Bury have announced that they are cutting £570k from the libraries budget, leading to buildings moves, less staff and co-locations for four of their libraries.  The council is at conspicuous pains to say that it is not closing any branches.  The previously reported usage figures Brent, also in the news for spending £3,500 for murals for a library they’re about to knock down and controversially redevelop, have been brought into question,  Apparently, a closer look at the statistics provided by a Brent councillor a 12% drop in usage rather than the marginal increase previously suggested.

Two great ideas today are the rather wonderful projections soon to appear on Liverpool Central Library and, as long as one ignores its punny name, the Bicycool Library project.

Finally, we can get a little carried away int his country thinking that we are unfairly done by when it comes to cuts in libraries.  Well, we probably are, but we’re also not alone – Rotterdam lost 19 out of its 25 libraries (perhaps it should twin with Newcastle?) and has a volunteer-run branch.  Mind you, its surviving libraries (including one that is a book-pyramid and the volunteer one which deliberately does not call itself a library in order to not provoke look pretty darn cool.


  • Bicycool Library (Poland). “Bicycool Library is a bike ride for book and bike lovers usually organised by librarians.Bicycool Library is all about cycling through the town wheel to wheel with patrons. After huge success in Poland we’d like to invite librarians from all over the world to join the project and organise rides in their countries.”
  • Circulating Ideas: the Librarian Interview Podcast – Kickstarter. Looking for funding for doing librarian interviews.

Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity Conference: Using Positive Disruption to improve libraries (or i2c2 for short) – “We want to bring together a bunch of people (including librarians, learning developers, learning technologists and more) next year for a two day conference of inspiring each other to innovate and be more creative in libraries. There will be talks, workshops, fun and games galore. We’ll talk to each other about successes and challenges, thinking about how we can use what we learn from one another to improve libraries.  The call for papers (http://i2c2conference.org/)  is open until 25th October 2013 and we’re looking for a limited number of talks, workshops and creative interventions that fit within the conference themes.”

  • National Library Workers Day – ALA (USA). “a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.”
  • Nominees announced – CILIP in Wales.  For the “the inaugural Welsh Librarian of the Year Award”.  Wales has this, USA has “Movers and Shakers”, how come England doesn’t have one.

  • Now live: the first Digital Public Library of America – Knight Blog (USA). “An exciting new initiative began today when the Digital Public Library of America launched its first six service and content hubs. The hubs promise to unleash millions of historical, scientific and cultural documents from many of America’s national and state institutions, making them easily searchable as digital records to anyone with an Internet connection.”
  • Number crunching – Private Eye. “1 Thatcher memorial library which supporters plan to spend £15m establishing. 273 public libraries currently estimated to be at risk of closure, in addition to the 326 which have already closed as part of the coalition cuts” [To be fair, this includes those withdrawn and passed to volunteers etc – Ed.]
  • ‘Quick’ Chartership Update (Part 2)… – Wandering Librarian.  Visiting Holland. 19 out of 25 libraries in Rotterdam have recently closed (!). Central Library has giant chess set in cafe and a “bee-hive” on the roof.  Also looks at the “Book Pyramid” library in a suburb.  Volunteer-run library in suburb “Lees Zaal” carefully avoids use of word library so as not to offend.

  • To whom  it may consern: an open letter of complaint – Resplendent Quatropygia. “my local library is under threat of closure due to a lack of funds. Of course droves of people are up in arms, not only are we losing a beautiful building and a valued tradition but parents and children will be losing Story-Rhymes, students will be losing resources they may otherwise be unable to afford, those with a passion for reading but without the money to fund their passion will lose out on fictious worlds they have yet to uncover and a massive part of a generation’s cultural development is risked being lost forever. All for something as petty as money.”

“Volunteer, protest or just use your library, but for the sake of your local community please do not let this monument of learning and tradition be destroyed in the name of cost.”


Local news

“Without close reading Cllr Powney’s comments could be taken to imply that library usage has increased marginally since the closure of half Brent’s libraries. However the six libraries closed in October 2011, so his 2011/12 year includes five-and-a-bit months when all twelve libraries were open and six-and-a-bit months with just six open. A like for like comparision of April to September 2011 (12 libraries open) with April to September 2012 (6 libraries open) shows a 12% drop in issues.”  Brent – Comment on Public Libraries News

  • Bury – Staff are facing the axe in library service changes – Prestwich and Whitefield Guide. Some “staff will lose their jobs when four libraries [] are moved or turned into community hubs to save money.Bury Council’s libraries service is offering voluntary redundancy to workers as four libraries are being reduced in size.”

“We have worked on the basic principal of keeping as much of the service as we possibly can. A “substantial” one-off capital investment will be needed to make the changes to the buildings, but that cost is not yet known. More self-service facilities will be provided in the libraries and council information points will be retained, apart from that at Unsworth.”

Southend – Save Leigh Library.

  • Worcestershire – Have your say on future of Broadway Library – Tewkesbury Ad Mag. “Options, including the relocation of the library and replacing it with a mobile service, have been considered but the preferred suggestion is to work with the community on setting up a group to manage the Leamington Road library.” … “The parish council would become responsible for covering the costs of utility bills and cleaning, while a community group would be setup to run the library.”


£570k cut: Unsworth to close with stock moved into moved to Sunny Bank Community Centre:  Radcliffe to close and be moved into relocated to Radcliffe Civic Suite:  Prestwich to be “remodelled to provide an open-plan facility in a smaller area, making space available for learning disability day services” and Whitefield libraries will “will also be used by adult care and the existing sensory impairment unit will be moved to a different part of the building reduced staffing”