Well done to Edinburgh Libraries who have emailed me to say that they have fully a fifth of the shortlisted places for the Scottish Connect Awards.  This covers all council services in that nation and shows what public libraries can do.  Their tremendous success is due to some imaginative initiatives and a general can-do attitude that can be see in this document that demonstrates how they are changing lives.

Not so well done to CILIP for their rebranding consultation exercise that came as an unwelcome surprise to the admittedly not-as-large-as-it-once-was number of public librarians who are still its members.  It also appears to have come as a bit of a shock to its President as well. The suggestions for new names that it contained, none of which contain the word library. have been met with strong distaste and some incredulity. The general manner of debate on the bulletin board Lis-Pub-Libs got so heated that it was enough for its co-owner to start deleting posts.  At a time when libraries are in crisis, all this is hardly helping. I include a collection of representative and important items on the subject here for your interest and for the record.

CILIP Rebranding

CILIP are completely useless and launching this rebrand does little to engender support. I’m just thankful that ‘The Book People’ is already taken!Elizabeth Ash on LIS-PUB-LIBS

  • CILIP: Is this not a brand snatched from the burning? – Tom Roper’s Weblog. “ludicrous as this, and the other questions in the survey are, many wonder why, at a time when our profession and the services we provide are under such sustained attack, we should waste our time and scarce resources on a rebranding exercise. If you agree, there is an opportunity to put things right. Under CILIP bye-law 22, a hundred members may requisition a general meeting. I have initiated such a requisition to discuss the following motion:”

“I am quite saddened to think that members are forever willing and able to disassociate themselves from their position of influence and resort to  making comments like ‘CILIP – they should’ and  CILIP -they are’ as though we Members are impotent bystanders to events happening in an arena elsewhere.  It is our professional body and if the survey does not allow us to say what it is we really want to say then we all have the skills to find other avenues for our comments ….” past CILIP President Biddy Fisher on LIS-PUB-LIBS

“Re naming seems a complete waste of time, money and energy, superficial ‘solution’, not getting to the root of the problem.Comment on LIS-PUB-LIBS

“I think the concentration on the word Information without including the word Library (as well as devaluing all those who work in our profession but do not consider themselves as working with “information”) puts a lot of confusion into the minds of the public. In general use nowadays, the word “information” is automatically associated with “information technology”, which is very misleading for us.” Comment on LIS-PUB-LIBS

  • Losing the professionalism – Dumpling in a Hanky. “This is what they’ve given us as options: Information UK, Information Professionals UK, Info Pro UK, The Information Association, The Knowledge People, Information Matters UK. Really? REALLY?!?! Did CILIP actually pay someone for this nonsense? It looks like they had a hard day in the office, it was late on a Friday afternoon, they managed to force out one or two vaguely OK ideas, and then threw in a few others just to bulk up the list.” … “all of these options completely disregard one important aspect of the name: CILIP is a body which awards and regulates the professional qualification of a Charter. A Chartership is recognised through many professions as the mark of an advanced and skilled professional in that field. Would any other Chartership awarding body ever consider dropping that aspect from its title?”

“As you’re all aware, the debate on LIS-PUB-LIBS about the CILIP re-branding has been very active over the last few days, and at times rather heated. As a result of complaints received about some postings made to the list and subsequent discussion with the parties involved, a number of posts have been removed from the archive.” LIS-PUB LIBS co-owner.

  • Rebranding CILIP – CILIP.  A response by President Phil Bradley to the criticism of the consultation about a new name, tagline and image for CILIP.  He was informed of the consultation only a day or so before it was sent out and is not overly delighted with some of the name suggestions himself [Correction: President Phil has emailed to say that he”knew about the survey *WHEN* it went out. I was told earlier in the afternoon that it would be going out, then I was emailed to see that it was online and available for filling in. I certainly didn’t see it a ‘day or so’ before. If you’re referring to the whole rebranding consultancy then I did of course know about it, in exactly the same way that all the other members knew – by reading Update for example”].  Points out that CILIP is more than librarians and name etc needs to appeal to all groups.  A long post but worth reading.  Many comments.

“The language used in the survey and the proposed names were awful. As an instrument, it will not ‘uncover what really counts’ about the organization, or help to get across what ‘really matters’. How could an organisation which claims to advocate on behalf of its members, or a consultancy with the purported aims of this one, produce a statement of aspiration like “For everyone to have access to the essential power of information to help change lives and create a fairer and more prosperous society”?” Lorcan Dempsey on LIS-PUB-LIBS



Dan Jarvis@DanJarvisMP 1m Well placed sources in Whitehall saying that #CSR13 may scrap @DCMS – with Culture, Media & Sport going to other Govt depts” Twitter


What absolute nonsense @DanJarvisMP talks about @DCMS

  • DCMS ‘could be scrapped’, says Jarvis – BookSeller.  No official response as yet but “Nearly 150 people retweeted Jarvis’ claim, with many more discussing it online. Shirley Burnham, a library campaigner, said: “I would have to describe it as Stockholm Syndrome ­ I feel like we have been with them so long, that the idea of moving on makes me very anxious. I am worried about the future ­ if they could not help libraries, then who will?””.


