Plans in Southend and Trafford will lead to more volunteers, although the latter council is at pains to say that all libraries will have at least one paid member of staff.  This will presumably have something to do with the large protests last year against turning some libraries entirely to the unpaid. Southend is aiming for a large central library, jointly inhabited with the local college and university and two “hubs” while the rest are offered to volunteers or closed.  A different approach is evident in Derby where a new local library building is opened.


the bell jar anniversary

  • Reading groups chosen for The Bell Jar 50th anniversary celebration project – Reading Agency (press release) Five groups win copies.  Sandeep Mahal of the Reading Agency says: “The groups will be looking at the writer, the text and the potency of its subject matter, and talking about them online, alongside a real time, physical reading experience in their local library.”
  • Shona Thoma, Masters Library and Information Science student, Dublin – Voices for the Library / Twitter Takeover. “I am looking forward to being a part of the Voices for the Library project so that I can engage with others about the evolving opportunities for Information Professionals and how LIS programmes can best support students, whether at the beginning of their career or returning to education to obtain a formal qualification.”


Local news

“Mr Turner concluded saying that “a big point that often gets over looked is that the 648 volunteers, connected with the Library service, are taking jobs from permanent staff.  This is placing my members not only in difficult financial situation but also serving to split the community; to volunteer and take a role once done by paid staff does not seem like a correct or moral position to take.  Don’t forget also that our Library staff are tax payers too, the loss of this spending power out of the local economy is having a big impact across all of our communities.”

  • Derby – New chapter opens for Chaddesden as library opens its doors – Council (press release). New £1.2m library with environmentally friendly building techniques. “Chair of Chaddesden Neighbourhood Board, Councillor Sara Bolton, added:  “After lobbying for this new library for over twelve years, I am absolutely delighted that this brilliant community facility is opening its doors. The new library will give the people of Chaddesden a fantastic service, offering them access to community spaces, better internet access as well as the more traditional library services. “
  • Leicestershire – Consultations on libraries and museums’ futures – Loughborough Echo. “Communities in Partnership is holding a private consultation session with a number of invited groups in Loughborough, to help form a response to the ongoing review of the Libraries and Museums Service by Leicestershire County Council.”


  • Leicestershire – Demco re-creates stained glass effect for Loughborough Library Demco (press release). Library opened in November 2012, stained glass window (right) includes local scenes and even the initials of library staff.
  • Liverpool: Public libraries: 150 years of advance is being destroyed – That’s how the light gets in. A look at the cuts in the city and the effect it will have, also including a potted history of the creation of public libraries with special reference to Worker Institute Libraries. “A glorious achievement of working class self-advancement is steadily being dismantled.  By the very same people who resisted its development in the first place”.
  • Newport: Alan Roderick joins the fight to save Stow Hill Library from closure – South Wales Argus. “Alan Roderick, who has written books on the history of Newport and Gwent, said Stow Hill Library was the only amenity the area had and some of its users would struggle to go to the city centre to use the central library there.”

“Libraries are food for the soul and drink for the mind. It amounts to cultural vandalism. We’ve lost our bakery, the butchers, the post office is gone. All we have left is takeaways and charity shops.”

  • Sheffield – 6,500 sign petition in bid to halt library closures – Sheffield Telegraph. “Council is under pressure to rethink a strategy that threatens the future of almost half of the city’s 27 community libraries. A petition urging the authority to withdraw its proposals – backed by the Liberal Democrats – has been signed by more than 6,500 people.”.  Council criticised for discretionary spending on speed reading for councillors while closing libraries. However, Council refutes most claims and blames national cuts.
  • Southend – Council to discuss state-of-the-art library – Enquirer. “Southend’s main central library will be the Forum Southend-on-Sea. This is the state-of-the-art new library in University Square being delivered jointly by the Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College, and due to open this September.”
  • Trafford – Controversial changes agreed by council executive – Messenger. “changes to library services, which will see some full time posts gradually phased out and more volunteers brought in.” – no front-room staff to be lost and no library will be entirely volunteer-run.
  • Worcestershire – Date set for library closure – Evesham Observer. “major refurbishment work on Monday, April 8, it has been announced. The Church Street building is set for a £500,000 revamp after Pershore Town Council bought it from Worcestershire County Council who were unable to keep paying for spiralling maintenance costs. The library will relocate to Pershore Town Hall temporarily from Monday, April 15.”
  • Worcestershire – New mobile library bus added to Worcestershire’s fleet – Redditch Advertiser. “As well as the usual library services, the new mobile library will also allow library members to access and engage in some of Worcester County Council’s other services while they are browsing the shelves.”