A bumper edition of news today due to having to catch up with two weeks of news.  This is because hackers (apparently of the East European persuasion) sufficiently hacked the site that it had to be locked down until we could be more sure of its security.  Getting it back on track means you may have received several posts from this address yesterday if you subscribe: don’t worry, they’re fine and it was all part of the process to get things sorted.  Let’s hope that the hackers move on to (now) easier targets: perhaps ,say, the consultancy firm behind the abysmal CILIP rebranding.

The big story over the last couple of weeks has clearly been the imminent opening of the Library of Birmingham.  It looks fantastic and the reviews have largely been highly positive.  For myself, I see its transformation (like the two other big libraries Manchester and Liverpool) as a postcard from the past about what the future might have been.  As Will Hutton points out, no such civic building could be contemplated today.  The Big Library opulence also strongly contrasts with what is happening at branch level.  It’s a sad thing that local libraries in all three big cities are being cut, with Birmingham having had a 28% reduction.  So, if one can’t easily get to the big central hub, it’s not so good.  But that is to rain on the parade. The opening of the Library of Birmingham is to be welcomed and enjoyed.  I really look forward to seeing it myself and I envy the city’s inhabitants its proximity.


Library of Birmingham

  • As £188m Library of Birmingham opens, others continue to struggle – Guardian. Looks at cuts across the country and pressure to reduce the number of library authorities in  order to gain from economies of scale.  Notes criticism of CILIP for “what is seen as a pointless and costly rebranding exercise” to rename itself ILPUK [the first such use of that acronym, informally banned by CILIP, in the national media – Ed.]
  • Birmingham’s last hurrah for local pride before civic Britain is culled – Observer / Will Hutton. “enthusiasm has to be qualified by a sense of loss and regret. The Library of Birmingham is a last hurrah for the ambitions of civic Britain. The TaxPayers’ Alliance can relax. No city in England or Wales would, orcould, now consider spending £189m on such a project” … “Local government should certainly not try to be proud of its city, building museums or new libraries. And anybody working in local government should expect hairshirt pay and conditions: after all, they are burdens on the taxpayer, lucky to have a job, let alone expect to be paid appropriately.” … “Cumulatively, £300m of grants a year – 30% of Birmingham’s total budget – will have been withdrawn by 2016/17. On top of that, the city has to find an estimated £315m to allow for inflation and rising demand for its services from an ageing population, along with assuming responsibilities for the provision of public health, spun out of the NHS.”

“it was only six years ago that the city had the confidence and resources to commission its remarkable library. The coalition government has constructed a financial framework in which this could never happen again. First, it insists that there is no higher national priority than capping the stock of public debt (even though it has been proportionally higher for most of the past 250 years). Second, despite the lip service to “localism”, it also insists that the capabilities and capacity of local government must be emasculated.”

  • Birmingham’s new library is a modern behemoth that encases the past – Guardian. “Ten years in the making, it is a strange time for the biggest civic library in Europe to be opening, after swingeing national cuts saw more than 200 local libraries close their doors last year. And it seems particularly odd here, given that Birmingham’s vast Central Library, built less than 40 years ago, stands just a few hundred metres away.” … “The old building did a great job,” says the council’s library services assistant director, Brian Gambles. “But its time expired. It was a very tired building and not one that’s suitable for delivering a learning and cultural experience in the 21st century.”
  • Birmingham to open largest public library in Europe – Global Times.
  • Cutting edge architecture for Birmingham’s books – BBC. “believed to be Europe’s largest public library. But despite striking modern architecture, a room from the 19th Century has been recreated inside to house one of the UK’s most important Shakespeare collections.”
  • First look: Birmingham’s new £188m library: a sparkling cornerstone of the city’s rebirth – Independent. ““There’s no doubt it’s an iconic landmark building and appears to be thoughtfully integrated into the fabric of the city,” he added. “It’s the perfect antidote to iconic projects like the Shard and the Walkie Talkie [in London]. It is genuinely for the people in Birmingham and you won’t have to pay £25 to go to the top.””
  • Is this the last hurrah for modern bookish bigness? – Independent. “Houben has given Birmingham its own max libris, in which books are present, but more as fetish objects in interiors whose most important features are flexible floorplates.” … “Birmingham City Council has its architectural icon. More important will be whether the library works as a dynamic socialising and educational tool. In an information age when, as Karl Marx mused in 1848, “all that is solid melts into air”, the heroic design is already a throwback. But as a democratic organism, its architecture seems forward-looking.”
  • “Libraries are the most important buildings”: Francine Houben – De Zeen.  Architect of the LoB “claims libraries are as central to society as cathedrals once were.” Long interview explaining her views “Houben dismisses the suggestion that digital technologies will see the end of libraries, explaining that the university library completed by the firm in Delft is still the most popular place in the city.” … “a people’s palace”.
  • Library of Birmingham, first look – Telegraph. Positive review of the building with suggestion that there’s places for everyone, from the loud to the quiet, with books being “very much the soul of the building”.

