Ealing and Harrow libraries look set to be outsourced to Laing.  Meanwhile, there’s food collections in Wigan libraries for local food banks and there are also two unrelated articles about non-payment of late fees in Camden and Essex.  More internationally, there’s a great defence of public libraries in New Zealand (under very hostile questioning)  and the Australian library association want to hear your views on the future of libraries.  Right, after all of that, here’s a treat … a not entirely serious suggestion for 3-D printers being the saviour of libraries in a somewhat unorthodox way:

Cartoon by Theresa McCracken

Cartoon by Theresa McCracken


  • Final chapter for libraries? – TVNZ (New Zealand).  Boss of LIANZA (New Zealand library association) makes clear that libraries are alive and well. Three minute segment with tough questioning.  “Libraries are important community hubs”.
  • The future of the profession: Themes and scenarios 2025: Discussion paper, 1 May 2013 – Australian Library and Information Assocation.  “The purpose of this paper is to promote discussion across the sector between library leaders, information service providers, vendors, practitioners, students, commentators, colleagues in Australia and internationally – anyone and everyone with an interest in the field. The paper is intended to engage, excite, provoke. It is not our blueprint for the future.”


Local news

  • Bury – Have your say on library proposals – Bury Times. “The aim is to keep libraries open, while saving money and making greater use of facilities such as the borough’s civic halls. The proposals do not include closing libraries or reducing opening hours, but some jobs will be lost.”
  • Camden – Book fine dodgers could have bailed out a doomed library – Ham and High. “Unpaid library fines have rocketed to more than £77,000 across Camden – just £10,000 short of what it costs to run one community library for a year … In comparison, the cost to community campaigners of running Keats Community Library in Hampstead for the year is £87,000, which includes a licence fee for renting the building from the City of London, new book purchases and some staffing costs.”.  Council says 75,000 borrowers so charges average only £1 per user.
  • Cheshire East – Hurdsfield by-election winner in library fight vow – Macclesfield Express. ““I hope I will bring experience to this new role and I genuinely want to work with the Conservative leadership to better the conditions of the people of Hurdsfield. “These issues include trying to save the library, supporting the campaign to stop green field development and supporting the Hurdsfield Community Group which wants to create a new community facility. “I hope to meet with the leader of the council over the proposed closure of Hurdsfield Library in the next few weeks and put the case for a part-funded community facility.”
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Library commitment by Cheshire West and Chester Council – Chester Chronicle. “Cheshire West and Chester Council has replaced the voluntary Saughall library with a mobile library which is now visiting the Vernon Institute for just 20 minutes a fortnight.” Council says ““Yes, we have reduced the vans but the library is not being closed. The ladies were ready for retirement and the book usage was low. There wasn’t a children’s section. “What we have put in place is much better and we may increase the amount of time the van is in Saughall based on visitor numbers.” She said an ‘honesty’ library remained in the VI so books could be borrowed on an on-trust basis.”.
  • Croydon – Old Coulsdon Library, which ‘looks like Dr Who’s Tardis’, celebrates 50th anniversary – This is Croydon Today. “When asked if the library was still popular, she said: “Oh yes, very much so. It closes on a Thursday so recently I went to Coulsdon library, which is nothing in comparison to our little one.”
  • Enfield – Temporary library replaces Ordnance Road Library in Enfield Lock – Enfield Independent. “A temporary library is up and running while work is underway to build a library, GP surgery, dentists and community hall in Enfield Lock. The building in Ordnance Road will replace Ordnance Road Library in Hertford Road until the new centre, with all the facilities under one roof, is due to be complete next year.”
  • Essex – Loughton Library, Traps Hill, is one of the top five libraries in the county for unpaid fees – Guardian series. “Libraries across Essex are owed a staggering £315,763.37, in unpaid fines, some of which date as far back as 2009. Members are charged 10 pence per day that a book is overdue in the first week, and £1 per week after that. Charges are capped at £4.70 per item.”

  • Leeds – Your local library, anywhere. Leeds Libraries App for Smartphone – Leeds Libraries.  Professional video showcasing a libraries mobile app.
  • North Yorkshire – Great Ayton community library project to mark first year – Northern Echo. “renamed the Great Ayton Discovery Centre and reopened in May last year by historical novelist Philippa Gregory. Now a 10-strong management team and dozens of volunteers run the centre as a hub of village activity, attracting 4,000 visits every month. It is now a registered charity and has managed to keep afloat with a mixture of parish council and lottery funding and revenue raised by renting out space to community groups, selling handmade crafts and other events.”
  • Northern Ireland – Bright new library opens to public in Draperstown – Mid-Ulster Mail. “Libraries NI has secured a lease on these new premises and in partnership with Workspace Ltd, has created a new purpose built facility aimed at providing the residents of the Draperstown area with a modern, bright and comfortable library offering a range of services. The new library is almost twice the size of the previous library and this additional space boasts a study area, space to display local history material and of course lots of books.”
  • Sheffield – ‘Restaurant’ proposal for Sheffield libraries at risk of closure – BBC. “18 of the registrations of interest had been from voluntary organisations, six from individuals, two from the business community and one from a parish council. “We’ve had approaches to have libraries used as digital media centres, internet cafes, job clubs, for art and design classes. We’ve even had a registration of interest looking at a restaurant or bar, but ensuring that the library opens a lot longer than it’s currently open,”
  • Waltham Forest – Harrow Green Community Library to open doors to public on Saturday – Guardian series. “A new community library will finally be lending books out to the public on Saturday after the idea was first mooted in December 2011. Following the closure of libraries in Harrow Green, Leytonstone, and South Chingford, and after difficulties securing a venue, Harrow Green Community Library is finally ready to open.”.  10 volunteers with 1000 books, donations welcome.
  • Wigan – Libraries being used as food banks – Wigan Today. “In a pioneering move prompted by the ongoing economic downturn, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is working with homelessness charity The Brick to use its public buildings as collection points for food donations.”

“We believe that libraries are at the heart of the community and so we decided to contact the charity to see if there was anything else we could do to support them. They suggested the Food Bank collections which we thought was a good idea.”