I’ve seen for the last couple of years loads of people complaining about how ineffective Mr Ed Vaizey is.  There’s even a rather good song about it. People are especially annoyed that his pro-library comments (like this 2011 and this whole list ) compare so badly to his actions (or inactions).  It’s no surprise then that the recent BMA vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt has got people thinking. I’ve had three separate groups of people mention to me the possibility of a vote of no confidence in him, and this appears to be finally getting off the ground with an email sent to me today,  If you are a member of CILIP, therefore, have a read of this below:

Motion of no confidence in Ed Vaizey to go to CILIP AGM

We are calling on CILIP’s Annual General Meeting in September to support a motion of no confidence in Ed Vaizey, following the example of the British Medical Association, who passed a similar motion of no confidence in the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. The motion, in draft form reads as follows:

“In view of his failures to enforce the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act, this Annual General Meeting of CILIP has no confidence in Ed Vaizey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, and instructs Council to work with all other interested parties to protect library, information and knowledge services”

CILIP members interested in supporting the motion are invited to contact for more information.

In other news, the very same Mr Vaizey has confirmed that, pending a consultation, Public Lending Right will be extended to library e-book loans but only those “borrowed on site”.  Quite apart from seeming to miss the whole point about e-books, this will represent a tiny proportion of e-book lending and is likely to be seen as a crumb at best.  More welcome to the Society of Authors is the news that the overall amount their members will get next year will not be cut.  Such is what passes for good news these days.

Finally, I have received confirmation from Herefordshire that their decision to stop all interlending requests was cancelled after advice received from Arts Council England.  This was, presumably, that the new ban contravened the 1964 Act but this is not explicitly stated, Whatever the reason, the  breakdown of the councils’ estimate of £46 per interlending request makes scary reading. The Council inform me that they are reviewing the interlending charge, along with all of their services.



  • 25 Most Popular Apps Used By Librarians – Library Science List (USA). “Given how libraries have evolved into full blown media information centers, there has been a surge in the need for smartphone and tablet apps that can help librarians to do their jobs more effectively. Some of the best apps are listed below. If you know of better apps, comment below”
  • Does the library world squash public dissent? – Taiga Forum (USA). [Not in my experience, it doesn’t – Ed.]
  • Florida: Miami-Dade County May Shutter 42 Public Libraries, Lay Off 260 Employees – Library Journal. “Library Director Raymond Santiago is expected to meet with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez Sunday to discuss a proposal to close almost all of the public libraries. “We just found out that the new scenario is to close 42 libraries and lay off 260 full-time employees,” stated an internal county email obtained by the Miami Herald. “They [library officials] asked staff to be proactive contacting our commissioners and having friends and family do so as well before Tuesday when the millage is set.””
  • Gates Foundation Awards $1 Million for Library Innovation Partnership – Foundation Center (USA). “Awarded to the Chicago Public Library Foundation through the Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative, the grant will fund a partnership between CPL and the Aarhus Public Libraries system in Denmark, which will work with design firm IDEO to rethink the mix of services and programs offered by libraries and the role they play in a rapidly changing world. To that end, IDEO will work with library staff to evaluate current challenges and formulate response to those challenges that better serve their communities.”
  • It would be a horrible loss if our libraries disappeared – Herald Scotland. Interview with author Lisa Tuttle “For book lovers, it’s depressing,” she says. “People don’t use libraries as much and you have to think, ‘If people don’t want libraries for books, how can we reposition them?’ because I think it would be a horrible loss if libraries disappeared, and once you lose something, you don’t get it back.” Tuttle thinks the only solution is for libraries to adapt. “The library becomes more of a social thing,” she says. “In the Netherlands, for example, they have huge libraries with meeting rooms, and games room for children. The people going to libraries now tend to be older and older. But there will be the occasional child who I always identify with. It’s usually a girl and I think, ‘Yeah, that’s how I was.'””
  • Libraries used to look like this – Neatorama (USA). Some amazing pictures of the old multi-layered Cincinnatti Ohio Library.
  • Library campaigners predict 1,000 closures by 2016 in U.K. – Iran Book News Agency (Iran). Iranians report on the library crisis in England.
  • Reading circles – Economist. “Public libraries in America have been particularly vulnerable to budget cuts and have been stripped down to their bare bones. Seattle has been no exception. The city’s cuts have meant that its libraries are open less and have week-long “library vacations” in which all branches close. Over the last few years the Seattle Public Library (SPL) budget was cut so much that it was desperately near to having to shutter some branches. Fortunately, it never came to that … By breaking down the physical boundaries of the library, Books on Bikes hopes to reach out to a new demographic. At its inaugural event at a school, six out of the 26 children present received a library card for the first time and all of them almost completely cleaned out the librarian’s stash of books.”
  • Saudi Arabia bans women’s entry to library – Le Matinal (France). ““Women have been banned from entering to public libraries and if they want to borrow a book, their legal guardian should do it for them,” pointed out Nadia, adding that these guardians would lack necessary information as to the books to be borrowed, and her father or guardian should go to library several times in order that a woman use the reference section of the library.”
  • Sumter library deal was one of two landed Tuesday by LSSI – Villages-News (USA). “The $2 million contract that Library Systems & Services LLC picked up Tuesday evening with Sumter County, was one of two contracts the Maryland company won that day. LSSI also picked up a $1.3 million contract to operate the Moreno Valley Public Library in California in the first year of the deal. The annual rate of the five-year contract increases to $1.4 million in the fifth year of the deal,”
  • Vaizey confirms PLR extension – BookSeller. “The changes will only apply to loans made on site in libraries, and not to those digital loans made remotely.The letter added that it would also consult on the extension plans in the autumn. The letter also confirms that PLR scheme will have its funding maintained at the 2014-15 level of £6.745m into 2015-16. PLR pays out money to authors for each loan of their book made from a public library, at a rate of 6.2p a loan.”

