Today we see some pretty good news for libraries, all in all, including refurbishments and a new library building.  There’s darker news, if one looks for it (especially if one worries about the increasing use of volunteers) but let’s stay positive today.   I especially love the slogans used in Edmonton Library (Canada) such as “This Card Makes You Smart”.  Loans increased by 13% due to the publicity that is sometimes so sorely lacking in the UK.  For what is happening over here, a new archive of resources has gone public, with the UK Web Archive listing 41 sites so far and on the lookout for more.


  • Disney and Bookshops in Public Libraries; exciting or a conflict? – Stop the Privatisation of Public Libraries.  Looks at quotes from GLL who “appears to see the crisis in public libraries in the same way as a young child would as it peered longingly into a sweet shop window.”
  • Edmonton Public Library – Donovan Creative (Canada). “We wanted the new brand to tell the story of EPL’s modern reality and use it as a platform to help us grow greater public awareness of the wide range of digital media collections, programs, services and events offered across 17 branches.”.  Some great slogans and publicity ideas.
  • Librarians and community involvement as a professional competence – Library as Incubator (USA).  Suggests ways of getting involved into the community, especially in the Arts/Music, for librarians.
  • Librarianship in the 21st century: a new collection – UK Web Archive.  “What better institution to archive UK librarianship-related websites than The British Library! The evolving role of libraries in the UK collection launches with a modest number of websites worthy of preservation, and with a call to librarians, information professionals, researchers and the public to nominate many more worthwhile sites.” … 41 sites listed so far, including Public Libraries News.
  • Libraries, museums and archives given £2m boost – BBC.  A radio interview about the funding for Welsh libraries.  “This is only starting to redress the balance”.  Aim to increase online and physical presence.
  • Libraries to lend ebooks under new pilot scheme – Independent. “pilot schemes are in the process of being implemented across a number of libraries this summer. Their objective will be to gather evidence on e-lending patterns with a view to putting measures in a number of libraries later this year.”

“Delivered properly and with the right resources e-lending has the potential to revolutionise public libraries and reconnect them with a new generation of digital-savvy readers.” Mark Taylor, CILIP.


Local News

  • Bracknell Forest – Users impressed by revamped Binfield Library – Get Bracknell. “Fresh paint, new carpets and blinds, better lighting, shelving and a new counter impressed residents when the Benetfeld Road library was reopened by Bracknell Forest mayor Councillor Jennie McCracken, on Thursday, March 28.”
  • Cambridgeshire – World of ideas within the pages of volunteer library – Biggleswade Today. “Gamlingay’s library has had only one paid member of staff since it became Gamlingay Library Access Point 10 years ago – but it is still going strong.”.  300 to 400 users per month and rising. “The books are on fold out shelves, which are shut at the end of the day so that the area can be used by other groups.Between 15 and 20 volunteers help the facility to run”.  Rely on book donations.
  • East Sussex – Bexhill library closure extended by eight days – Bexhill on Sea Observer. “The library’s first floor has been completely redecorated, new lighting and furniture installed and some interior walls removed to create a bright, open space. This the second phase of an East Sussex County Council programme which saw the ground floor refurbished in 2008. Wi-Fi internet access will be available throughout the library for the first time; new laptop points and self-service units have also been installed.”
  • Gloucestershire – Gloucestershire libraries to give out books on World Book Night – This is Gloucestershire. “Gloucestershire Libraries and Information service are supporting people in the county who are one of the 20,000 givers by having 26 libraries as collection points.”
  • Milton Keynes – What would you like to see in Kingston Library? – Milton Keynes Citizen. “Work on the redevelopment of the site, formerly occupied by the Kingston Tavern pub, has already started. The building will provide five new new retail units as well as the library. The developers, on behalf of Tesco, are building the shell of the new library to the specification agreed with the council. The details of the interior, which Milton Keynes Council will be delivering, are still being developed. As such, the council will be consulting with the public throughout the spring on summer.”  See also New Kingston Library Starts To Take Shape – About My Area.
  • Newcastle – Community group launches bid to take control of Jesmond library – Chronicle.  Volunteers hope to take over threatened library. “30 people formed the Friends of  Jesmond Library group and devised a business plan to put before the local authority. And the group hopes it could make it a valuable community resource, offering classes and events and working with Jesmond Pool across the road.”  3.5 staff currently staff it.  Business plan developed.
  • Northumberland – Refurb marks new chapter for library – Northumberland Gazette.  Amble Library refurbished with multiple co-locating partners “A new Registrars Service (births and deaths) now joins other partners such as Action for Hearing Loss and Adult Services Social Care and Health Information Point who currently deliver a range of drop-in and appointment-led information and advice sessions from the building. The facility will also allow people to make housing benefit and council tax inquiries and to report graffiti, fly -tipping and potholes.”  Better toilets and new meeting room.
  • Sandwell – Mobile library revamps its serviceHalesowen News. “Customers will now have a greater opportunity to access a more personal, door-to-door service whilst maintaining a timetable of public stops and visits to schools and children’s centres.” [One mobile withdrawn – Ed.]
  • Southend – In a nutshell… – Stand up for Southend libraries.  Summary of proposed cuts. “The proposals have volunteers taking over the delivery of the Library service at 3 branches and for over 100 Southend residential homes. There doesn’t seem to be any plans if there is not an uptake by the community to run the above libraries. Closures have been heavily talked about in the media and, to my knowledge, the council have not refuted that this is a possibility.”
  • Southend – Campaigners fighting to save Southend branch libraries – Southend Standard.  “Facebook group “Stand up for Southend Libraries”, set up after Southend Council announced proposals to shut all but two of the branch libraries unless the public stepped in to run them, has more than 300 members.”.  Unison set up group.

“We are trying to pool everyone who is passionate about libraries together so that if we are going to lobby councillors or organise petitions to oppose the proposals it will be a unified response. We want to make sure all the residents and library users are pulling in the same direction. One person by themself might feel they can’t do much but if we unite together we have a stronger voice that the council cannot ignore.”

  • Suffolk – Library to close as work to transform venue takes place – Diss Express. “Stradbroke Library opens for the last time on Sunday while its home is transformed into a modern community hub.” … “The building has been entrusted to the village by the county council with the proviso that it continues to offer the library service, and makes enough money to contribute to the running of the building.”
  • Swansea – Library booked in for a £218k improvement – This is South Wales. Morriston Library “Library is to be given a £218,000 makeover to help boost literacy levels in the area.” … “”Local libraries, like Morriston, play a significant role in our communities. They not only provide us with equal access to information and knowledge, but also act as a place for local groups and individuals to meet. It is important that we invest to modernise our library facilities and building as well as our library services so that we are fit for the 21st century.”
  • Swindon – We will economise on the beaches – Question Everything.  Visited volunteer run Walcot Library in Swindon. “The two volunteers I met spoke of how they hoped there actions were a safety net, it was better than no library and they hoped that once the economy recovered the authority would support the library properly again. It’s a very deprived area and has massive issues with literacy, they spoke of children who cannot be read to by their parents as the parents are illiterate.” … “Since Walcot library was handed over to volunteers however the book issues have fallen off a cliff, going from 13,830 to 3,790 and declined every year since”. Council says fall is due to cut in space and bookstock.  Looks into reasons why and debates with former councillor.

“libraries should provide what people want and that is I.T.not books.  We have enough libraries full of books and paid staff in Parks and the Town Centre to satisfy those local people who want to borrow books, we do not need any more.” Peter Mallinson