“… we only just got it approved, in 2007, before the recession hit. If the decision had been made a month later, it would never have happened”  Brian Gambles, Chief Executive.

  • Library of Birmingham: ‘It’s about more than just books’ – BBC.  Hundreds of people used to test out library before official opening give their verdicts, which are universally positive from a wide range of people.  The only problem appears to be the slow speed of the lifts.
  • Library of Birmingham: review – Observer. “the answer to the question “Is this the best library in the world?” is, architecturally speaking, no. The relative subordination of the architect ruled out the possibility of something like Rem Koolhaas‘s Seattle public library, an exhilarating realisation of similar themes to those in Birmingham. The means of construction excluded anything like the beautifully crafted (and, of course, expensive) interiors of the British Library in London. The Library of Birmingham is a good building. It is a sketch, or a pixelation, of a great one”
  • Library users will sit on new Strategic Library board – Communities against the cuts. “The Cabinet member responsible for the new Library of Birmingham has conceded that the new Strategic Management Board is unrepresentative of the people of Birmingham and needs to be more inclusive. The Board has recently been set up by the Council to lead the development of the new Library into the future.  Cllr Ian Ward conceded that it should include seats for library users and will urgently consider ways to appoint them to the Board. This concession was an apparent victory for the Friends of the Library of Birmingham who had been challenging the composition of the Board. ” Businesses were seen as having too much of a representation on the original Board.
  • New chapter for libraries – Financial Times. “Today the solid, reassuring presence of the civic library is threatened, and not just by government cuts; the internet, we are told, is obviating the need for books. Yet the recent explosion in the building of big, spectacular and self-consciously symbolic libraries around the world would seem to contradict that idea.”.  Circles were made in Germany as no-one could make them in UK.

“The rash of closures of local libraries by cash-stricken local authorities in England has prompted real (and justified) outrage of the kind only otherwise witnessed with the closure of hospitals. Libraries are seen as remnants of a real public realm; they are spaces that belong to citizens.”

  • Polarisation of the Civic Library – Brave New World.  Worries that branch libraries are being closed or cut while big showpiece libraries get the money spent on them, with those people who cannot easily afford transport to such places being left out.
  • Why public libraries are glamming up – Guardian. Long article looks on the bright side of life – with the Library of Birmingham given prominence but also other factors including the increasing use of libraries as meeting spaces.