“”I am pleased to confirm that the Chancellor announced in last week’s Spending Round that we intend to extend the Public Lending Right scheme to cover e-books and audio books borrowed onsite at public libraries” Ed Vaizey, in letter to Society of Authors.

“If a user loans/renews an ebook from a public library contract with an ebook supplier authenticated by the contracting Library service, it’s a loan, surely, in the same way as a loan across the counter or via a kiosk.” Comment on Lis-Pub-Libs

*If I’m on the library wifi but stood outside the building then does that count as being on site? * What if a user is on 3G but stood in a branch? Does that not count because it didn’t come from inside the library network? * What if I proxy all outside loans through the library’s network? * What if the local authority has a wireless wide area network so that from a logical point of view I can be on the “library” wifi and yet be a mile or more away from a branch?” Another Comment on Lis-Pub-Libs

“I’m personally borrowing about 1 a week from the comfort of my own home and I’d guess that of the 9,000 loans we’ve made in the last 3 months perhaps 60-90 were done in the library and almost all of those by library staff demonstrating how to borrow on the Kindle Fire.” Yet another comment on Lis-Pub-Libs

“In the circumstances, the Society of Authors might feel grateful for whatever crumbs they can get off a table that the UK Government seems bent on cutting to pieces.”

Local news

  • Birmingham – Council protest over Library privatisation – Communities against the cuts. “Questions were asked about the status of the plan to privatise the new Library Of Birmingham which was agreed by the Labour Cabinet in December 2012. Bore failed to directly answer a question seeking the following commitment ‘that the Library of Birmingham will remain publicly run and publicly owned for the foreseeable future?’”
  • Calderdale – Clash of opinions over plans for new library – Yorkshire Post. “Calderdale Council yesterday put up for sale the existing Central Library and Northgate House in Halifax ahead of plans to build a new library next to the Grade I listed Piece Hall. Hundreds fought a campaign to save the existing library from demolition and critics are now focusing their attention on the new library scheme. Comments registered online suggest the town is divided on the new plans. While some have called the plans “fantastic” and “modern”, others have questioned whether the new library will be an improvement on the old one.”
  • Herefordshire – Assessing the Impact: Changes to Libraries and Customer Service Centres – Herefordshire Council. “Due to the significant budget challenges faced by the Council, we have previously consulted on proposals for libraries and customer service centres. To explore all possible options, we would like to understand the impact on you if we were to bring together customer services centres, libraries and other facilities, close some facilities, or reduce opening hours. Please fill in a survey during your next visit to your local library or customer service centre so that the needs of active service users can be captured on site. The survey is open to all users of these facilities.”
  • Herefordshire – Freedom of Information Act Request FOI CIU 4827 – What Do They Know. A full breakdown of the estimate of £40+ cost per interlending request.  The Council banned interlending but unbanned it shortly afterwards after advice from Arts Council England.