  • British Storytelling Awards – New category added so you can nominate “A Library Service that has actively promoted, encouraged and championed the art and enjoyment of oral storytelling among its workforce, in its libraries and/or within its local community (adults and children).” via Network Ebulletin.
  • Finale events mark ‘Big City Read’ success – Reading Agency. “Readers in Bristol and Somerset will get exclusive chances to meet hotly-tipped new author Gavin Extence at special events on 12 June at Bristol Central Library and Glastonbury Library, where he will read from his debut novel The Universe Versus Alex Woods, answer questions about his work, and sign books. These special library events celebrate the success of a month-long ‘Big City Read’ of The Universe Versus Alex Woods, which is based in Somerset. The ‘Big City Read’ has encouraged as many local people as possible to read and review free copies, thanks to a partnership between The Reading Agency, publishers Hodder & Stoughton, Bristol City Council’s and Somerset County Council’s library services and local book shops.” press release
  • Further Investigation into 3D Printing and 3D Scanning at the Dalhousie University Libraries: a Year Long Case Study – Michael Groenendyk. “The big points that came out of the last year were that we ended up with about 150 users (that’s out of a campus of 18,000 students) so it’s not an overwhelmingly popular service … Very few faculty members have used the service, it’s mostly been 18-24 year  olds. Then the students using the service were overwhelmingly from our Computer Science, Engineering and Architecture faculties – and most of them already had 3D modelling experience. Looking over everything it’s been very difficult attracting people to the service who don’t know anything about 3D modelling, even though  they’re interested in 3D printing technology. I imagine this point could relate to any public libraries offering 3D printing.”

“It makes me worry about the potential for 3D printing in public libraries at this point in time.” Author of this article on 3D printing on public libraries emails me his thoughts a year on.

  • Libraries in crisis – Victorian Society. “As public libraries are threatened with closure across the nation, we look at the rise and evolution of these Victorian institutions.” Special magazine edition on libraries inc: “The library evolution Ken Worpole on library architecture and new patterns of use and funding. Victorian public libraries and their builders Simon Pepper describes the role of philanthropy and local government. The Liverpool libraries A photo essay by John Tiernan.”
  • Library launches most delicious book club ever – LJ World. “The Lawrence Public Library kicked off its new Cookbook Club in March. The club meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month in the library’s activity room. And it’s not really about books so much as it’s about the food. Library assistant Kelli Tatum said the goal is to create an outlet for people who love to cook, exchange ideas and try something new.”


Local news

  • Birmingham – It is difficult to find words to describe – Sally and Edith in Europe.  Post on the new Birmingham Library: “electronic rolling stacks in the public spaces to get more collection on the floor without using extra space…lots of interesting spaces created in what is a very large footprint, levels of connection, computers throughout the library.  The foyer is huge and leads you up into the higher floors as well as the basement floors.  The foyer has also been designed to be used as an event space for receptions and parties.  It has enough special features to make it viable.”
  • Blackburn with Darwen – Libraries to host Crime Writing month events – Lancashire Telegraph. “National Crime Writing month takes place throughout the UK from May 31 – July 15 [sic – Ed.]. The borough’s libraries are hosting three events.”
  • Brent – Friends of Barham Library Big Lunch at Barham Park Library 2nd June 12 onwards – Friends of Barham Library. “The Big Lunch encourages local people to get to know their neighbours by sharing their lunch with them. This year the Big Lunch falls a few days after the anniversary of the opening of Barham Library on the 31st of May 1952 ( 61 years ago). Friends of Barham Library will have book stalls outside the closed Library on Sunday the 2nd of June 2013 and are inviting you to come and have a picnic in the park with your family, friends & neighbours. Bring a rug & your own food & drink to share with your friends at Barham Park from 12 noon onwards.”
  • Dumfries and Galloway Stewartry library jobs to go in council shake-up – Galloway News. “Up to 50 jobs could go in council frontline services including libraries across the Stewarty. A raft of changes are aimed at saving £1.3 million over the next three years with customer service centres and registration offices also in the firing line.” … “In Dalbeattie the council hopes to save £19,000 a year and £30,000 in Castle Douglas where registration and customer service facilities might be moved into the library.”
  • East Sussex – Books add to care for mentally ill in Sussex – Argus. “Councillor Chris Dowling, county council lead member for community services, said: “Books on prescription is not designed to replace existing care but can be a useful addition to pharmacological treatment or a first step to recovery for the millions of people who are suffering in silence at the moment.””

“Great news! We’ve put a halt on Herefordshire Council’s plans to close our libraries. On Friday the council held an ‘extraordinary meeting’ and was left with no choice but to put its proposals to slash library and museum funding from this year’s budget on hold. This is a real victory for people power. In just two weeks:

  • More than 9,000 of us signed the petition to stop Herefordshire council from closing libraries and museums. That was over 5% of the county’s voters, which meant we were the first group to successfully trigger a council debate using a petition.
  • Hundreds of us got together to present our petition to the council, organise rallies and film videos to make the case against the cuts.