  • China – Shanghai Builds Subway Library to Promote Reading – CCTV. Scheme to supply magazines and books to subway travellers in order to encourage reduction in smartphone use set to extend throughout whole city.
  • Chief Leisure Officer and the Chief Librarian – Good Library Blog. Complains that officers make plans for cutting libraries before councillors and the public can contribute.
  • Columbia – Biblioburro – Youtube. 2009 video but worth watching; “Luis Soriano, a teacher in the small town of La Gloria, Colombia, has spent the past ten years bringing books to children of the rural communities on the back of his donkeys.”
  • Cressida Cowell to live-stream schools event  – BookSeller. Author ” teamed up with online video specialists Stream UK to bring Cowell’s event live from Southfield Library in Wandsworth, where she is appearing in front of a live audience of local schoolchildren, to reach “thousands” of pupils via a link-up with The Reading Agency. The event will take place on 26th September at 10.30am.”
  • Culture is good for your health – Scottish Government. “A detailed study carried out by Scottish Government analysts and published today, confirms for the first time that cultural engagement is having a positive impact on the nation’s health and life satisfaction.” … “Thhose who visited a library and those who visited a museum were almost 20 per cent more likely to report good health than those who had not.” … “Those who read for pleasure were 33 per cent more likely to report good health than those who did not.”
  • The evolution of social enterprise – Guardian / Social Enterprise Network. MD of GLL on his business and also some interesting comments on GLL and libraries.  “More recently we’ve started to diversify our business, most notably into library management. We now operate all Greenwich and Wandsworth libraries including three prison library services and a mobile facility. Libraries are part of local authorities’ cultural block. You’d want your library to be open seven days a week, to be accessible, to have a crèche, a café, a car park and be friendly and bright – the same specification as a leisure centre.”
  • Future of libraries – The Next Web.  Excellent thought piece on the future of libraries.  “The desire is there for libraries, what is needed is innovation”.
  • Gospel according to Mark Sesnan (GLL) – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. Looks at the the chief of GLL and what is happening on the ground, including the appointment of zero hours staff.  Mark argues that the library service, not the staff, are important. The writer argues both are.
  • Grasping the nettle – BookSeller. Desmond Clarke gives his views on what is needed to save British public libraries. “what is missing is any real leadership and a proper plan to deliver an improving, comprehensive and efficient public library service available to all who need it” … “It is clear that little will happen—other than yet more library closures—until the DCMS puts in place proper leadership which drives innovation and the implementation of best practice, and encourages every authority to deliver the best possible service with the resources available. That requires people with the ideas, the expertise and the determination to deliver. Above all, it requires a minister who genuinely believes in public libraries and the enormous benefits that they bring. A minister willing to grasp the leadership nettle.”
  • Jamie Oliver gives libraries budget cookbook – London Evening Standard. “The deal between libraries and publisher Penguin Random House was brokered by the Reading Agency literacy charity. Oliver said: “Everyone deserves a chance to learn basic skills that can improve everyday lives. Reading and cooking are two of those skills.” Tony Durcan, of the Society of Chief Librarians, said: “Libraries are experiencing a tsunami of demand from users on tight budgets, many claiming welfare benefits. So Jamie’s gift is extremely welcome.”.  See an expanded version at Free Jamie cookbook for every UK library – BookSeller.
  • Lego libraries and bookstores – Book Riot. “Here’s a roundup of some of the coolest Lego libraries and bookstores from around the bookternet. Before showing off the actual, based-on-real-life libraries and bookstores that have had their likenesses modeled in Lego form, let’s look at an entirely made-up Lego library …”
  • Localism and Libraries – Stop the privasation of public libraries. Criticises community right to challenge and other aspects of the localism agenda.
  • Marketing Your Music Through Your Local Library – Hypebot. The advantages for musicians of playing in libraries examined.
