Cuts in Peterborough and Bournemouth focus around keeping buildings open but cutting other things.  Both, disturbingly, identify buying less books and having less staff as an option.  This places both in the “hollowing out” part of the cuts equation.  As a nice change from the debacle over Friern Barnet Library, Barnet Council announce a nice new library – but, hang on, they’re selling the old one and only renting the one that is replacing it.

On the more positive side of things are Lancashire and Dorset.  It’s good to see that the former is continuing its largely good recent track record by putting in a £2.4 million “Youth Zone” (that sounds very Millennium Dome-ish doesn’t it?) in the same building as its Chorley library, although it will not directly affect it.  A new development that will directly affect a library is in Dorset where a new library (co-located with an adult learning centre) will open soon.


  • Books aren’t dead yet – Salon. “If print could talk, it would surely be telling the world, Mark Twain-style, that reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. The market for e-books grew exponentially after Amazon introduced the Kindle, and it’s still one of the most fascinating and unpredictable sectors of a once hidebound industry. But the early-adapter boom is showing signs of flagging and the growth of the e-book market appears to be leveling out. E-books are definitely here to stay, but it seems that many, many readers — a threefold majority, in fact — still prefer print.”
  • Bookshop browsing vital for publishing, research finds – BookSeller. “Jo Henry, BMR director, gauged the value bookshops bring to the industry through promoting discoverability at approximately £450m last year,” … “Physical bookshops were particularly important for the children’s book market and for male book-buyers, the Books & Consumers survey found.” [Presumably libraries also have an impact – Ed.].
  • Editorial: Ottawa’s muzzling of librarians’ free speech is intolerable – Calgary Herald (Canada). “The new code covers the gamut of employees at Libraries and Archives Canada – staff, student assistants, workers on contract to the department, and even volunteers. It talks about the obligation of maintaining a “duty of loyalty to the Government of Canada” which extends “beyond our workplace to our personal activities.”
  • Libraries pay a premium for e-books, if they can get them – My Record Journal (USA).  “New legislation would force e-book publishers who sell titles in Connecticut to also sell them to libraries. The General Assembly’s General Law Committee voted unanimously March 12 to approve a bill that would require publishers of electronic books that sell or license to the general public to offer all such products to Connecticut libraries at a fair price.”
  • Lipstick Library tour announced – Beattie’s Book Blog. “Libraries around the UK will be totally on trend during April and May 2013, forging exciting links with local hair, make-up and clothes stylists and suppliers, photographers and other partners. Together they’ll create a series of enticing library events for girls of all ages centred around The Diary of a Mall Girl – the new novel from author Luisa Plaja. The upcoming Lipstick Libraries tour has been brokered by The Reading Agency’s Reading Partners consortium …”
  • Oxford librarian sacked over Harlem Shake at St Hilda’s College – Telegraph. Students make video of dance craze in library, college blames and sacks librarian, Students have called for her reinstatement.
  • Public and Prison Libraries: Important, Often Overlooked, Partners In Reentry – Corrections (USA). “Public and prison libraries are becoming aware of how they can better help people returning from prison to integrate more successfully into their communities”
  • Tories face revolt in the heartlands over council budget axe – Guardian. “Senior Tories in the shires are in open revolt ahead of the May council elections after George Osborne paved the way for further punishing cuts that are likely to lead to the closure of more local libraries, parks and leisure centres.”


