The CILIP rebranding survey has caused so much controversy that a number of members have requested a meeting to halt it. I don’t want to go into the rights and wrongs of this myself (but I do rather like the word “library” … even if half the current members of CILIP don’t have that word in their job title) other than to use it as a way to remind everyone of the positive nature of some rebrandings.  This is shown today in a timely article about York:  I hope the overhaul of the Voices for the Library website, launched today (Monday), is as successful.

Another article today is about the importance of self-promotion so, taking a note from its writer, I will mention to you my review of the wonderful new Liverpool Library (with loads of pictures) and a sneak preview of the presentation I’m doing at the French libraries conference on Friday about the main themes of the last few years in UK libraries. You know, it feels odd self-promoting this stuff (must be a British thing I guess) but every library and authority should be doing similarly, especially now when it is so much more important than ever before.


  • CILIP members demand halt to rebrand – BookSeller. “concerned CILIP members have now called for a general meeting to debate a halt to the rebrand plans on the basis that it is “a distraction from the urgent tasks of advocacy for the profession, and a waste of scarce resources”. More than 100 members signed a request submitted to chief executive officer Annie Mauger on Friday afternoon (31st May). Tom Roper, clinical librarian at Royal Sussex County Hospital, who initiated the call for a meeting, said on his blog: “I ask everyone who signed or has taken part in the debate here and elsewhere, to do their utmost to attend and contribute, and to encourage others to.”
  • Could Bookless Libraries Revolutionize Access for the Poor? – Atlantic Cities (USA). “Inside the city limits, there was a robust library system with 26 locations and a bookmobile. Outside, in the unincorporated suburbs of Bexar County, there was no public library. For many years, there wasn’t even a book store. Blame this on a fluke of funding. The city’s library budget could only be spent on projects inside the city.” .. “Bexar sees their bookless library as a model for other cities and counties, especially those where some neighborhoods have plentiful access to reading material — and others simply don’t.”
  • Country Music Legend Dolly Parton’s New Role: ‘Book Lady’ – PBS (USA).
  • DCMS will not intervene over Bolton or IoW library closures – BookSeller. “Library campaigners in the two areas had hoped that the Secretary of State would review both sets of closures and begin an inquiry, arguing that the closures meant the local authorities were failing to provide a “comprehensive and efficient service” as required by the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.” … “Campaigners accused Vaizey of hypocrisy for failing to intervene. Geoffrey Dron of the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign said: “Is it not hypocritical of the minister not to intervene when, in opposition, he had been so vociferous in his criticism of closures?  Mr Vaizey had then described closures in areas of deprivation as being ‘cultural vandalism’.”

  • Frank Lampard: Head to your local library this summer – Ready Agency.
  • Libraries To Make Further Savings On Electricity Bills – Solar Panels UK. “In East Staffordshire, there are a further two libraries that have had solar panels installed and it is forecast that they are likely to help make a substantial saving in their electricity bills over the next ten years. Back in July 2012, there were thirteen library buildings in the county with solar photovoltaic panels fitted. Some of these were at Barton library that is located in Dunstall Road, Barton under Needwood and Burton library that is situated off the High Street in Burton upon Trent. It is estimated that, collectively, the libraries may save in the region of £350,000 over a ten-year period.”
  • Practice Self-Promotion – The “M” Word (USA). “Here at The M Word, we believe in promoting ourselves, our work, our books, and our presentations. What good are they if nobody knows about them or reads about them or shares links to them? There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, but I’m sad to say that most librarians are not in the habit of promoting themselves, their expertise, their libraries, or their profession. Hopefully, reading what others have been doing will spur you to share something good about your own work.”
  • Premier League Reading Stars Online – National Literacy Trust.  A player from each Premier team encourages children to read, with tailored challenges and rewards. Information for teachers and librarians here.
  • Prosperity catalysts: Libraries making an impact on the economic agenda – Northamptonshire Libraries. “An intensive one-day workshop for public library services seeking to support access to employment and business opportunities – by building on their social capital as a trusted place at the heart of the community.”
  • Rebranding a Library: how did it all go so right? – Information Today / Ned Potter. “Rebranding takes so much time and money, but is it really worth it? The figures for York Explore suggest that it can be when handled well: visits are 15% up on the previous version of the library. Book issues are 16% up on the previous year. Circulation of children’s books are particularly increased – they have a new space, an extended range of related activities, and a simpler categorisation system – with fiction up 59% and non-fiction up 45%. Overall, in the first 9 months after re-opening, more than 11,000 new members joined.” – rebranding was (1) more than a name change (2) directly linked to refurbishment (3) based on user experience (4) good communication (5) rebrand was about the users. [A timely article what with all the hooha about CILIP rebranding – Ed.]

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  • Cheshire West and Chester – Award-winning author at new Chester library’s open day – Chester First. “Jonny Duddle was at the new Hoole Community Library to talk about his work, including his adventure picture book The Pirates Next Door … Jonny was the guest of honour during the special open day at the library, which is based in Hoole Community Centre on Westminster Road.”
  • Fife – Yarnbombing at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Library – Dunfermline Press. “The purpose of yarnbombing is to cover unexpected places and things in knitting to surprise and delight passers-by.  There will be a knitted bike and lots of other knitted items – including books – on display.  Christine Cook, service development librarian at the library, explained, \”Yarnbombings are done in secret – usually put up in the dead of night by knitters wearing balaclavas – and we want to use the installation as a way for Dunfermline folk to take a second glance at the library and see something they did not expect.”
  • Isle of Wight – No inquiry into Isle of Wight library closures confirmed – On the Wight. Brief summary of the history behind the decision and the document itself.
  • Moray – Libraries campaigners meet MP and MSP – Northern Scot. “The ‘Save Moray’s Libraries’ group further wrote to the area’s 26 councillors after the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) said it was probing what ­“adequate” provision meant.” … ““Following Moray Council’s swingeing cuts to the library service, the Scottish Government and SLIC realised that a definition of an ‘adequate’ statutory service was needed in terms of number of libraries as well as quality of service. This work has started. “Therefore, if the library ­closures go ahead, Moray Council could be in the position of having to reopen some or all libraries when the new definition is available.””
  • Portsmouth – Showcase of reading access at Portsmouth library – News. “The ‘Make a Noise in Libraries’ initiative starts today and will see Portsmouth Central Library show off its resources, including new large print children’s books with 75-point print and Braille. The fortnight is organised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People and ends on June 14. The library’s new open source software will be on display on Wednesday and next Wednesday from 2pm to 3.30pm.”

“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.” Southend – Library News – Private Eye. Issue No. 1341 (p.28)