  • McKearney to step down at The Reading Agency – BookSeller. “”My passion and expertise is literacy, literature and libraries, so I’d be surprised if it were not involved with that. I’ll be furiously supporting and championing The Reading Agency as much as I can.” “The timing is important to me because anybody leaving an organisation wants to leave it in a strong place. I do feel The Reading Agency is in a good, strong place despite all the challenges, with an amazing team and thriving programmes. For all charities at the moment, not just those particularly close to libraries, it is an incredibly challenging time”
  • Our libraries: next chapter – BBC Radio 4. “As public libraries shut down or cut their opening hours, Michael Rosen opens the book of library history to investigate their journey from the ancient world to the modern and beyond. In the first of two programmes, Michael goes to Herefordshire where, earlier this year, there was a plan to cut council funding to the library service by 75%.” … Brian Ashley of ACE also interviewed, saying ” we have to accept the idea of some neighbourhood libraries shutting down”
  • Payday loans and libraries – Phil Bradley’s weblog. Questions the censoring of payday loan websites from library computers on several grounds.  An important issue which Phil tackles well.  See comments too.
  • Pint and a book please! – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. “I’ve nothing against communities fighting to keep their local pubs/services open but Public Libraries need paid, trained and knowledgeable staff, the service can’t just be transferred to a room or a few shelves in a pub, it’s not a Public Library it’s just a pub with books”
  • Rebranding and re-naming: Blog by Chair of Council John Dolan – CILIP. “we have to be more visible, more articulate and more ready to speak for our community than ever. We need a name that says who we are, what we do and what we represent” – with that change being changing the name from “Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals” to “Information and Library Professionals UK” as “CILIP is not a name; without explanation it conveys nothing; it offers no description, no status and no information” [whereas John thinks ILPUK, presumably, does – Ed.].  Responds to criticism of decision to rebrand at current period of crisis in libraries as not thinking of the future. See also My comment on the latest posting on the CILIP website by John Dolan by Professor Charles Oppenheim which strongly criticises the rebranding exercise. See also Why we need to rebrand (Youtube) where the consultant employed by CILIP explains the reasoning behind the rebranding. [I have yet to see someone not in the CILIP hierarchy support the rebranding – Ed.]
  • Three years old… – Voices for the Library.  “Three years ago a group of us were moved to come together and launch Voices for the Library, an attempt to address some of the misconceptions about public libraries and librarians and, in time, to highlight the various library campaigns across the country.”
  • USA – Hidden History of New York City’s Central Library Plan – Nation. “Why did one of the world’s greatest libraries adopt a $300 million transformation without any real public debate?” See also Barbarians at the Gates of the New York Public Library – Naked Capitalism that looks in more detail about the real-estate issues involved.
  • USA – Pop-Up Library Brings Summer Reading to Jamaica Block – DNAinfo. “The idea of a portable reading room started about two years ago and is gaining popularity. “The demand has been so great that we ran out of budget,” said Sam Davol, who runs the project with his wife Leslie. This summer, the group has brought pop-up libraries to about 30 locations, including in Harlem, Jackson Heights, Morrisania in the Bronx, and Brownsville in Brooklyn.”
  • USA – Tea Party vs. The Public Library – Huffington Post.  Tea Party’s extraordinary efforts to stop funding to a public library.
  • USA – “Total jerk steals Chicago’s bicycle library” which angers Grist who respond with righteous pro-library wrath – Grist. “Only a very specific kind of person would steal a custom trike that delivers library books. That sort of person either subsists on rubber or is a heartless bastard who routinely kicks kittens and poops on babies. “
  • Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmylibrary – Instagram.  “The goal this weekend is to take unique and creative photos at your local library.
  • What Would a World Without Libraries Look Like? Kids Have Their Say – Book Riot. Top ten uplifting and wonderful entries listed. ““The world without libraries is like a cone without ice cream.””

