“There is an urgent need for all those responsible for delivering a “comprehensive and efficient” public library service for all to up their game. Austerity and cost-driven vandalism must not become an excuse for authorities to close libraries, transfer them to volunteers or “hollow out” the remaining libraries. Superior solutions are available, as some of the better-managed services have shown. There is a crisis; it can be an opportunity.” Conclusion to briefing paper.

“Our libraries are reflections of the community. Staff members are the most immediate sampling of the community, so establishing their investment in and connection to library events should be your first step in building successful library promotion initiatives.”

  • Libraries are meant to hold books, not e-readers – Fourth Estate. Calls bookless library in San Antonio, Texas: “Basically, they built one huge computer lab”. ““There is physicality in reading,” said Maryanne Wolf, a professor of the Eliot-Pearson Dept. of Child Development and director of the Center for Reading and Language Research in an article written by Ferris Jabr in American Scientific. “Maybe even more than we want to think about as we lurch into digital reading—as we move forward perhaps with too little reflection. I would like to preserve the absolute best of older forms, but know when to use the new. “

John Connelly meeting librarians

  • Top author John Connelly backs public libraries – Reading Agency (press release). “Award-winning Irish writer John Connelly yesterday pledged his support for public libraries. He said: “When libraries start closing, something is very wrong with our culture, and I think that in this time of cuts, we as authors we have a duty to support libraries”. He was speaking at a special event organised by publishers Hodder & Stoughton and Headline joined forces with The Reading Agency yesterday (1 October) to offer librarians an exclusive chance to meet author John Connelly during his current book tour.”


  • Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity Conference: Using Positive Disruption to improve libraries (i2c2)6th/7th March 2014. “We want to bring together a bunch of people (including librarians, learning developers, learning technologists and more) next year for a two day conference of inspiring each other to innovate and be more creative in libraries. There will be talks, workshops, fun and games galore. We’ll talk to each other about successes and challenges, thinking about how we can use what we learn from one another to improve libraries.”
  • Reading Agency ticket offer: Donna Tartt London UK tour appearance – Reading Agency (press release). “Three pairs of free tickets are available to hear Donna Tartt in conversation with BBC presenter Kirsty Wark, discussing her new novel The Goldfinch, on Tuesday 12 November at St James’ Church, Piccadilly during her imminent UK tour. Readers simply have to fill in, by 25 October, the short form at, explaining in 200 words or less why they should win a pair of tickets. “

Local news

  • Birmingham – Cash cuts may force Birmingham community libraries to close, city council admits – Chamberlain Files. “Some of Birmingham’s 39 community libraries may be forced out of business by public sector spending cuts, the city council has admitted for the first time. In the latest discussion paper setting out how service delivery must change in future, the council’s Labour leadership is calling for a radical rethink of library provision.”
  • Bristol – Poll backing over library – This is Bristol. “The poll, on our website at, asked readers to vote on the proposal that the city council should allow storage space which is not used by the public to be converted into a primary school to be run by the Bristol Cathedral and Choir School next door. So far, 82 per cent of voters are against the idea while 18 per cent are in support.”
  • Kirklees – Questions and Answers – Denby Dale Community Project. CILIP Past President Biddy Fisher explains and defends her role in the project that involves a community-run library.  “criticisms are usually off the cuff remarks, and very easily made by those who do not do any research or analysis.  The fact that these are being made by members of my own profession who have undertaken training to be information ‘professionals’ is quite astounding.”
  • Lincolnshire – Concerns over libraries closure plan – This is Grimsby. “The district authority’s portfolio holder for communities, Councillor Sandra Harrison, said: “While we understand the situation Lincolnshire County Council is in financially due to the ongoing reductions in funding for local services, we have not been persuaded that innovative solutions have been fully explored or debated which could provide an ongoing library service through different means.”
  • Lincolnshire – Lincoln: 400 march against Library cuts – Socialist Worker. “Around 400 protesters marched in Lincoln on Saturday 21 September to save 32 Lincolnshire libraries from closure. It was called by local Socialist Party member and trade unionist Nick Parker, and backed by the Save Lincolnshire Libraries (SLL) campaign group, Unison Lincolnshire County Branch, PCS DWP Lincolnshire & Rutland, and Lincoln & District TUC.”
  • Norfolk – To consider merging adult education and library services – LocalGov. “The report – to be discussed next week – warns that job cuts will be necessary to help plug a £500,000 funding gap in 2013/14. It says that a merger of the two services would ensure more use is made of the county’s 47 libraries for the provision of adult education courses. If approved, the service would be led by a single head of a libraries, information and learning service.”
  • Sheffield – Debate on future of Sheffield libraries – ITV. “Councillors in Sheffield are meeting today to discuss the future of sixteen libraries. They need to save almost two million pounds from the authority’s library budget by twenty sixteen.”
  • Stockport – Library hours are slashed in new cuts to save £160k – Manchester Evening News. “Opening times across Stockport’s 15 libraries will be reduced by a total of 83.5 hours in a bid to save £160,000. It will mean the council will need fewer staff and it is hoped this will be achieved through voluntary redundancies.”.  Council says it listened to views given in consultation: although 1,044 people were against the plans while 792 supported them. Opposition councillor says ““It’s clear local people have rejected the Lib Dems’ plans to cut library opening hours. “But rather than think again and listen to people’s concerns, the executive is ploughing on with these senseless cuts. “

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