“Sarah Houghton, a.k.a. the tech-savvy blogger Librarian in Black, who directs the San Rafael Public Library in California, told Reema that it will be 100 years before all libraries are paperless. But she added that 10 to 20 percent of libraries could go bookless in the next decade.”

“Lack of time and resources in general practice meant some patients were not properly informed about their conditions and treatment, he added, and libraries can fill the gap. ‘Libraries have always served that [educational] purpose for many people,’ he explained.”

  • How to save the Library – American Conservative (USA).  Ways inc,  (1) provide material/services local community wants (2) offer digital as well as print (3) function as a community-gathering place (4) never forget its primary role of providing books to the public.

“while increasing digital services provided will help, a library’s primary function and goal should always be to unite reader with book. It must always be a “print environment.”

  • Kansas City PL to Launch Software Lending Library Pilot – Digital Shift (USA). “Using $17,500 in funding raised by winning the Mozilla Ignite app innovation challenge, the Kansas City Public Library, MO (KCPL) developed its new Software Lending Library, a remote desktop system that will enable patrons to “check out” and use software applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel on their home computers or laptops. KCPL Digital Branch Manager David LaCrone and his team proved the concept will work this spring; they plan to launch a pilot test within the next few weeks.”
  • Lawyer leaves Arlington library $800,000 gift – Washington Post (USA). “A retired federal government attorney,who died June 24, left Arlington County Library nearly $800,000, which county officials believe to be the largest single gift it’s ever received.”
  • Library as social space – Hindu (India). “Libraries everywhere are reinventing themselves as social spaces too, which seems to be doing the trick of getting more people to actually visit one. And this begins with attractive design and amenities.”

“Some like the Biblioteca de Santiago, Chile, go all out to reach out to the public. They have vending stations in the subway, Biblioboat — a library on boats; Bibliobike — a library on a bicycle, open-air market-lending points, plus there are no prohibition signs in the library — “Everything is possible in the Library,” reads its website.”

  • Queens (NY) Librarian Reads to Alligator to Reward Summer Reading – School Library Journal (USA).  “According to Queens Library, Scatena has a long history of motivating her young readers with wild challenges. She annually promises that if they meet their summer reading goals, she will perform an over-the-top stunt. Previous challenges have had her sitting in a tub of jello, dressing in a rabbit suit and kissing a bunny, and cuddling an enormous python.”
  • ‘The price of libraries is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation’ – Guardian / Service delivery hub. “n Britain, where 16% of adults are functionally illiterate, trained librarians and fully stocked libraries play a vital role in educating both children and adults, which enables social mobility and supports efforts to end child poverty, something the UK government promised to do by 2020. For Lincolnshire, with high unemployment levels and median wages hovering at £16,000-£19,000, social mobility is key to economic growth. Citizens need to self-educate, train and retrain and have access to jobsearch resources online.”
  • Three Brooklyn Public Libraries Named Best in the City – Brownstoner (USA). “More than 4,000 New Yorkers voted on their favorite libraries, and three libraries in Brooklyn are among the 10 finalists that could win $10,000. A panel of judges from the Revson Foundation’s new NYC Neighborhood Library Awards will decide which five of those libraries will win the first prize; the next five will get $5,000. The three Brooklyn branches under consideration are the Macon, Sheepshead Bay and Kings Bay libraries.”
  • Three designers compete to make ‘chair of chairs for the library of libraries’ – Guardian. Meanwhile, in the Bodleian Library, the big crisis issue is deciding which design to commission for a new … chair [I knew I made the wrong career choice – Ed.]
  • Virginia Libraries Vow to Stop Throwing Away Books – NBC Washington (USA). “After more than 250,000 unwanted books were trashed by Fairfax County, hundreds of Virginians gathered Wednesday, asking libraries to halt the seemingly wasteful act. A fired-up crowd gathered at George Mason Library in Annandale, Va., some carrying protest signs, expressing outrage at the county for allowing the tossing of thousands of “unwanted” books, found inside a dumpster.”  Some amazing video of protester at meeting and books in, indeed, a dumpster.

Local news


“The people of Bury will suffer because of this and no amount of sculptures will help. I am all for the arts but this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time.”

