“2.78 In response to the growth in e-lending in public libraries and the recommendations of the Sieghart Review, the Government will consult on plans to extend the Public Lending Right scheme to cover on-site borrowing of e-books and audiobooks with effect from July 2014.” Spending Round 2013 – HM Treasury. [Not it says “on-site” meaning only at the physical library building itself – Ed.]

  • Library values and the growing scholarly digital divide: In memoriam Aaron Swartz – Bibliographic Wilderness. “libraries are just about the only ‘information institutions’ whose business interests are centered on aiding our users, not in commodifying our users as demographic data, ‘eyeballs’, or paying customers.” but digitisation is increasing the difference between have and have nots.
  • Moreno Valley: Private company to run public library – Press-Enterprise. LSSI will cut staffing while increasing opening hours and services. “The library currently employs 11 full-time and 12 part-time workers. Some current positions would be eliminated and performed elsewhere by Library Systems staff.”.  Lower salaries.  “Friends of Moreno Valley Library are concerned about library employees’ morale and their chances to remain employed, Friends Board President Emily Paul said. +“From the outset, it seemed it was going to be a done deal because the city is intent on saving money,” Paul said. “For the city’s sake, I hope they can.””
  • SCL response to Spending Review – Society of Chief Librarians. “it is clear that the extent of future budget reductions will require new thinking and solutions for a whole range of services, including public libraries.   As leaders and managers of public library services, SCL will continue to work with national partners to develop and implement new and innovative solutions.  Although times will be tough, SCL will continue to be ambitious and optimistic about the potential of public libraries to deliver better outcomes for people of all ages.  SCL’s existing four universal offers position public libraries positively in a changing policy and financial landscape and provide a solid base from which to grow cost effective and innovative national services responsive to local need.”
  • Survey of Library Virtual Shelves: 8 examples – Musings About Librarianship.  Looks at different ways library users can “browse” the shelves of a library online.
  • Weird Public Library Stuff: Check It Out – Protojournalist (USA).  Some interesting non-traditional loans listed and linked to.
  • What the Government’s Spending Review means for library and information services – CILIP. “Public libraries have fared worse than most other local government services under the first two years (2011/12 and 2012/13) of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review and commentators predict this will continue throughout the remaining period of austerity. The public library network is a national service that greatly contributes to literacy, learning, skills and employment, citizen engagement and individual and community wellbeing. It is in danger of dismantlement.”

“Further cuts in grants to Councils are especially unwelcome and the likely impact on public libraries very concerning. We call yet again for national and local political leadership to ensure the public library service is sustainable for the fair and prosperous society that we need. It’s extremely remiss that, unlike in Wales and a growing number of other countries, England does not have a national library strategy embracing libraries and information services in all sectors that optimises the social and economic benefits for the country.” John Dolan, chair of CILIP Council

Local news

“Last week it was revealed that Ludgershall library, which is run by volunteers, has had to close on Thursday afternoons for the next six months because the number of volunteers has dropped off.”

  • Wolverhampton – Community hubs: debunking the myth – Save Wolverhampton Libraries.  A look at the claims of the Council and the evidence of the campaigners e.g. “The introduction of self-issuing machines at Tettenhall Library has been hailed as a success by Wolverhampton Council. In fact only 10% of issues/returns have been made via the machines. This leaves 90% of users rejecting the use of machines – hardly a success! Elderly users in particular have shunned the self-issue machines.”