Local news

  • Blackpool – Vacancy – “An opportunity has arisen to commission an artist or designer to design and build a unique display system that will be used in a range of community settings. We are seeking proposals from artists and designers who would be able to address the following design specifications: To create a visually engaging display item/object that will enable library staff to engage with the public in a wide variety of settings: Must be easy to assemble / disassemble and be able to fit into a car: Light enough to be carried by one person or have a transport method such as wheels: The Pop-Up Library will be able to display books in a variety of different setting and be easy to ‘theme up’ depending on the target group or event: Must be durable.” For enquiries please contact Clancy Mason on clancy.mason@blackpool.gov.uk
  • Brent – August Update – Save Kensal Rise Library.  Appeal to register object to developer’s plan to minimise size of library space in the building.
  • Brent – Campaigners urge Brent Council to refuse permission to convert Kensal Rise library into flats – Brent and Kilburn Times. “Campaigners fighting a property developer’s bid to turn a former library into flats with space for a community hub are hoping the Localism Act will save the day. The Save Kensal Rise Library campaigners have written to all Brent councillors asking them to ensure the planning committee uses the ‘Asset of Community Value’ legislation to refuse planning permission and retain the building for community use.”.  30% of building likely to be used for remnant library.
  • Brent – Council hire a hologram as their new receptionist – Independent. “”When they cut libraries they said they needed money for things like home care and other core services …””
  • Bristol – Can’t this be sited elsewhere? – This is Somerset. “I am appalled that Bristol City Council is considering leasing space in the Central Library to the new Cathedral Primary School.”
  • Bristol – It would increase use of the library – This is Bristol. Owner of Free School explains why his organisation taking over two floors of the Central Library would be good for it.
  • Bristol – We suspect that this is a plot to cut demand – This is Bristol.  Questions takeover of large part of Central Library by a Free School.
  • Cardiff – The Hub – Cardiff Council. Lists colocated buildings including two libraries and links to other services within the buildings.
  • Dudley – Councillor accused of treating nudist readers like aliens – Dudley News. “Naturists have hit back at the rejection of a proposal for a nude reading group in Dudley library. Author Anthony Crowley, who suggested a naked reading group at the St James’s Road building, has accused the councillor in charge of libraries of treating nudists like people from another world.”
  • Haringey – MP highlights importance of reading during school holidays – Haringey Advertiser. Stephen Twigg MP “The MP for Liverpool West Derby said he was concerned that children from low-income families faced a “summer slide” in their reading ability when access to books and libraries might be limited. “
  • Hounslow – Libraries New Initiative – Hounslow council. “We are looking to recruit a Community Languages Advisory Board in the fall. This board will help advise and guide the purchase of stock and resources for the libraries allowing it to more closely reflect the new and changing needs, values and interests of our communities and help influence community specific programming.”
  • Isle of Man – Increased demand for Isle of Man library service – BBC. “Figures from the Manx Educational Foundation show a 15% boost in new members since the Manx government withdrew funding last September.” … “The spokesman said about 44,500 books had been issued since the takeover, an increase of 7% on the previous 12 months. A number of new stops have also been added to the library’s delivery routes since last September.”