  • Croydon – Ashburton residents firmly oppose sale of old library – Inside Croydon. “Nearly 50 people came to Ashburton Park last night to offer their views about the glorious Ashburton Library building. Most people know the story: Croydon Council is selling it off and there has been no conversation with the public. But the public has a view and they spoke last night.”
  • Derbyshire – Scoops NAG award for excellence 2013 – Neilsen. “Derbyshire County Council was praised for the careful planning they underwent before introducing their e-book service. They identified market forces, customer needs and technological development in order to enter the e-book market at the optimum time for the needs of their users, with the most appropriate product.”
  • Dudley – Libraries block access to payday loan websites – Express and Star. “Today it can be revealed that 825 computers across Dudley, Wolverhampton and Sandwell are refusing access to sites such as and QuickQuid” Lots of comments on site consider it as a step towards censorship.
  • East Dunbartonshire – Ceiling collapse forces library to close – Kirkintilloch Herald. ““Crews are currently on scene assessing and repairing the damage. We aim to have the library open as soon as possible.”
  • Gloucestershire – Work continues on failed IT systems at Gloucestershire’s libraries – Gazette series. “However, the IT fault means customers are not able to renew or reserve items. Customers will not be liable for any fines incurred due to the system fault and are asked to speak to their local library staff. Operations manager at Gloucestershire libraries Katie Smith said: “The problem is with one of our servers and the specialist parts required are on urgent order.”
  • Kent – Libraries and residential care homes could be frontline services to be privatised in shake-up – Kent Online. “Libraries and residential care homes could be among the first key frontline services to be privatised or run by other organisations in a wide-ranging County Hall shake-up. The two are listed as among the first wave of services Kent County Council intends to subject to what it calls a “market review” under a three-year plan which will get under way next month”
  • Lincolnshire – Dream to save library for a village hub – Spalding Today. “Early work is being carried out by Pinchbeck Parish Council looking into whether it is feasible to take over the village’s library and extend the use of its current building for community groups.”
  • Lincolnshire – Library closures demonstration – ITV. “A protest against the closure of a number of libraries in Lincolnshire is being held outside the County Council Headquarters. Four petitions with more than 10,000 signatures on them were also handed in to the council who are discussing the issue in a meeting today.”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries: Committee formed to tackle closure plans – This is Lincolnshire. “A committee has been set up in West Lindsey to form an official response to Lincolnshire County Council’s plans to close 32 libraries”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries: Council ignore the hard facts – Market Rasen Mail / Letters. “There are many things wrong with these proposals. There ignore the trained professional and dedicated service currently given by the present retained library staff. Proposals to replace them with untrained and in some cases unsuitable, if well meaning, volunteers and/or commercial retailers whose prime objective (quite properly) is to attract customers to their main line business, not necessarily in the best interests of providing an adequate and proper library service.”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries: Protestors campaign against cuts at County Offices – This is Lincolnshire. Two videos of the 25-strong protest (placards and chanting included). “”We spend far more on administration of libraries than any other comparative authority,” she said. “I think the County Council could look in depth at their budget and they should look at making savings in the admin areas rather than frontline services.”
  • Lincolnshire – Protest as councillors debate Lincolnshire libraries closures – Lincolnite. “The demo on the steps of County Hall on Newland happened just before a Full Council meeting, where four library petitions were handed to the council executive. Within the chamber, this led to a heated debate over the proposals, which are still under public consultation until September 30.” … “Due to the latter two receiving high numbers of signatures, a long debate ensued. In both cases, motions were passed to refer the petitions to the Executive for decision once the consultation period has ended.”

“not a public consultation, but a public ultimatum.”

  • Lincolnshire – Rosie Duffield – BBC Radio Lincolnshire (2h 10m in). Interview with Lincolnshire Libraries campaigner, Leah Warriner-Wood.
  • Lincolnshire – TV comedy writer Eric Chappell gives backing to library protest in Grantham – Grantham Journal. “Comedy writer Eric Chappell has given his backing to the protest against proposals to close county libraries as part of sweeping cuts.  Mr Chappell, who wrote the TV comedy Rising Damp and lives in Barrowby, says he will sign a petition against the cuts which include reducing the opening hours of Grantham library by five.”
  • Liverpool – Royal opening for jewel in Liverpool’s crown – Bay TV Liverpool. “HRH The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, will unveil a special plaque, marking the official opening of the newly refurbished city gem on Monday 23 September. The royal visitor will meet representatives from all organisations that played a key role in the £50million restoration. This will be followed by a tour of the building, including the new children’s area ‘Discover’, the stunning Picton Reading Room, the Oak Room which houses the rare Audubon books, and the roof terrace which has stunning views over the city centre.”
  • Luton – Church steps in to save a library – Luton Today. “Sundon Park Library is one of the libraries earmarked for closure this year due to funding cuts, and a petition containing more than 500 signatures was noted by the council’s executive last night. Sundon Park Baptist Church is working towards a new premisies due to concrete rot in its current building and decided to offer space for a library in the new development which will be built next year.. The Rev Elaine Cockbill said: “We felt God was saying to us to increase our community involvement, which we have tried to do.”
  • Moray – Concern library closures are illegal – Herald Scotland. “A COUNCIL’S decision to close half its libraries has been reported to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Government. The opposition SNP group on Moray Council has written to the Scottish Commissioner, Kaliani Lyle, and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Culture, Linda Fabiani, about the closure of seven of the 15 libraries”
  • Moray – Legal challenge to library closures – Northern Scot. ” the cross-Moray library campaign is set to discuss a legal challenge. “We are in touch with the other groups and we are looking at mounting a legal challenge,”

