The stand-outs for me today is the short video interview with Cory Doctorow and the rather great piece on “playful” libraries with lots of great pictures of libraries that understand the need for fun and utility to be combined.  This last article can be read in conjunction with a thoughtful piece on “how to fill the library with people” that will help those who can redesign their libraries or, even better, make new ones.




  • Artist in the Library: a case study of benefits of public library engagement with the artistic community – Voices for the Library. “What started as a small exhibition space has led to great projects with artists working with local care homes, mental health groups and children all through the library. Having come to work in the library after finishing my art degree it’s very clear to me how much artists and librarians have to offer to each other, “
  • Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish – Atlantic (USA). “Copyright advocates have long (and successfully) argued that keeping books copyrighted assures that owners can make a profit off their intellectual property, and that that profit incentive will “assure [the books’] availability and adequate distribution.” The evidence, it appears, says otherwise.”
  • How to Fill a Library With People Instead of Books – Shared City (Australia). “A new study by researchers in Queensland, Australia, examines the role of libraries as hotbeds for collaboration, and why people engage — and don’t engage — in the commingling of ideas and experiences these environments are designed to foster.”

“Libraries across the world are rethinking how they serve the public, both in an attempt to justify the support they receive and to meet the citizenry’s changing needs. Often that involves establishing a co-working space. Libraries, the authors write, have a lot going for them on that front. More so than traditional offices, libraries encourage stumbling upon all sorts of ever-changing information flows, from books to magazines to community fliers to people.”

  • Cory Doctorow (USA):  A brilliant short interview that raises several points inc. Amazon does not care for books, it cares for profits so the only people who advocate for books and neutrality are librarians.  Librarians are the only ones who will recommend books to the young readers of tomorrow.  Authors need to work with them.
  • Libraries don’t have to be a thing of the past – just look at Melbourne’s – Guardian / Comment is free (Anita Sethi). “As the UK closes even more of its libraries, it would be salutary for the government to glance across the shores to see how libraries can ideally be run. Indeed, it was reported that the closure of six libraries has recently happened in my hometown of Manchester despite opposition from members of the public. Many of these libraries are in the most deprived areas of the city. “

“Growing up in Manchester, the local libraries in Old Trafford and Stretford were a lifeline not only to books but a sense of community – but both of my old childhood haunts have now closed. Those that support the closure of libraries argue that the internet provides online information and e-books – but a significant percentage of the country still don’t have internet access; for them, the local public library provided not only books but a crucial connection to the world.”

  • Libraries Partner with Local Airports – Library Journal (USA). ” The waiting passengers were nearly all focused on their phones. Budler was working out how she could shift that focus from a phone to a book when she realized it might not be a shift, but a combination. “I had read somewhere about QR codes, and I was just trying to put the pieces together,” Budler said. The result of Budler’s vision—and her staff’s hard work—is the Books on the Fly campaign, which got off the ground last month at Manhattan Regional Airport, the state’s second largest. Scanning a QR code, available on cards throughout the airport, sends users to a site where they can access the Kansas State Library’s eLending service. Visitors without a library card are directed to Project Gutenberg’s mobile-optimized site, where they can download titles in the public domain.”
  • Message to CILIP management: from a librarian: give me my money back – Good Library Blog / Tim Coates. James Christie, author and CILIP member, leaves the organisation in discontent at its lack of advocacy for public libraries and unwillingness to speak to him personally. “The CILIP rebrand is the worst kind of wasteful spin, designed only to place a sticking plaster over the massive problems what’s left of your “profession” faces, and it will do nothing, nothing at all. Just like CILIP, really.”
  • Most playful libraries in the world – Flavorwire (USA). Some great design ideas from this marvellous selection of libraries.
  • Public libraries and ‘big six’ publishers fight over e-books – LA Times (USA). “The list price from for the hardcover from Random House is $27. You can buy it in various ebook platforms for about $13. But that same ebook is offered to libraries for $85, according to Jo Budler, the Kansas state librarian, whose office has created a Facebook page to bring attention to the difficulties public libraries have in providing ebooks.”

