• Letters to Santa – At all Neath Port Talbot libraries.
  • Library Press – Seven London authorities (supported by Arts Council England) provide resources for publishing work.
  • Pantomime storytimes – Get pantomime groups to do storytimes in libraries.

National news

  • Library Press – “The Library Press brings together people with all kinds of skills and experience to help the Library Press community find out more about the joys (and pains!) of publishing your work. As well as practical workshops, we’ll have talks, events, and exhibitions as well as a range of handy resources and useful links up on our website. Finally, and most importantly, The Library Press is supported by libraries, and at the end of the day who knows more about books than a librarian?”.  Seven London authorities are partners, supported by Arts Council England.

Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland, Labour) To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport  (1) what recent discussions she has had with libraries about volunteer libraries failing to pay Public Lending Right fees; (2) what steps she is taking to ensure that volunteer libraries pay Public Lending Right fees.

Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative) holding answer 29 October 2013 There has been no recent discussions with volunteer libraries about payment of Public Lending Right fees. The payment of the Public Lending Right is restricted to loans of books from public libraries. Book loans from university, college, school and other libraries including volunteer libraries that sit outside the statutorypublic library service do not qualify for payment. Where a library is run or managed by volunteers and forms part of a library authority’s statutory provision, then PLR applies and authors are recompensed for the loan. Further details of the PLR scheme are available at: Culture Media and Sport – PLR and volunteer libraries They Work For You

  • November newsletter – Reading Agency. Includes the Neil Gaiman speech, the launch of the author fund, the merging with World Book Night, Six Book Challenge, Reading Well, Reading Groups for Everyone, Reading Activists. Summmer Reading Challenge and World Book Day.

International news

  • The #@%& Joys of Library Work – Metropolis (USA). “I’ve worked behind the circulation desk at a suburban Philadelphia public library for over a decade and I’m happy to report that most of our patrons are pleasant, reasonable people who are a joy to deal with. And then there are the others: The mother who admonishes her kids, at the top of her lungs, “Be quiet, you little turds. This is a library!”” … “The couple who refuse to pay the overdue fine for the books they forgot to return before they jetted off on a two-month luxury European vacation. “We shouldn’t have to pay! We couldn’t return them! We were in Paris!””

“Because we librarians are helpful and courteous by nature, we refrain from telling these folks off. Or telling them to get the hell out of our library. Instead, we smile and do what we can to help them. Which, given what we’re dealing with, calls for its own special guide book. “When Difficult Patrons Happen to Good Librarians.” Or “Impossible People For Dummies.”

  • Kiryas Joel residents banned from using New York public libraries – Jewish News (USA). “The Monroe Free Public Library, which is closest to Kiryas Joel, and had many members of the community, has now turned away anyone with an address in the Kiryas Joel community. The library officials also said that this is not a religious issue, but rather a financial issue. According to library officials, Kiryas Joel has not paid taxes to the library since 2005, this came as part of an agreement that allowed the community to use the taxes to build their own public library, but so far, they failed to do so.
  • Critics had planned a sit-in protest at the library, but nobody showed up.”
  • Task force begins to tackle how to fund, operate Miami-Dade libraries – Miami-Herald (USA). Commission starts work on how best to cope with large budget cut, looking at options from around the country.  Philanthropy not seen as a viable solution ““We do have a lot of people here with a lot of money. Maybe they’ll be willing to step up to the plate,” he said. “I don’t think we should count on charitable donations to be part of the normal operations of the library, because if that dries up, we’re back to square one.”
  • Two employees were caught having sex in the children’s section of the library: but they weren’t fired. The whistleblower was – Blaze (USA). Really?


  • Public Libraries Section Conference – Section LAI (Eire). 6th-8th November in Monaghan.  “Not long now until the 2013 Public Libraries Section, LAI Conference which runs from 6th to 8th November at the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan. Only five days in fact! It’s not too late to book your place, see the conference booking page. It promises to be a very interesting and informative three days and a great way to meet with other information professionals from all over the country and library sector. Prepare to be inspired!”

