Sunderland have confirmed nine out of their twenty libraries will close, much to the annoyance of those who hoped the future of the service would be voted on a full meeting of councillors.  That’s perhaps one end of the process there, although some of those libraries may survive in a non-council.  The other end appears to have started, with a fearful symmetry, in Derbyshire today, with the announcement that there will be major cuts to the library service there due to the whole council having to lose a third of its budget.  It was pointed out that closing every single library in the county today would not touch this amount.

Right, now some good news.  It looks like from what I can tell that this has been a real bumper year for the summer reading challenge.  Creepy House medals are in distinctly short supply.  So, that means that a ton of children have been using libraries this Summer and that they would have brought in parents as well (five times, normally – once for joining, three times for stickers and once for the awards ceremony) and that’s great for those, like all of us, who believe that libraries have a future, no matter what is happening in Sunderland or Derbyshire.

I wish only to emphasise that the library function will continue to be professionally managed as part of the Kirklees Council Library Service.  The Library Service will continue to supply one part time paid member of staff (as now) and that books, electronic resources, licences and equipment, hardware and software to enable access to the Library Service user database will be the responsibility of the library service.. Details of the project can be found here:  http://denbydale.theoriginweb.co.uk” Biddy Fisher.  See previous Public Libraries News post.



  • Great Kindle Fire – American Spectator (USA).  Looks at recent ALA conference.  “At this gathering of a few thousand librarians, teachers, writers, publishing types, I saw surprisingly little evidence of reading taking place.” … “I was trying, am in fact still trying, to understand why, with little or no visible resistance or even comment from patrons, library friends’ societies (local charities that raise funds for libraries and organize things like book signings and reading groups), school boards, members of university faculties, elected officials at the local, state, and federal government level—to say nothing of the national press—thousands of public and academic libraries across the country are all but throwing away millions of books, many of them rare, expensive, or both. “

“libraries are changing. Many are no longer calling themselves libraries at all but rather things like “centers of digital inclusivity,” a cant phrase that means “places where people use computers free of charge, often to fill out forms necessary for acquiring various forms of public assistance.”

Local news

  • Cumbria – New library opens today on Carlisle estate – In-Cumbria. “The Morton Library Link will open for 73.5 hours a week in the community centre in Morton Manor, replacing the previous service which was upstairs in the centre and open for just 15 hours a week.” … ““By working with the community centre very closely we have succeeded in improving access to library services to meet the needs of local people at minimum cost,””
  • Derbyshire – Libraries, care homes and 1,600 council jobs facing the axe – This is Derbyshire. “A total of 1,600 council jobs will go, says Labour-led Derbyshire County Council, which must shed a third of its £500 million budget.” … £157m cuts but ” the cost of Derbyshire’s library service and trading standards department is £12.5 million … even if Derbyshire’s 45 libraries were to close today, the council would still be a long way short of making the savings it needs to.”

“We need to look at the footfall in these libraries and consult with the public. Woodville could lose its library, as there is another one a mile away in Swadlincote. “If we’ve got a library a mile away from another library, we have to look at that,” Mrs Western said.

“The bottom line is on an issue like this they are removing the democracy element, not giving councillors a fair vote”