  • HertfordshireThriller writer opens new library and youth service – Hertfordshire Council (press release). “Best-selling thriller writer Robert Goddard officially opened the new Harpenden Library and Youth Connexions service in the former Argos store in the High Street on 12 July.”.

“Frances Button, Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, said: “This development is great news for local people. The library is now in a central location with better access for our many users and improved use of space with all our library services and stock on one level.”

  • Lewisham – Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman meets Lewisham and Bromley pupils – This is Local London. ““I’ve been a professional author for over 20 years, so I feel now is the time to give something back. “I hope to instil in every child I meet my love and enthusiasm for reading and stories. “And as I would never have become an author if it hadn’t been for my local library as a child, I intend to continue Julia Donaldson’s amazing, indefatigable work advocating for our nation’s public library service.””
  • Lincolnshire – Campaign group vows to fight library closures: and searches for help in Boston – Boston Standard. “Spokesman Paul Stainthorp said that while the number of books being borrowed may be down the number of people using libraries for other function s is up. He argues that people will not want to fork out the cost of using a patchy public transport network to get to their nearest library. He is based in Horncastle and is looking for someone in Boston borough to help.” … “The group plans to hold ‘mass read ins’ and children’s story events at all county libraries to promote its cause.”
  • Lincolnshire – The Deepings unite against plans to close library – Rutland and Stamford Mercury. “Political allegiances were cast aside as a community vowed to fight county council plans to close their library. About 200 people went to a public meeting at The Deepings Centre in Market Deeping yesterday (Thursday). Residents of Market Deeping, Deeping St James, West Deeping, Deeping Gate and Langtoft were united in their determination to fight for the future of Deepings Library, in High Street, Market Deeping.”

“A public display of support will be held at the library at 10.30am on July 27. Campaigners will link hands around the library in a book circle and people are invited to bring their favourite book from which to read a passage.”

  • Northumberland – Ebook borrowing proves popular – Berwick Advertiser. “Since its launch in April almost 2,300 book titles have been downloaded to mobile devices and an additional 300 people have joined the Northumberland Library Service. Its popularity has been such that plans are in place to add further titles to the current catalogue of 1,200 ebooks.”
  • Oxfordshire – Residents back plan to keep library open – Henley Standard. Benson Library: “Plans to keep the facility running were revealed at the annual meeting of the Friends of Benson Library, which was attended by about 150 people. The Castle Square library is one of 16 in Oxfordshire due to lose half of their staff funding under cuts imposed by the county council. “

“The group wants to maintain the current opening hours with a full-time librarian on site at all times. It plans to raise £5,000 a year, most of which will be used to top up the 20 staff hours by “buying” five additional staff hours each week. The rest will go towards expenses, prizes and a new item for the library every year … The group wants to maintain the current opening hours with a full-time librarian on site at all times.”

  • Surrey – library scheme for domestic abuse victims receives national award – This is Surrey. “In Autumn 2012, Surrey County Council Libraries began working on a project with East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services and Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid to increase awareness of physical and emotional abuse. Vulnerable adults and children were given free and anonymous access to computers, information about support services and self-esteem building workshops in art and writing. Poet Wendy French gave two creative writing sessions, first with a group of women and then with young people.  The resulting work,’Healing Words’, was exhibited in Redhill Library during Domestic Abuse Awareness Week, in October 2012.”