“Steve Teeri runs the HYPE teen program at the Detroit Public Library and Valerie Sobczak is an organizer of the makerspace at the library.  Steve and Valerie worked with teens to develop a robot petting zoo exhibit for this year’s Maker Faire Detroit.  Steve is also one of the leader’s nationwide in promoting makerspaces inside public libraries. What has started out as a side program of the library could be its future.” Maker Faire Detroit: The Midwest at its Best – What We Hope for Detroit – Make (USA).

  • Public libraries are in danger – International Librarians Network.  Greek libraries are under threat but librarians are spearheading a campaign to save them, appearing in public places to encourage signing of petitions. “The Association of Greek Librarians and Information Scientists has started a campaign under the title “Libraries are… wherever you are” in order to support their petition to keep public libraries from closing. Us, the librarians, gather up in public places in order to have the citizens, who believe in the institution of public library, sign our petition. We’ll be out in the streets, at every square, every church, every cinema, wherever we may find people that care enough to sign. You may listen to an abstract of the radio show “Libraries on FM”, that refers to this campaign, on youtube (there are also subtitles in english).”
  • UPS Store Makes 3D Printing Accessible to Start-Ups and Small Business Owners – UPS (USA).

Local news

  • Birmingham – Central Library’s archive packed for move – BBC. “More than 66,000 crates of books, papers and archives are ready to be moved”.  Three months of planning before anything was moved, with 65 people involved.  Library opens start of September.
  • Brighton – Old Woodingdean library demolished to make way for new building – Argus. “Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “When other local authorities are closing their libraries, Brighton and Hove is bucking the trend and building a facility that will be double the size of the former 50-year-old ‘temporary’ library.”The library will feature a separate computer suite, small meeting room and an out-of-hours entrance, enabling the community to maximise use of the building.”
  • Campaigners to celebrate first birthday of community library on Saturday – Brent and Kilburn Times. “riends of Barham Library (FOBL) will be holding a special event on Saturday to mark the opening of the reading room in the High Road. The library, which is run by volunteers, was opened after Brent Council closed Braham Library and five other branches in the borough to save £1million in 2011.”
  • Croydon – Community Spirit: ‘Save Croydon Libraries’ Campaign – Little Bay Restaurants. An interview with Elizabeth Ash. “The aim is to protect the public library service in Croydon, which residents have seen hollowed out in recent years.  First the hours were reduced before the council consulted on closure.  Then staffing was cut drastically. This was followed by a period of huge upheaval where staff were reallocated and reorganised. Experienced library staff and librarians were replaced by a limited number of unqualified and untrained staff. Then a good deal of the book stock was sold off, leaving empty shelves in many of our libraries.  The latest issue is phone access has been cut to business hours only so it is not possible to get through to a library even if it is open after 5pm or on a Saturday.”
  • Glasgow – Library users’ anger as wi-fi is removed – Evening Times.  Wifi removed in one library as usage too low then moved to another branch instead, to the annoyance of a local councillor.
  • Harrow – Libraries Job Losses: Updated Figures – iHarrow. “John Laing Integrated Services Ltd (JLIS) has advised us that they wish to keep redundancies at a minimum and support staff through this process. Due to current vacancies within the library service, it is likely there are potentially around 10 full or part-time roles which will be at risk once transferred. Wherever possible, JLIS will seek to redeploy vulnerable staff in other areas of the business and will ensure any suitable vacancies and information on job opportunities elsewhere in JLIS are kept available for staff at risk to apply for.”
  • Lincolnshire – NKDC’s library concerns – Sleaford Standard. “The ongoing consultation process on the county council’s plans to streamline the library service has generated concerns from North Kesteven District councillors … Members expressed concern about the impact and wished to see the service retained across the district urging the county to work with parish councils and communities towards solutions. They required longer term assurances about financial support to volunteers. The executive were particularly concerned about the removal of libraries from the north of the district, instead relying on the Lincoln library, creating costs and difficulties of access. The council would explore options for housing a library within its NK Sports centre …”
  • Lincolnshire – County Council accused of ‘false economy’ over proposed cuts to library services – Louth Leader. ” “I have a great deal of concern about the effects this will have on the literacy levels of the county, this is false economy by the county council. “It’s going to be robbing future generations of a decent level of literacy. “We’ve received 670 signatures in Louth alone, where the library isn’t actually threatened.”
  • Lincolnshire – Talks hold key to future of Horncastle area libraries – Horncastle News. “Coun Aron said he could understand the “frustration and motivation” of campaigners amid fears some libraries could be axed and opening hours slashed at others, including Horncastle.”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries face axe in £2m budget cut – BBC. Two minute video on the controversial cuts.
  • Lincolnshire – Council leader’s U-turn on Deepings Library petition – Rutland and Stamford Mercury. “The leader of Lincolnshire County Council has admitted he would not have signed a petition against the closure of Deepings Library had he known its full wording”

