Wales is not looking quite the safe haven for libraries it once did, with the announcement of substantial opening hours cuts in Cardiff.  Doncaster, fresh from cutting libraries last year, have converted their Central Library to self-service.


  • 10 Great Technology Initiatives for Your Library – American Libraries (USA). (1) Cloud based collections (2) Basic mobile website (3) location-based images with Instagram (4) Drupal (5) use a “business-casual” voice in social media (6) crowdsourcing (7) screencast (8) personas (9) google voice (10) mentionmapp for Twitter.
  • Google and the World Brain – BBC Four. Storyville hour-long programme on “a campaign by authors to put a stop to the Google Books website after Google scanned millions of books, over half of which were still in copyright.”  Many interviews with librarians.
  • IFLA Launches Webpages on Libraries and Development – IFLA. “The new webpages look at how libraries are furthering development worldwide as well as highlighting the role of public libraries as agents for development. They share links to information resources on development projects and research”
  • Independent booksellers sue Amazon and ‘big six’ publishers over ebooks – Guardian. “”Currently, none of the big six has entered into any agreements with any independent brick-and-mortar bookstores or independent collectives to sell their ebooks,” say the booksellers, and “consequently, the vast majority of readers who wish to read an ebook published by the big six will purchase the ebook from Amazon.”

“When the Library service is withdrawn and no alternative provision is made, the Library Authority cannot be providing the service it is legally obliged to provide under the 1964 Act.  My suggestion is that readers deprived of their service should invoice the appropriate local authority for the return of the proportion of council tax they pay towards the library service and pursue it through the small claims court if necessary. People who use hived-off community libraries where the Library Authority is charging the community library to supply books should also adopt a similar remedy.  Its much cheaper and easier than a judicial review and they will stand a much better chance of winning a favourable decision.” Martyn Everett on lis-pub-libs.

  • Say hello to your new librarian – Swedish Library Association. “The Swedish Library Association wants a model with payments for eBooks that change over time. Higher fees during the first few weeks when a book is new, and then lower fees, the older the book is. The reason is that libraries make available all eBooks, even those that do not have a commercial market.”
  • What the Academy Awards, Oscar Pistorius, and Public Libraries Have in Common – Reason. Terry Deary: “Libraries, he notes, were created at a time when books were expensive, schooling wasn’t universal, and the term “British queen” referred only to royalty. Further proof that Deary is right that times have changed since the 19th century? Virtually none of his hate mail is being delivered by traditional postmen.”

  • Libraries for communities – Latvia.  Simple easy to understand video on the use of public libraries – usage up.
  • Postcard campaign puts patrons’ love of libraries into their own words – Daily News Online (USA).  Postcards produced by library for users to send to decision-makers explaining why they use libraries.
  • When Our Local Libraries Closed, Here’s How We Designed Our Own – Good (Netherlands). “What would you do if your city announced it would close 19 out of 25 local libraries? Protest, complain, become a cynic, or take action and create something new? A group of residents from Rotterdam chose the latter when we learned that our libraries would be closing by the end of 2012.” … “We found a former hammam that had been empty for a couple of years, and turned it into a pleasant public space in which you could drink coffee and tea, read newspapers, choose from 1500 books, work on computers or via wi-fi, and just sit and enjoy the space.”


Local News

  • Cardiff – Libraries face having opening times slashed under budget cuts – Wales Online. “The number of days the libraries are open is proposed to reduce from six to five, to save the authority £120,000 a year.”
  • Doncaster – New chapter opens for Doncaster Central Library – Thorne and District Gazette. “The £120,000 refurbishment has included redecoration, new carpets in some areas, the introduction of additional seating areas, and the refurbishment of the public toilets.”
  • Gloucestershire – Struck off? fight back! – Lis-pub-libs. Library Service Manager allegedly says “”You might want to set up a mini library of your own, using books that were left over from the village fete” to user who lives in a village which she has lost mobile library service. Librrarian then declines further communication.  Incident has caused major outrage on lis-pub-libs from library campaigners.

“This is not a profession I recognize any more” Johanna Anderson

  • Greenwich – Duchess of Cornwall visits West Greenwich Library and Fan Museum – This is Local London. “Camilla donned hand puppets to entertain young readers at West Greenwich Library during a dramatic reading of Where the Wild Things Are. The bid for fathers to become storytellers comes after charity Booktrust – of which the duchess is patron – revealed just 13 per cent of UK dads read to their children.”
  • Haringey – Save our mobile library service –  ““It would be a travesty if this vital local service was needlessly lost. The Labour-run Council need to get their priorities right – stop the wasteful spending and start supporting key services like mobile libraries.” Lynne Featherstone Lib Dem MP.
  • Suffolk – Poll: More than a million less books borrowed from Suffolk libraries in a year – EADT. “Four million books were rented from libraries across the county in 2010/11, but only 2.8 million were borrowed in 2011/12 – a fall of 27%. Children’s book loans plummeted by nearly 300,000 to 830,000”. Alan Gibbons comments “It has to be asked whether this fall in borrowing is part of a significant social change or whether the shift of Suffolk’s library service to a provident society model is significant. Incidentally, the sub-editor at the newspaper should learn the difference between less and fewer.”

“We just have to recognise and address the fact that this is the current trend – but even if this trend continues I don’t think it will pose a risk to the future of our libraries. Libraries have to adapt and meet changing needs but they have been doing that for the last 30 years – and will continue to do so. They offer central hubs of resources and places of research. They still serve a purpose to the community.” Cllr Judy Terry, portfolio  holder for libraries.

  • Surrey – Stoneleigh Library re-opens thanks to volunteers from the community – Best of. “Stoneleigh library re-opened as a volunteer-run service at the weekend – despite professional staff members still being required to help run it for the next few weeks. More than 100 residents turned up to see the library re-open as a community partnership library on Saturday, February 16, following its closure for two weeks for refurbishment.” … “due to a legal technicality, SCC staff will still be required to help run services at the library, alongside volunteers, for “at least the next few weeks”.”