Local news

  • Barnet – New library plan for Finchley – Barnet Today. Plans to move “… Church End Library into the bottom of a proposed housing development in Finchley have been unveiled.  Barnet Council has revealed plans to sell off the library building in Hendon Lane after moving library operations into a rented purpose built library in Gateway House in Regent’s Park Road.”
  • Bournemouth – Libraries will NOT be axed: but they do have to make £1.7m by 2020 – Daily Echo.  “no closures, no reduction in hours and no adverse impact on the home library service. Instead, the service, which accounts for 3.21 per cent of the council’s total budget, will be “transformed” to meet the changing demands of customers. Over the next seven years, £1.7m of cuts and extra income will be achieved by: l Increasing income through premises hire, fees and charges, overdue stock and sales.”
  • Buckinghamshire – A Tale of Two Journeys: Buckinghamshire Community Libraries – Buckinghamshire County Council / Community Knowledge Hub. Eleven minute video inc. Chalfont St Peter Library.  The other journey is that of the council.
  • Cambridgeshire – Library newspaper thief threatened with court – Cambridge News.  Notice in library says ““The person who routinely moves the certain sections from these newspapers should be aware that this behaviour is unacceptable. “During the past two years, three individuals have been convicted at Cambridge Magistrates of offences under the Theft Act 1968, having removed library materials without prior authorisation. “Evidence from our CCTV and security systems was used to help obtain convictions.”
  • Croydon – Residents ill-served by Town Hall self-serving politics – Inside Croydon. “No questions about the detail of the library privatisation deal were asked – and there’s plenty of questions that need answering. No one from the ruling Conservative group was held accountable for the extraordinary mishandling of the contract tendering process that had led to the emergency meeting being called.”.  Labour plan to move libraries to co-op if they gain power has caused right with library supporters.
  • Dorset – A new chapter begins for reading and learning opportunities in Dorchester – Dorset Council. “Work to fit out Dorchester’s new library and adult learning centre is underway. Dorset County Council is relocating the two services in a combined ‘one-stop shop’ for reading and learning, occupying three floors in the newly-opened Charles Street development.”
  • Lancashire – £2.4million youth zone in Chorley library – Lancashire Telegraph. “A £2.4million ‘Youth Zone’ will be created in Chorley to improve services for young people. The new base will see a range of activities and facilities created within the same building occupied by the town’s central library.” … “The library will be unaffected by this development.”
  • Luton – Library feedback deadline extended – Dunstable Today.  “The deadline for residents to have their say on the way libraries are run has been extended until Wednesday, April 24 by Luton Borough Council. Two potential options are being sounded out for the future of Luton’s libraries. One option will stop the mobile library service, while the other option will keep the service by reducing openinghours at some libraries.”
  • Newport – Halt closure of library – South Wales Argus / Letters. “It is an absolute right for children to have access to books from libraries and I believe that, within reason, children should read anything because stories fire the imagination.”
  • Oxfordshire – Library to keep hours – Henley Standard.  Survey into Benson Library hours suggests slight cuts may be possible “without affecting the service” when volunteers take over half the hours.
  • Peterborough – Cabinet meeting: City Council agree library cuts – Peterborough Telegraph. “At the Town Hall meeting of the council’s cabinet this morning (25 March), a raft of measures were introduced to save £200,000 from the library service, including cutting hours, a reduction in £18,000 from the management budget and a reduction of £50,000 from the book budget. The change in opening hours will affect the three larger libraries in the city – Bretton, Orton, Werrington and Central Library.”
  • Poole – A happy mum enjoying our new Children’s Library at Poole – Telly / Poole Council.  Short interview with mum on nice new children’s library.
  • Portsmouth – Author: Why libraries are vital for communities – News. Pauline Rowson effusive about public libraries and librarians: “Trained librarians are also essential. They are able to advise and assist individuals, they have the experience and expertise to select a wide range of stock, they catalogue and curate vital local and n collections and they also play a major part in helping to bring the community together. We need public libraries and we need librarians.”
  • Somerset – £50,000 boost for library services – Mercury. £50k secured from general council fund is to aid volunteers to replace paid staff / “encourage and empower those communities to get involved and help with the delivery of the services in line with our strategy”,
  • Southend on Sea – “Facing the challenge”: developing library services within Southend on Sea 2013-2028 – Southend on Sea Council. A strategy for the council’s libraries. Cuts are proposed.
  • Southwark – Crews fight to save blaze museum at Cuming Museum and Newington library in Walworth – Independent. “Firefighters evacuated 30 people from Cuming Museum and Newington library in Walworth, south-east London, after a fire took hold in the roof. Southwark Council leader Peter John said that, while the council’s primary concern was the safety of the public and staff, it was also worried about the museum’s collection.”.  See also Firefighters tackle library blaze – BookSeller. “attended by nearly 120 firefighters and 20 engines from across South London”.