• Calm after librarian’s stormy firing – Times Union (USA). “The entire Round Lake Library board of directors quit on Tuesday night amid criticism over the director’s decision to fire a librarian who closed the library early on May 29 to keep patrons safe from violent storms. On Wednesday, Carol Sheffer, the director, resigned.”
  • Charles and Camilla star in Beano comic – BBC. “Dennis and Roger the Dodger are initially in typically mischievous mood, with Roger in particular carrying out a number of tricks to avoid having to read books. But the Duchess’s visit convinces them that reading is worthwhile and has Dennis declaring: “Reading is fun for everyone, Menaces.” … “”We know of the Duchess’s interest in literacy and most people know about the Duke’s interests in organic farming, healthy eating and generally living a very healthy lifestyle. “We put our minds to it and came up with two storylines related to those.””

“Reading is fun for everyone, Menaces.” Dennis the Menace

  • ‘Culture’ means whatever you want it to, especially if you’re in public life – Independent / John Walsh. “Lord Rogers … asserted that “the culture minister is the weakest minister in the Cabinet,” said that Ed Vaizey is “truly conscious” that he has no power, and wondered why “we have this horror, this fear, of culture.” He’s right about Vaizey’s powerlessness (especially when it comes to sticking up for libraries and resisting their closure) but then, Ed’s not in Cabinet: he’s the Culture minister, not Secretary. But the culture ministry is weak – not because anyone’s afraid of it but because, when it comes to the allocation of public funds, “culture, communications and the creative industries” (to give the portfolio its full title) will always be eclipsed by Transport or Health. Nothing to do with fear.”
  • Even in tight times, libraries deserve priority funding – Smoky Mountain News (USA).  Excellent pro library article “What entity in our community serves the needs of every one of our citizens, whether that person is 3 years old or has been around for 90 years? And what place is this which can offer the same level of service to the wealthy and disadvantaged alike? Some organizations or businesses can offer services to a small segment of our population, but only one — our Fontana Regional Library System — can claim to open its doors to everyone.”
  • Pullman: Pay us for library e–books or writing will not be ‘commercially viable’ – Mail. “Libraries should pay authors a fair sum each time they lend out an e-book or writers will go bust, a leading novelist claimed today. Philip Pullman, best-selling writer of the His Dark Materials children’s fantasy trilogy, says authors could lose up to two-thirds of their income and even be forced to give up writing altogether if hard copies of books in libraries are replaced by e-books.”

Local News

  • Croydon – New art gallery to raise funds for Upper Norwood Library – Croydon Guardian. ““This is a very generous initiative from a community orientated developer and our local artists. “Crystal Palace is very proud of its unique independent library which serves all five boroughs of Crystal Palace. “The entire community has rallied round to protect it. Local musicians have already raised money for the library and now our artists. It makes me very proud to be a resident of Crystal Palace.””

