a library.  Expect a lot more of these registrations around the country.  [Edited 9pm] A fear I often hear is that campaigners will be the unwitting stalking horses of others with the “right to challenge”, especially private companies, who can then bid for the “asset” themselves.  Doubtless, we’ll shortly be in a position to see if this happens in practice. In the meantime, we’ll see what happens in Kensal Rise with the “right to bid” [End of edit].

A Government initiative that we are blatantly not seeing, of course, is to update – and make remotely usable – the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.  It was with a pang of envy that I noticed that the state of Pennsylvania has just done this and a description of their new Library Code makes useful reading.  Also useful – for the ego as well as for everything else – is the wonderful “A librarian is a search engine with a heart” poster that is free to download here.  I was also taken by the fundraising campaign in California where one can have 20% of one’s bill at a pizza chain and at Barnes & Nobles bookshops donated to local libraries.  Hmmmmm, pizza.  These days we can all do with a slice of that.  Of the funding that is.


  • CILIP Libraries Change Lives Awards – CILIP.  Nominations now open: “Now in its 22nd year, the award organised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’ Community, Diversity and Equality Group, highlights and rewards partnership projects that change lives, bring people together and demonstrate innovation and creativity. “
  • Gov. Corbett visits Chesco to sign updated library act – Mercury (USA). “According to Dinniman, while the new law will go a long way in modernizing and updating the antiquated library code, legislators must also work to support adequate funding for public libraries. “Libraries are central to our communities,” said Dinniman, D-19th of West Whiteland. “They are not simply public institutions, but true pillars of democracy that represent one of the purest and most fundamental virtues of our nation – the ability to improve and enlighten oneself in a warm, safe environment where all the knowledge is free for the borrowing.””
  • Government renews Booktrust book-giving grant – BookSeller. “Booktrust will retain its existing government grant for bookgifting schemes for the next two years and is to develop a new bookgifting programme aimed at disadvantaged two-year-olds. The government has confirmed that it will give the charity £6m in 2013-14 and also in the following year, flat with this year’s grant. There will not be additional funding for the new scheme.”

“Printable A4 poster, inspired by the Mass Lobby for School Libraries at Parliament on 29 Oct 2012. Designed by Sarah McIntyre,”

  • How holiday book lists can you market your public library – Marketing News for New Jersey Librarians (USA). “With holiday shopping well underway, consider posting links to holiday book lists on the front page of your website. You could also feature a book recommendation of the day or week, with a review written by the staff. Another option: feature interviews with local authors – they’ll appreciate the support!”


California Pizza restaurant and bookseller donate proportion of sale to local libraries

  • Obama presidential library library campaign begins – Politico.  Clinton’s library $165m, Bush Jr $300m, Obama $500m?  Presidential libraries are part-archive, part-monument, part-library.  Building is paid for by fundraisers then passed on to State to staff/run.
  • Protest British Library cuts – Lost Arts. “Approximately 180 members of staff have had to leave the library since 2010 thanks to cuts, with more at risk of compulsory redundancy. Their terms and conditions are changing to make it easier to dismiss them and erode their right to claim flexible working hours – unfairly discriminating against members of staff with caring and other responsibilities. And all of this means fewer staff are having to take on more and more work in a climate of fear that more jobs will go.”


Local News

  • Brent – Restore Kensal Rise Library – Save Kensal Rise Library (email update).  “… the Friends have submitted a nomination for Kensal Rise Library to be registered in Brent as an “Asset of Community Value”. This is the first step in a process known as The Community Right to Bid, new legislation that gives community groups the right to prepare and bid-to-buy community buildings and facilities that are important to them. We have been advised that Kensal Rise Library fulfills the necessary criteria to become listed as an “Asset of Community Value”, and we trust that Brent Council agrees. While this process does not oblige All Souls to accept a “community offer” it at least allows the community a reasonable amount of time to secure financing so that an appropriate offer can be put to the College.”
  • Campaign for Brent libraries continues – Voices for the Library.  Detailed account of what has happened in one of the most well-publicised library campaigns in the UK over the last two years.
  • Caerphilly – Work begins on new library for Caerphilly – Campaign. “Following the demolition of the former Post Office building in Caerphilly town centre earlier this year, works have now begun on the development of new library and customer services centre. ” … “The main attraction will be the state-of-the-art library, offering a wide range of resources for people of all ages including books, DVDs, CDs, games as well as a community space, internet access and reference materials. The new facility will also include a new Customer Service Centre, where residents can access a wide range of council services all under one roof.” Funded from council and from Welsh Government.
  • Croydon – Council’s decision to hand library services to John Laing to be scrutinised – This is Croydon Today. “Laing was chosen as the council’s preferred bidder in a private session of the corporate services committee last week. But the contract cannot be confirmed until after the scrutiny committee has decided whether to ask the full council to reconsider the decision. The “call-in” of the decision has come from both Conservative and Labour councillors.”
  • Denbighshire – Gold themed exhibition at Rhyl Library – Daily Post. “Rhuddlan Goldwork Group and the Golden Wonders was officially opened by local MP Chris Ruane.”
  • Islington – Library to be rebuilt as 30 homes planned for new estate in Finsbury Park area – Finsbury Park People. “”We are completely committed to maintaining our libraries – as part of this scheme we’ll be building a modern, flexible, lower maintenance library that better meets the future needs of local people. “We want local people to have their say on these proposals and to help us restore the library to the heart of the community.”

“The John Barnes Library, built in 1971, has a £218,000 price tag for repairs and maintenance due before 2017. The building also suffers from a set back location making it  less accessible for some users and hidden away. Visitor numbers have dropped from a peak of 83,000 in 2003/4 to 55,000 in 2011/12. Islington Council hope to reverse this trend by making it more welcoming and by providing more flexible space for other community activities. The proposed housing scheme offers us a unique opportunity to revitalise it.”

  • Lancashire – County libraries are set to consult on opening hours – Lancashire Evening Post. “More than half of Lancashire’s 74 libraries increased their opening hours from October 1, and new proposals could see changes at a further 23 libraries countywide.”
  • Newcastle – March to save Newcastle libraries – Facebook.  “As Newcastle Councillors meet to discuss the proposals to close 11 of the city’s 18 libraries, Save Newcastle Libraries supporters will assemble opposite the new City Library to march to the Civic Centre. We will be demanding no closures and no cuts to provision or jobs. 5 December is also the day of George Osborne’s budget statement – announcing further cuts – so this is an important time to demonstrate opposition to cuts. “
  • Oxfordshire – Take the FOBL Survey – Friends of Benson Library. “Since FOBL is discussing buying extra hours – when library staff will work – it is vital that we know when the library is busy and when it is not. That way we can target paid and volunteer resources accurately and effectively. “
  • Southend on Sea – Calls to see Southend Library preserved – Echo.  “Jazz trumpeter Digby Fairweather wants the Seventies building to be preserved and used as an art gallery, exhibition space and concert venue. The library will transfer to The Forum library, which is being built on the site of the former Farringdon car park, off Elmer Avenue, in August 2013.”
  • Warwickshire – Mobile library service faces cuts as county looks to save £95,000 – This is Tamworth. “Councillor Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for customers, access and physical assets, said: “We have to get the most out of the vehicles, the expertise of the drivers and the bookstock. At the moment there are a lot of stops where there are only one or two users and we are not getting the most out of the resource.”