UK news by authority

  • Barnsley – Views sought on central library relocation – Barnsley Council. “A consultation about the relocation of Barnsley’s central library will start on Wednesday 6 November. Running for four weeks, it will ask questions around usage, accessibility and opinions on relocation.” … ” “Given the financial pressures that we’re facing, we’re showing our commitment to library services by proposing to modernise the current service and maintain all our current libraries. “This is really good news, especially when you consider the impact cuts are having on libraries across the country. Yes, we’ve had to reduce opening hours, but only by 3.4 per cent, and based on what local people told us they wanted.”
  • Brent – November newsletter – Brent Libraries. WordPress training, creative writing, starting your own business, the Library Press,
  • Devon – Revamped library wins praise from readers – Sidmouth Herald (via email). Sidmouth Library: Worked with special library designers and took on board consultation responses.
  • Lincolnshire – Response to Lincolnshire Library Consultation from Independent Councillor – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. “My own opinion is this consultation result has just shown what those against the proposals have been saying all along and the executive of the council by ignoring the recommendation of the scrutiny committee, earlier in the year not to proceed with this consultation, have wasted at least £50,000 the total amount with officer time etc is undeclared at this time. The executive must now man up and admit that these proposals are wrong. It was wrong to cut 1.9 million from a 6 million budget before developing a full understanding of what consequences such a swathing cut would do to this statutory duty. By doing this the wrong way round we now have a tail wagging the dog situation.”
  • Manchester – Northenden needs you to help new library thrive  – Manchester Gazette. “A new library for Northenden opens this month and local residents are urged to help it to become a big success. Northenden Community Library, which opens on Monday 18 November, will house a book collection and computers with internet access. The new library will be based at Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG)’s Parkway Green House offices, on Palatine Road.”
  • Moray – Council to face campaigners in court over closure of seven libraries – STV.  Video. “We love our wee libraries” – long segment on national Scottish news about the “fairly compelling case” against the council.  “The vast majority of people in our communities” want to save them. Councillors says “I’ve got to balance the budget” and want to have an “adequate” service.  “Book of Hope” placed inside Burghead Library saying how important they are.
  • Moray – Legal bid to keep Moray libraries open – Scotsman. “Leaders of the “Save our Libraries Moray” announced that they are to seek a judicial review in the Court of Session to challenge Moray Council’s independent and Conservative administration’s decision to close all seven libraries at Rothes, Dufftown, Portknockie, Findochty, Cullen, Burghead, Hopeman plus one of the council’s two mobile units. And they believe their legal challenge could prove to be a test case for the whole of Scotland.”

“Whatever it takes, whatever it costs, the administration will be subject to the law and the democratic will of the people of Moray. We have asked for our libraries to remain open. As decreed by law the libraries have been open since 1887, as decreed by law the libraries are open now, and as decreed by law the libraries will be open in the future.”

  • Moray – Library closures: Campaign group in legal challenge – BBC.
  • Neath Port Talbot – Post your letters to Santa at Neath Port Talbot libraries – This is South Wales.  “A FREE courier service for letters to Santa has been launched in Neath Port Talbot once again. With Halloween now over, the authority has launched its annual scheme, running until December 7. Children can post their letters to Santa in post boxes in all libraries, Zoar’s Ark Garden Centre, Pontardawe Arts Centre and Port Talbot Civic Centre. All letters will be responded to as long as name and address are clearly marked.”
  • Plymouth – Library staff provide excellent service – This is Devon. “I have been made aware by library staff that as a cost cutting measure the community libraries are no longer able to buy copies of the Western Morning News (your sister paper) for the use of library users. I witnessed an elderly gentleman asking to see that day’s paper and being told that as the information was now available online it was not considered cost effective to have a paper in the library.”
  • Sheffield – Video – No hushing library demo – Star. “Almost 200 youngsters and parents gathered at Walkley Library before the protest to create placards bearing messages from children about the importance of the venue. One read ‘It is where I learned to love reading’. Teacher Gemma Short, aged 25, of Walkley, said: “The children sat and made these. We had around 180 there and eight people even joined the library on the day.””
  • Southend – Homes planned for library sites – Echo. “A previously unseen report, compiled by officers at Southend Council, said Thorpedene and Friars libraries in Shoebury, which senior Southend councillors are expected to vote to close on Tuesday, could be redeveloped as housing. The report, put together during the 15-month review of the service, describes Thorpedene library, clinic and community centre and the next door Delaware House care home, as a “prime residential site”.”
  • Swansea – Kev Johns column: Sharing the one of the greatest gifts – This is South Wales. “I’ll be rushing round some schools and Christmas fairs and all of us join the fun of the Christmas parade and lights switch on in Swansea city centre which is one of my favourite events of the year. However, top of my list of favourite places to visit in the run up to panto season are local libraries to read to children and families and on Halloween I had a chance to do that at Townhill and Brynhyfryd libraries. Of all the things I do, going into schools and libraries to read is one of my favourite activities.”