“Luton’s cunning plan to hive off its libraries into a charity that can benefit from tax dodging on the council-owned airport’s profits has failed to protect book borrowers.  They can now look forward to losing at least three branches in the town as well as their mobile library. A charitable trust grandly called “Luton Culture” was created in 2008 to take over the town’s arts and events, museums and libraries.  The trade-off for the loss of democratic control was that London Luton Airport, which the borough owns, could funnel extra funds to the charity by using gift aid when “donating” its profits. Ever since, Luton has been held up as a case study by those wanting to sell the “trust model” of outsourcing as a way to protect leisure and culture services from local authority cuts – even for councils that don’t have a profitable airport handy.  It hasn’t always worked, however.  Trusts such as Glasgow and Enfield have hit serious financial trouble (see Eyes passim); and now Luton is lopping £1.8m from what it pays to Luton Culture, putting five out of the town’s eight libraries at risk of closure or reduced opening hours.” Private Eye, Issue 1346, Library News p.29.

  • North Somerset – Weston Super Mare – Designing Libraries. “Weston-super-Mare Town Hall and North Somerset Council’s customer services and staff offices are now together under one roof in the newly refurbished Weston-super-Mare Town Hall.” … designing with the emphasis on shared services and self-service. A feature is the large central counter which acts as a central point for all the shared services: it is completely reconfigurable to account for any change in services or visitor needs.”
  • Oxfordshire – Library celebrating a decade in ‘new’ home – Oxford Mail. “The Oxford Road branch opened in August 2003 in a purpose built £1.6m building, replacing the existing library on the site. The building – called Ron Groves House after the much loved local councillor – is also home to Oxfordshire County Council staff. Last year 129,300 titles were loaned, including 51,300 adult and 45,400 children’sfiction titles and 2,500 DVDs”
  • Rotherham – Kimberworth Library “better than ever” – Advertiser.  “A library which campaigners fought to keep from closure has reopened after a £36,000 refurbishment. “
  • Southend – Library protest – Echo. “A cross-party group of Southend councillors has recommended Southend Council hand over Westcliff, Southchurch and either Leigh or Kent Elms libraries to volunteers to run as “community libraries” to save £378,000. But Reg Copley, Labour candidate for St Laurence ward, has called for Kent Elms library to be kept fully-staffed.”
  • Thurrock – Sign up for on-line help at Thurrock libraries – Your Thurrock. “Thurrock’s libraries are working in partnership with the housing department because new national rules has made it mandatory for all council tenants – new or old – to submit their applications online as well as ensuring their personal data is up to date.”
  • Tower Hamlets – The new Watney Market Idea Store: a marketplace of information – Designing Libraries. “Since the first Idea Store opened in Bow a decade ago, the ground-breaking mix of library, learning and other services has gone from strength to strength, with local people flocking to use them for reading, learning, information, and business. Idea Store Watney Market in Commercial Road will replace Watney Market Library and be larger than the existing library, based on three floors and provide a wider range of services.”
  • Wigan – Life Centre – Designing Libraries. “A multi-million pound leisure and public service complex brings together council, health, leisure, housing, swimming pool and a new central library.”