“Now that we are run as a charity, restrictions that used to prevent developments in partnership with other companies are no longer a problem, so we have become a postal service offering the sale of stamp books and a collection point for the post,”

  • Lancashire – Bringing L for loud back into libraries – Lancaster Guardian. “The Get it Loud in Libraries programme is back after securing new funding. At it’s conception the project was a revelation. Who had ever heard of playing music in libraries, those zones for browsing the shelves in peace and tranquillity? But this scheme proved anything is possible, not only making libraries a cool place to be – but showcasing up and coming bands and artists and giving opportunities to young people who want to get involved in the music industry.”
  • Leicestershire – Concerns voiced over future of village libraries – Loughborough Echo. £2m cut in library budget.  Council asks communities to “consider merging with parish offices, GP surgeries or other community buildings in the future.” Volunteers seen as possibility.  44 jobs at risk.
  • Leicestershire – Good work overshadowed by library cuts concerns – Loughborough Echo. “It is baffling that a financial crash caused by reckless bankers seems to have had little effect on the few who caused it but is hurting the many that did not.”
  • Leicestershire – Library is a gateway to the world wide web – Melton Times. “To help people who haven’t used a computer before Leicestershire County Council Libraries offer free taster sessions to show people the basics of using the internet or how to set up an email account.”
  • Lincolnshire – 17 jobs would go in Lincolnshire Co-op library takeover, say UNISON – Lincolnite. ““The Co-op’s offer of help is no alternative to stand alone public libraries run by professional staff. “If this model is accepted by the council then Lincolnshire Co-op and LCC would be jointly responsible for the loss of up to 17 jobs and five vital community resources.”
  • Lincolnshire – Anger over plans to close libraries – Guardian series. “Bert Spencer, from Holbeach St Marks, uses Holbeach Library and says: “The Government is closing the country down. We blame the county council but it’s the one at the top. “We have got a lovely little library in Holbeach but it’s closing down. I can’t see the need or the point of any of it.”
  • Lincolnshire – Are libraries a useful smokescreen for the bigger threats to come? – Lincolnite.
  • Lincolnshire – Book your ideas up over libraries – Boston Standard. “Like all council-inspired consultations, the questions appear to be a little ‘loaded’ in the way they are put; and the main question I would have liked to see – Are you in favour of closing libraries? – is conspicuous by its absence and this leads me to think the decision to close some will be made regardless of what answers are given.”
  • Lincolnshire – Campaigners reject Co-op compromise – Market Rasen Mail. “, the Save Lincolnshire Libraries group claims there will be ‘little in common’ between the kind of facility the Co-op will offer and the professional service they are campaigning to save. In a statement, the group said: “With regards to the Co-op’s seemingly altruistic offer, they may claim to have community interests as part of their raison d’etre but they most probably have ulterior motives. “The Co-op will obviously receive increased footfall but most pertinently of all, they are being paid by the council to house those libraries.”
  • Lincolnshire – Co-operative proposes adoption of local libraries – Co-operative News. “The society has offered to move five libraries into its local food and pharmacy branches to help sustain the service to the community. Last November, the co-operative worked on a pilot project where Waddington Library moved to a nearby pharmacy branch.”
  • Lincolnshire – Co-op reveals plan for new store – Horncastle News. “The Co-op could also provide a solution to fears surrounding the future of Wragby Library. The library faces the axe as part of controversial cuts by Lincolnshire County Council. Campaigners fighting to keep the library open could be interested in utilising the Co-op’s existing store in Wragby Market Place.”
  • Lincolnshire – Council gets 2,500 questionnaires back for library consultation – Boston Standard.
  • Lincolnshire – Donington people in bid to save library – Guardian series. Claims previous meeting was “hijacked” by protesters from the Deepings.  New meeting only open to locals.
  • Lincolnshire – Get healthy down at your local library – Spalding Today. ” holding events for people to learn more about keeping fit, happy and healthy, as well the local services that can offer a helping hand.”
  • Lincolnshire – ‘I question that closing libraries is way forward’ – This is Grimsby. “Councillor Doreen Stephenson has questioned whether Lincolnshire County Council’s proposals are “the way forward”, saying the resources are “vital” and urging the authority to “fully consider” its plans.”
  • Lincolnshire – Letter: E-petition to save libraries – Market Rasen Mail. “Already, the number of signatures on the many individual petitions raised throughout Lincolnshire has reached into the 10s of thousands. If all of these could be amalgamated it could make a massive impact on the ‘proposed’ closures and cut-backs on Library Services. To do this I have posted a petition on the Government e-Petition website. 10,000 signatures will force the department for Culture and Media to make a response to us; 100,000 would get the issue of this draconian reduction in our library services discussed in parliament.”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries consultation enters final weeks – Dinnington Today. “Coun Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said:“So far, we’ve received around 2,500 questionnaires, as well as 350 individual letters and emails.” “We’ve had eight consultation events around the county, attended by around 220 people, and there have been more than 5,000 visits to our consultation web pages.”
  • Lincolnshire – MP: Lincolnshire library plans “unacceptable” – BookSeller. “Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, described the authority’s plans to close or hand over to volunteers 32 of its 42 libraries as “completely unacceptable”. Leigh said: “We all understand that in these trying times councils have to make difficult decisions about the services they provide, but our libraries are an absolutely fundamental and irreplaceable part of our way of life here in Lincolnshire.””
  • Lincolnshire – Over 20 communities bid to save Lincolnshire libraries – Lincolnite.
  • Lincolnshire – ‘Save Alford Library’ campaigners stage protest – Skegness Standard. 60 protest “The Mayor of Alford Coun Jenny Cooper says she felt the protest went ‘very well’ and has helped reinforce the town’s opposition to closures. “It sends the message to the county council that libraries are vitally important to the people of Alford and they don’t want them to be taken away,” she said. “We responded to the consultation, we are doing the petition and this is another way to say we want our views listened to.”


