UK news

  • £6.31 an hour – Tom Roper’s Weblog. “The national minimum wage is £6.31 an hour. That’s what is offered for a graduate trainee job advertised in CILIP’s Lisjobnet, placed by Florida State University. By contrast, where I work, outside London, a notice on a board outside the library offers students £8 an hour for causal work. Is this what we think new entrants to the profession are worth? “
  • Austerity measures make libraries vital as more needy people use them – Guardian / Public sector cuts. “It seems that public library assistants are the new social workers. Or should that be babysitters, jobsearch trainers, befrienders, English language teachers, IT experts and general mental health and community workers?”

” what has struck me most is how vital – now more than ever – libraries are to communities in which local authority cuts to other services are washing up rising numbers of walking wounded, many of whom stumble into our library for help.” … “A noted change is the numbers of people who expect IT help. Some demand step-by-step assistance to send job applications. Much of this is traffic from Jobcentre Plus, which now expects benefits recipients to apply for work online through its Universal Jobmatch website.” Sam Darian (pseudonym)

“I honestly think that rather than a church, mosque or temple, the library is the actual heart and soul of the community.” Comment

“gone are the days of having an actual librarian in the building! The person dealing with you at the counter is most likely a library assistant, most of whom will have a degree or will have been in the job for more than two decades. You wouldn’t believe the trust people invest in you, comparable to a doctor or lawyer, purely because you work in a library. And the expectations are sky high.” Comment

  • British Library Newspaper Moves – British Library.  “In 2013-14 the British Library will move the national newspaper collection from its current home in Colindale, north London, to a purpose-built Newspaper Storage Building (NSB) in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.”

International news

  • Apple includes a warrant canary in transparency report  – Metafilter (USA).  Apple place a notice on their products that will identify if the FBI fishes for information.  See also link to “library canary” sign for library computers to show if the FBI has asked for information.
  • Integrating new and old in library design – Designing Libraries (Canada). “A new library in Ontario is a modern design featuring ornamental fritted glass inspired by the gilded spines of the library’s archive of Victorian books.” … “This ornamentation stems from the town council’s desire, as is typical of many regional towns witha proud history, to construct a new building that would complement its nineteenth and early twentieth century neighbours.”
  • Librarians in the digital age infograpphic – DAM Foundation (USA).  Looks at the changing role of librarians.
  • Programming and Issues in Senior Services – Amys Scrap Bag. “Serving older adults is important for public libraries because many frequent public libraries after retirement.  Literature suggests this is due to lack of workplace socialization and need for social interaction with fellow citizens.  Thus public libraries need to be designed with seniors in mind and offer older adults a wide range of programs.”
  • Sex in the Library – Library Journal (USA). Suspcious story about a council employee being fired for discovering the library manager and a maintenance worker having sex in the children’s library.  [There is so much wrong with that sentence – Ed.]


  • Public private partnerships – Eurolis 2013. 22 November in London. “The speakers will represent libraries and other organisations in the European countries of France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Find out about: How librarians are working with the commercial and voluntary sectors to develop their services and build new libraries; The benefits and challenges of working with new partners; The different funding sources and partners that exist; Best practices in Europe: what works and what doesn’t.”

UK news by authority 

  • Brent – An All-Soulless story for North London library – Save Kensal Rise Library. “All Souls has also come in from criticism in recent days. When a Private Eye article alleged that the college had “reneged on its covenant” with Brent Council, the college issued a statement saying it “regretted” the closure of the library, and that it “[did not renege] on any covenant”. All Souls claimed that it was “under no obligation” to ensure that a library continued to occupy part of the building, “but it has in fact done so”. In a letter earlier this month, however, All Souls say that Mr Gillick will, as “Senior Land lord…have final say in the matter” of how the building is used. This is in contrast to an assurance earlier in the letter that the college agreed with Mr Gillick that “a minimum of 1500 square feet” will be put to use as a library for the community.”
  • Bury – Say no to the installation of a sculpture centre in Bury Central Library – “The sculpture centre is going to dramatically reduce the library floor-space. This is valuable community space. The library and its services have an inclusive spirit which should be preserved and treasured. These are our services & our children’s services…and what about the books???”
  • Hampshire – Council to lease library space to groups in bid to cut costs – Get Hampshire. “Community groups and businesses could rent space at their local libraries as the council seeks ways of generating additional income and enhancing libraries” … “Many of the reference books in libraries across Hart and Rushmoor have now become subscription sites available on the internet and are no longer published in book format. Consequently, the number of physical books in the libraries has reduced and spare space is potentially available in some libraries. Not all of the 53 libraries in Hampshire will be capable of creating spare space but those affected will be announced at a later date.”
  • Moray – Bookworms set to take their local council to court over plan to axe almost half of their libraries and mobile library vans – Daily Record. ““Libraries are at the heart and soul of our local communities and to close them is complete folly, Moray Council’s Independent and Tory councillors should look long and hard at themselves and consider whether the comparatively small amount of savings being achieved is worth the damage this will do to communities.””
  • Northern Ireland – Richhill Library is saved from closure – Portadown Times. “An announcement from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure confirmed that the facility will remain open. Myles McCormick, one of the campaigners to save the library, has warned against complacency.”