But there’s more to do – the plans are shelved for now but with an £8 million budget deficit in Herefordshire there will be more cuts are on the way. We’ve sent a clear message to councillors that they cannot attack our libraries and museums. Now, we need to make sure they don’t sneak in these cuts by the back door by slashing opening hours, replacing library staff with volunteers or selling off the museum collection to private buyers.. There are still challenges ahead of us but one thing is clear: Herefordshire Council know that they cannot ignore us. I’ll be keeping the petition going to make sure that councillors don’t forget how strongly we feel about keeping libraries and museums open. If you want to keep in touch on the latest news then follow the campaign on our facebook page.

Thanks for being involved” 38 Degrees letter to signers of the petition

  • Edinburgh – Welcome to the inaugural Connect Awards – Holyrood Connect. Edinburgh Libraries shortlisted for Connect Citizen Award, Connect Innovate Award, Connect ICT Award and Connect Leader Award – That’s a full one-fifth of all places in an award open to all services in Scotland, not just libraries.  For reasons why see this document on engaging the electronic audience and this one on how they’re changing people’s lives.
  • Harrow – Agenda – Harrow Council. Confidential decision to outsource libraries likely to be made at this meeting.  See item 3.
  • Hertfordshire – Just the ticket for new library users… – Hertfordshire.com.  “To raise awareness of the availability of these online services, Hertfordshire County Council is entering all new library members into a prize draw to win an e-reader. Simply register with your local library, or invite a friend to become a member, and enter the monthly prize draw.” … “To register as a member, visit your local library or fill in your details online. You can then collect your card from any Hertfordshire library. You will need to present some identification with your current name and address and under-16s will need an adult present to confirm their membership.”

“In a desperate attempt to damp down a nascent “save our libraries” campaign and petition, library chiefs in Southend reassured local users this month that there are no plans to close the town’s branch libraries. Six Southend libraries face funding cuts in an effort to find savings of £378,000.  Of course, “no closure” means the usual scheme to hand library services to unpaid, unqualified volunteer community groups with time on their hands. When the Southend Echo asked what would happen if there weren’t enough volunteers, Southend-on-Sea borough council’s head of culture, Nick Harris told them:  “I think we’d have to go away and think again.  In some areas if people don’t want to safeguard them it will be very difficult, it would perhaps suggest that they don’t want their libraries as much as we thought.” Or it suggests that if the people who want libraries are children, the elderly, those who need help with reading or those busy with work or family commitments, closure won’t be too far off.” Private Eye Library News Issue No. 1341 (p.28)

  • Sheffield – Save Sheffield Libraries – Mirror. “A shocking 14 libraries in ­Sheffield – birthplace of great writers such as the sisters A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble, home town of Malcolm Bradbury, and a city brimming with arts and industry – face closure. That’s half the city’s 28 libraries.”
  • Suffollk – Ipswich Library joins IP-Art and celebrates local culture with free family event – Suffolk Libraries (press release). “Ipswich County Library is holding its popular annual multicultural event on Saturday 29 June. The event has been given a boost this year by being included in the IP-Art festival. The multicultural event celebrates the diverse community of Ipswich and is a free and fun filled event bringing the people of Ipswich together. The event will run from 10.30am to 4pm and will include dance and musical performances, Indian, Chinese and African-Caribbean food stalls, games, a fashion show, craft stalls and information displays. The event has been running for the past few years and has developed into a very popular and colourful celebration of local people and their different cultures.
  • Swindon – Library garden offers book lovers a peaceful haven – Swindon Advertiser. “lovingly created by volunteers from the local community has officially opened. It has been created in the grounds of Moredon and Rodbourne Cheney Library, in Church Walk North, to provide a peaceful place for people of all ages to enjoy when they visit the library.” … “The group acquired funding from Swindon Council and worked with Groundworks UK, an environmental action trust.”
  • West Sussex – Electricity monitors available at Horsham Library – County Times. ““This is another example of the way in which libraries are a community resource, something that we are really keen on developing.”
  • Westminster – Hip-hop straight outta … Westminster reference library – Guardian. “The strange thing is, a library is probably the perfect place to launch a Telemachus record. His lush, textured, instrumental hip-hop comes off as ever so slightly peculiar – I’d even go so far as to use the word “bookish”. It owes as much to classic folk and jazz records as it does to regular hip-hop.”

“I just love the idea of playing loud music in a working library,” says Telemachus. “The power that a library holds over people and in turn how they behave is amazing. I’m looking forward to flipping the script.”

“”We like supporting acts who are not necessarily signed or being supported by big marketing campaigns,” says Rosella Black, the library’s events coordinator. “It’s great to do be able to do that because we are, after all, a public service, not a commercial one. We like offering these artists a platform.”

  • Wolverhampton – £1m to cover repair bill for Wolverhampton library merger – Express and Star. “More than £1 million has had to be found for repair works on libraries and community centres in Wolverhampton ahead of controversial merger moves, it was revealed today. The project to create all-under-one-roof ‘community hubs’ had been expected to cost the city council £3.3million. But bosses have now revealed that they have had to find the extra £1.03m to bring the buildings up to scratch before the project can move forward.”