“There’s a huge difference between volunteering a few hours to extend a library’s opening times and taking over the service completely,” he said. “The volunteers are taking a stance, saying they are not interested in running their own library, they are supporting the professional staff and saying they don’t want to lose the service.”

  • Lincolnshire – Save Lincolnshire Libraries Campaign – Society of Authors. “The campaign is not anti-volunteering. Volunteers and community groups can bring enthusiasm and passion to local libraries, but professionally-managed services ensure quality and equality for all library users, including the most vulnerable people in society.”
  • Lincolnshire – Spilsby councillors’ tentative support to Co-op library offer; public views sought next – Skegness Standard. “The Mayor of Spilsby Coun Peter Grant led a group of town councillors to view Lincolnshire Co-operative’s proposed site in its High Street store last week and was encouraged by what he saw. “All the councillors were quite impressed with the room they have for it,” he said. “The Co-op is on board with it, we’re on board with it – the only sticking point seems to be the money offered by the county council to set it up.””
  • Lincolnshire – Union’s library demos plea – Guardian series. “Lincolnshire’s branch of the public service union, UNISON, is calling on people opposed to the county council shifting libraries into private hands to attend demonstrations in Lincoln. Save Lincolnshire Libraries are holding a demonstration outside County Offices at 9am on September 13 – and a midday march from Castle Square on September 21.”
  • Lincolnshire – Villagers’ fight to save libraries goes on – Boston Standard.  “South Holland district councillor Jane King said the building plays a key role in village life and added: “The last thing Donington needs is another empty building.”
  • Lincolnshire – Villagers hand in 7,800 name petition in library closure threat protest – This is Lincolnshire. “More petitions are expected to be handed in before a debate on the controversial libraries closure programme takes place at the full council meeting in Lincoln on Friday, September 13. “The fact is that The Deepings population of 13,400 is bigger than FIVE of the 15 areas which are scheduled to keep keep their libraries,” Councillor Dilks said.”
  • Lincolnshire – Villagers’ library closure threat petition sparks response from county council – This is Lincolnshire. “villagers from Deeping St James in the south of the county handed in a 7,800-name petition opposing the plans.”
  • Manchester – Iconic Chorlton library saved from demolishers in time for 100th birthday – Manchester Evening News. “Residents feared the much-loved building could be demolished after Manchester council announced it would be sold off as part of a revamp of its leisure services. But now English Heritage has written back to Coun Chamberlain telling him that the library, on Manchester Road, has been granted grade-II listed status by culture secretary Maria Miller.”
  • Northumberland – “Noisy’ Cramlington library knitters no longer welcome – BBC.
  • Sefton – Southport’s libraries to close following failed attempt by Liberal Democrats to call-in the review – Southport Visiter. ” closure of Southport’s libraries has been confirmed following a failed attempt by Liberal Democrat councillors to halt the review. At last week’s overview and scrutiny meeting, the six-strong Lib Dem group attempted to call in the review on the grounds that the criteria established for community groups aspiring to run the libraries had changed. The call-in, which would have sent the matter back to cabinet, was defeated by five votes to four. Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown libraries will now close at the end of the year.”.  Labour replies “What the Liberal Democrats need to understand is that the responsibility for £150m cuts across Sefton lays with the coalition Government. The Lib Dems should lobby their own Government.”
  • Sheffield – Council faces challenge on library secret – Star. “Sheffield Council is being reported after failing to release details of private organisations bidding to run libraries. The authority said the need to protect its confidentiality when negotiating with third parties outweighed the public interest in making the details public – or revealing which libraries could close.”
  • Sheffield – Silence on future of Sheffield libraries – Sheffield Telegraph. “Sheffield Council will finally reveal which of their libraries could be axed – and the identity of organisations which may take over some branches – but not until next month. Meanwhile, the authority has refused a request from The Star under the Freedom of Information Act to confirm which of the 27 branches could be closed, and which third parties have submitted bids to run libraries”
  • Sheffield – With reduced funding come reduced services – Star. Cabinet member responds to criticism over library cuts “It is very regrettable to have to reduce any service, whether it’s libraries, leisure facilities or support to the voluntary, faith and community sector. The stark reality is that with reduced funding comes reduced services”
  • Southend – No shh-ing at library protest – Yellow Advertiser. “Campaigners want to make sure there is a big response to the survey, due to run until September 8. Library users are urged to fill it in, but be careful to support keeping every branch open and avoid the trap of ‘volunteering’ to run branches without paid staff. Southend Council has confirmed that if not enough volunteers come forward, it will look at ‘other alternatives’. “
  • Sunderland – ‘No interest’ from community in running Sunderland libraries or other services – Sunderland Echo. “Not one person has applied for the ‘Community Right to Challenge’ scheme which challenged people living in the city to take over local services they think they can run differently – and better.”

“Coun Oliver said: “I think the lack of interest is most likely down to a lack of funding and time. “A lot of people are happy to be volunteers at places but something like this would require a massive amount of organisation and a huge time commitment.”

  • Sunderland – Rallying cry to save Sunderland libraries – Sunderland Echo. “Authors Mary Talbot and Mark Metcalf spoke at a public meeting at Sunderland Minster organised by pressure group Hands Off Sunderland Libraries. Concerns were expressed that literacy levels of youngsters and social mobility could be greatly affected should the closures be confirmed. There were also worries that unemployed people will find it harder to look for work if they cannot access computers at libraries.”
  • Swindon – Library has become hub for Pinehurst community – Swindon Advertiser. “The library has become a hub for much of the community, with children wanting entertainment and education, and adults looking for information on jobs and access to computers for applications.”
  • Wakefield – New revamped home for town’s library – Pontefract and Castleford Express.  “Knottingley Library will move into a newly refurbished base in the town’s sports centre next month with longer opening hours. The Hill top based library will be closed for four days before opening at its new base next door. The new library has been revamped with new carpets, shelving, furniture and a new layout.”
  • West Sussex – Free wi-fi in libraries in West Sussex – Bognor Regis Observer. “Wi-Fi has been fitted in all of the 36 branches in West Sussex for people to use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops at no cost.”
  • Wirral – Library supporters raise thousands for new equipment – Wirral Globe. “The Friends of Bebington Central Library was formed in 2011 and have boosted funds by £5,500 from membership fees, events, donations and community grants. It has enabled the spending of £4,050 on equipment including a book display unit for the Children’s Library, specialist audio visual equipment installed in the Exhibition Room for state-of-the-art presentations and interactive lectures and talks.”