“You don’t cut vital services in the midst of an unpredictable economic situation. To replace them in the future would be phenomenally expensive”

  • Neath Port Talbot – Potential library closures in Neath Port Talbot – This is South Wales. “Two potential options have been identified, one suggesting the closure of seven libraries — Cwmllynfell, Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Seven Sisters, Ystalyfera, Blaengwynfi, Briton Ferry, and Taibach, with a total saving of £177,178. The second proposed option includes those seven libraries plus the closure of Cymmer and Resolven Library, making a total saving of £238,143.”

“This review proposes that there are a number of libraries that are not viable in terms of public usage and of cost effectiveness, size and are no longer fit for purpose. Library services are changing in any event, which has led to a need to review the pattern of service delivery. Stronger community participation and widening the appeal are essential for the service to prosper. There has been a consistent rise in the level of demand for home deliver, for providing more services directly to schools and for online/digital content.”

  • Northern Ireland – Membership soaring at once threatened Draperstown library – Mid-Ulster Mail. “Having once faced the threat of closure, Libraries NI worked in partnership with The Workspace Group who approached SWARD grant scheme, to obtain a £50,000 grant for the branch.” … “According to Libraries NI, the active membership has increased by over 19% (from April – July 2013) compared to the same period last year, “proving that the new facility is being well used and supported”.”
  • Portsmouth – Bookfest – Portsmouth Book Fest. “Portsmouth has a strong literary heritage including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells and Portsmouth BookFest continues that tradition, attracting diverse audiences to exciting events featuring popular and accessible authors. Portsmouth BookFest is jointly organised by Portsmouth City Library Service and The Hayling Island Bookshop. There is an associated schools programme organised by Portsmouth School Library Service.”

29th October: The future of libraries: discussion panelMenuhin Theatre, Portsmouth Central Library 7.00pm  Tickets: £3.

For the first time BookFest presents an evening debate with the theme of ‘the future of libraries’. We are delighted to welcome Alan Gibbons, children’s author and libraries advocate, Tim Coates, former managing director of Waterstones

and libraries advocate and ? to the panel for what promises to be a topical discussion on one of Britain’s best loved institutions.”

  • Swindon – Arts centre wins applause from all – Swindon Advertiser. “Swindon Arts Centre, in Devizes Road, received the most votes in a week-long nomination period for what Old Town residents treasured most about their corner of Swindon. Chris Robins, 23, a library assistant at the centre, received the award on behalf of his colleagues.” … “The centre houses a 212-seat theatre, workshop studio, cafe, library and art gallery, with various productions and collections on show throughout the year at affordable prices.”
  • Wiltshire – Major Grant Helps Wiltshire Libraries – Breeze. “The Arts Council recognised Wiltshire’s Council’s original ideas and granted the maximum amount of £100,000 funding to the Wiltshire project called Creative Libraries.  The project will involve a touring exhibition of books from various museum collections, opportunities to take part in a community memory project which will reflect upon the lives of people living in rural parts of the county, an exciting performance in three of Wiltshire’s largest libraries bringing storybook characters to life amongst the shelves, and artists working with older people with limited mobility to use the written word to inspire movement and even dance. “
  • Worcestershire – Library looks forward to a brand new chapter – Tewkesbury Admag. “Pershore  will be without a library service for one week as books are moved back into the newly refurbished building in Church Street. The library has been operating from Pershore Town Hall while the building in the town centre was upgraded and extended.”