  • Edinburgh – Love in the Library – Superb video of two opera singers enacting a love story, in a library naturally.  Check out the cool wooden shelves and the shiny self-service machines in the background also.
  • Halton – Views sought on future of Runcorn and Widnes libraries – Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News. “Runcorn and Widnes’s libraries have 61,147 members, 16,468 of whom have borrowed items in the last 12 months. The service’s budget for the current financial year is £2.42m.  Reductions in staff, hours and buildings have saved £375,000 for the council over the last three to four years.”
  • Herefordshire – Saving Herefordshire’s Libraries – 38 Degrees. “What is interesting about the campaign is that it goes well beyond books.  It champions the huge role libraries and museums play in bringing people together for cultural events, for day to day company, in providing public access to computers and even tourist information. Whilst cuts have been shelved for now, Herefordshire still has an £8.4 million deficit to fill. Local campaigners are preparing to fight council attempts to make the cuts through the back door: whether it’s cutting opening hours, replacing staff with volunteers or selling off assets like the three Turner paintings the county owns. 38 Degrees members will be watching closely as the Herefordshire campaign enters this new phase.  What started as a petition and a facebook page has become a local movement bringing diverse groups of people together.  Watch this space to see how things develop.”
  • Isle of Wight – Shhh… it’s a library music tour – On the Wight. “Starting on Wednesday 15 May at Newport Library, every fortnight each of the Island’s council-run libraries will hold an exciting music evening. Entry to the gigs will be free, and light refreshments will be available, courtesy of local library friends and supporters groups.”
  • North Tyneside – Crime thriller North Tyneside libraries top read – Chronicle. “A crime thriller has been selected as this year’s summer read as part of a book campaign. Stolen, written by North East writer Rebecca Muddiman, is on sale for a special price of £4 from libraries in Whitley Bay, North Shields, Killingworth and Wallsend, as well as from North Tyneside Council’s Quadrant headquarters, until September. The book was picked by the council as the summer read in partnership with New Writing North.”
  • Shropshire – Festival bosses’ fears over Shropshire library cutbacks – Shropshire Star. Bookfund to be cut by a quarter (£100k from £400k to £300k). £54k underspend on books last year. “Organisers of the Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest today criticised the cutbacks and said children and families would suffer … If libraries are going to be prevented from providing a framework to support these exercises by way of supplying access to books for all within the community, then it is the children and their families who will suffer”
  • Shropshire – Star comment: Libraries need to move on to survive – Shropshire Star / Editorial. “Strict rules banning the use of mobile phones, along with eating and drinking, are finally being lifted in a bid to make Shropshire Council’s 22 libraries more appealing to today’s modern generation. Inevitably, this will offend traditionalists who hark back to the days when they were deemed to be places for quiet academic study and contemplation. But Shropshire’s network of libraries have already been dramatically transformed since those days. No longer will you encounter a frightening schoolteacher-style manager hissing the word ‘silence’ at anyone who dared to disturb the peace.”
  • Southend – Library future to be decided – Enquirer. “Southend residents are being asked to complete a survey to express their views on what the next 15 years of Southend Library Service should be like. A formal decision regarding proposals made will be reached by September.  This consultation follows a national decline in library use, which has seen library attendance drop by 12 per cent in recent years.” … “Former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson expressed her concern over the potential closure of Leigh-on-Sea Library, saying: “Local libraries are essential to the cultural life of the communities they serve, helping young people become lifelong readers and elderly people socialise. I urge all local people to become involved in saving the library from these proposals.” “
  • Southwark – Planning committee approves new library in Camberwell – Southwark Council. “Planning permission was approved for a new two storey library which will be located in front of the Magistrates Court on D’Eynsford Road. The new library will include areas for adult, children and young people libraries as well as public access computers, study area and meeting rooms. The main library areas will be located on the ground floor with meeting rooms and study space located on the first floor. The main entrance will face towards Camberwell Green.”

Councillor Veronica Ward, cabinet member for Culture, Leisure, Sport, Olympic Legacy and Volunteering said: “We currently have a very poor library service in Camberwell so this granting of planning permission is a big step forward. Not only does it give the go ahead for a new, much needed library but it helps to realise our ambition of regenerating Camberwell and its surrounding areas.”

  • Suffolk – Town library relocation a priority for new mayor of north Suffolk town – Norwich Evening News. “the library’s move from its current home in Buckshorn Lane to the Citizens Advice Bureau premises in Cross Street would be a priority after the building was threatened with closure as part of county council cutbacks to reduce the national debt.” … “The old library building’s really on its last legs. It is a square box with a flat roof and there have been problems with it.”
  • Sunderland – Nine Sunderland libraries to close as council bids to save £850,000 – Sunderland Echo. 9 libraries to close (Doxford Park, Easington Lane, East Herrington, Fence Houses, Hendon, Monkwearmouth, Silksworth, Southwick and Washington Green.) Plan is for 5 hubs (open 40 hours per week) and 6 community branches (15 hours per week). “Research suggests the 11 remaining libraries accounted for 87.5 per cent of all library footfall during 2012/13. On top of this, library services would be extended into other community centres, including schools and children’s centres.”.  £500K “upgrades” in ebooks.  Closed libraries will be offered to volunteers.

“We probably wouldn’t have gone down this route had it not been for the fact that we need to change how we do things as budgets continue to be cut and resources become ever more stretched, but we do believe the redesigned service will result in better services reaching more people across a wider range of locations.”

  • Sunderland – Job losses ‘inevitable’ as a result of Sunderland library closures – Sunderland Echo. “Volunteers will be encouraged to help in the running of the new library service, in areas like the Patients Library Service, which delivers books to those in hospital. While important to the future service, councillors insist such volunteers will not form the backbone of the proposals.” … ““Closing almost half the city’s libraries is a step further than simply modernisation.””