This pictures of Birmingham Central Library shows how close it is to completion.  I include them here because it’s (a) a slow news day and (b) that new building looks like nothing else I’ve ever seen.  People are not going to be able to make up their minds about whether they like it or not.  I really look forward to visiting it when it’s open to decide for myself.


New Birmingham Central Library, (image via Wordshore)


… and the one it’s replacing. (Image via Wordshore)


  • 3D Printing – On the Media (USA). A five minute audio clip explaining about 3D printing and its impact in an easy to understand mannner.  “Instead of printing click, they print make”
  • Book fair without distractions highlights need for libraries – Arab News (Saudi Arabia). Two million (yes, two million) attend Book Fair but “… one of Saudi Arabia’s greatest weaknesses: The lack of public libraries. There is a vital need in the Kingdom to privatize our existing libraries and build new ones by getting specific private companies and publishing houses to build and manage libraries. Costs can be offset through patron memberships. Universities and companies can develop these types of libraries as part of their social responsibility. Every neighborhood should have a library and every city should have a main branch to enhance the culture of reading. If we wanted a better future for the next generation of Saudis, then Saudis should take the hint from the enormous success of the book fair and implement library programs.”

Library of 
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  • Two MPs locked in Commons library after working late – BBC. “”I’ve got quite a lot to do. We’ve got masses and masses of stuff going on, and so I tend to use the House of Commons library because it’s a very convenient place.”.  Lib Dem MP annoyed lights were on “causing unnecessary expense to taxpayer”
  • Welcoming hackers & makers into libraries – Community Knowledge Hub. “At the Creative Coop we buy into the concept that libraries should become places of both knowledge production AND consumption.” … “we’ve been working with local partners to test out how such places could sustain themselves in a small town, single room space, like where many community led libraries operate.”

Local news

  • Buckinghamshire – How can you help make new community library work? – Bicester Advertise and Review. “Two years after its likely closure was announced, an agreement has been reached which will save the library. It will be staffed by one full-time equivalent qualified librarian, assisted by a rota of volunteers. Full training will be given.”
  • Durham – Assurances after temporary home found for library – Scarborough News. “Assurances have been made that a library has not closed – it has simply found a temporary new home while flood damage is repaired. Horden Library is operating from Horden Youth and Community Centre, in Eden Street, for the time being as its Sunderland Road premises was damaged after a leaking roof around Christmas, due to heavy rain.”

“Friends of Wool Library – Wool. Faced with the prospect of losing a library in Wool, Friends of Wool Library was formed in 2011.  The group worked hard to bring the community library to fruition, led tenaciously by David Smith and Volunteer Co-ordinator, Christine Reber.  After 20 months of dedicated fund-raising, negotiations, developing legal agreements and training of 35 volunteers, the community library opened on 15 January 2013.” Dorset – Purbeck volunteers celebrated – Dorset For You.

  • St Helens – Closing another chapter – St Helens Reporter / Columnists. “With the kind of vicious grant cuts they’ve had to take, it is a small wonder more services haven’t been hit harder. But is closing our libraries two or three hours early really going to make such a great dent in the gapping hole in the council’s budget?”

“Libraries are the place where a life-long love of reading and learning often begin. They are the places where parents who don’t have oodles of cash can get hold of all manner of books which would otherwise be denied their children. It’s where the hard-working young student can discover the joys of literature.”

  • Wiltshire – More free Wi-Fi for Wiltshire – Gazette and Herald. “As part of its Wiltshire Online programme, Wiltshire Council has rolled out free wireless internet to its libraries and some of its public offices. Anyone with a WI-FI enabled laptop, tablet or smartphone can visit one of these venues and browse the internet for free.”