• Beyond the Bullet Points: Power and Empowerment – Virtual Dave Real Blog / R. David Lankes (USA).  “The world we live in is too complex to simply say people chose to be illiterate, or poor, or powerless. Certainly some do. But for those who choose to read they need a teacher willing to share their power of reading. For those who choose to fight to get out of poverty they need those who choose to provide access to online business sites that now require an online application even to be a janitor. And for those guaranteed the right to vote, they need access to documentation and voter registration be they democrat, republican, or independent. Without this empowering assistance they have no real choices. Only the illusion of it. And the illusion of choice and power may make the powerful sleep well at night, but it ultimately allows them to continually deprive power.”

“… mobs then turned to the New Library of Alexandria. A structure built by the corrupt regime and whose board included the wife of the president. Protestors, men woman and children, gathered hand in hand to surround the building to protect it. By the end of the uprising, not one window was broken and not one rock thrown against its walls. The protestors even draped a flag across the stairs of the library, and every morning protester would touch and kiss the flag as they went out to march – in essence retaking the library for the community.”

  • E-lending pilot projects: next steps on from the Sieghart review – Shelf Free / Ken Chad. SCL are interviewing bidders for the pilot project this week. Key questions to be answered are (1) what is the reader journey (2) what is the impact on sales (3) overall impact on the library service and (4) how does it offer perceptions of the library service.

“I came to kick ass or stamp books … and I’m fresh out of ink” Adrienne Hannan, “The Strategic Librarian” – Part 1 – Books and Adventures.

  • Jane Austen to be face of the Bank of England £10 note – BBC.  The quote underneath her picture will say “”I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!””
  • Library colocation – James Powney’s Blog. Councillor who used to be responsible for Brent Libraries on sharing library buildings with other services.  Points out that dance events and outreach can be effective colocation.
  • Mystery of the vanishing CILIP governance review, or kittens in Aeschylus – Tom Roper’s Weblog.  Comments suggest that CILIP has sacked pension trustees amongst worries over disputes over funding the pension fund.  Another comment suggests that CILIP is facing bankruptcy over the next few years.  Both comments unsubstantiated.

“Robert noted that we face a bleak cultural future, with public resources for arts and culture being slashed. Public libraries are being closed, while many of those that remain endure significantly reduced resources and are being subjected to a process of “dumbing-down”. Robert pointed out that this scenario is highly relevant to the interests of independent libraries. Independent libraries thrive in a culture of generally high education and learning, and a strong public library system is an underpinning of such a culture. However, independent libraries could potentially also find that with local public library services being cut or “dumbed-down”, demand for a more traditional library experience may draw people towards independent libraries. Robert encouraged attendees to ensure that their libraries maintain relevant statistics so they can chart whether subscription levels change in response to changing public library provision in their areas. He also emphasised that the AIL needs new members, and highlighted the recent improvements in the AIL newsletter and forthcoming new website as important opportunities for publicity and outreach.” Dr Robert Anderson, Association of Independent Libraries quoted in Historic Libraries Forum July 2013, page 6.

  • No confidence in Ed Vaizey – No confidence in Ed Vaizey.  Website set up to encourage a passing of, well, no confidence in, erm, Ed Vaizey at the CILIP AGM.
The 9-foot statue of the Hulk in transit to Northlake Library.  See

The 9-foot statue of the Hulk in transit to Northlake Library (USA). It was donated to them after publicity arising from a crowdfunding campaign.

  • Open Late: Libraries Must Be Available When Kids Do Schoolwork | Soap Box – School Library Journal (USA). “Given the costs of running a library, this is easier said than done. Keeping the lights on, paying staff, and running computers for two more hours every day adds up quickly—but it might be worth it to serve this key constituency better. Libraries face the difficult choice of weighing the costs against the benefits of staying open to serve a small but critical group of patrons. What are the trade-offs?”
  • Professional bodies in the information age – Information Today / Ian Clark. “The new landscape requires, in my view, not only an increased need to focus on the ethical issues which are so closely aligned to our profession, but also a need to model a professional body that more closely reflects it.  The information profession should take a lead, not only in developing an organisational structure that takes advantage of this landscape, but should also fight to both protect and develop it.”
  • Public Libraries and Social Media: 2013 update – Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (New Zealand).  Survey of social media take-up and strategies in New Zealand libraries showing a steady growth since last year but still a third with no social media whatsoever.
  • Who loses when libraries close? – iMapLibraries (USA). A good look at what parts of society are affected when libraries close, with special reference to the proposed closures in Florida.
  • World at One – BBC Radio 4 (from 29.37 to 34:30). Looks at the summer reading challenge that 750,000 children joined last year. Visits a Brighton junior school where an author promotes the challenge. Michael Morpurgo is very popular but several books discussed. Gives one faith in the younger generation “I read every night … most of us love reading”.

Local news

  • Lincolnshire – Caistor library set up an example to county – Market Rasen Mail.  Council plans to close library despite “the figures show Caistor Library well exceeded its ‘library visits’ target in the 2011/12 financial year. The target was 28,441, and the actual figure 55,052.” … “A consultation is under way and if plans are approved, Caistor will lose all its council staffed hours, currently 16. The library, at the town’s Arts and Heritage Centre, is run by volunteers for an additional 38 hours.”.  Just eight consultations means there is one per four proposed closures – suggestion is that there should be at least one per threatened branch.  In addition, people have to email to attend consultaton, which has caused complaints that they’re not fully public.
  • Wokingham – Focus: E-reading comes to Wokingham’s libraries – Get Reading. 6 ebooks can be loaned at any one time from stock of 800. “Library users who would like to use the new e-book service can enter a draw to win an e-reader.”