• Head of the Guardian’s library on… how to access the paper’s archive material – Guardian. “Our digital archive holds pdf images of almost every issue going back to the Manchester Guardian’s launch in 1821” … “Back copies of the paper can be bought from companies such as Historic Newspapers. They sell everything from the most recent issues to editions from more than 100 years ago. If it is just the text of Guardian articles from the past decade or so that is needed, then the paper’s website is the best place to turn. The archive goes back to 1999 but includes some earlier material. “
  • Library services in the Kindle age: expert views – Guardian. “Read the comments from our panel discussing the future of libraries and how councils can reinvent the service”.  Summary of the online discussion on the future of libraries last week.
  • Rugby League and reading: a proven winning partnership: Six Book Challenge adult literacy drive participants honoured at Rugby League World Cup final – Reading Agency (press release). “A Rugby League fan who has recently discovered the life-changing power of reading thanks to The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge adult literacy programme was rewarded with an extra-special trip to the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2013) final between New Zealand and Australia at Old Trafford on 30 November. Chris Underwood, from Wigan, stepped out on to the pitch at Old Trafford at half-time to receive his special Six Book Challenge completer’s certificate from England international and Leeds Rhinos star Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who is a Six Book Challenge ambassador.”
  • Social enterprise panacea – Mitchell Kutney. “Social enterprise as it currently stands is a missed opportunity; it has settled for entering markets, when social enterprise had the potential to transform them. It has placed nonprofits in an unfavourable position and has disrupted the already struggling philanthropic/charitable funding stream, as well as opened the door for governments to exploit the idea of social enterprise as an excuse to reduce their role in traditional non-profit activities.”
  • Unpaid library fines costing councils thousands – with books overdue from 2001 – Slough Observer. “Slough Borough Council failed to receive £148,209.22 in fines for overdue items borrowed from its seven libraries between April 1, 2010 and October 31, 2013 – more than a third of the £439,480.79 of total fines due. It is a similar story in the Royal Borough [Windsor and Maidenhead] where £77,931.39 of fines remain unpaid out of a total of £308,554.76 at the borough’s 12 libraries, a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Observer has revealed.” …. “n Slough, around 11% of fines in the past three-and-a-half-years have been written off at a cost of £51,401.99. In the Royal Borough, the figure for the same period was £34,075.24 – also around 11% of the total fines issued.”

Local News

  • Cambridgeshire – Winter maintenance cut backs form part of proposed budget cuts for Cambridgeshire – Wisbech Standard.  “some services will be encouraged to share a public building to cut costs, for example housing libraries and one stop shops in one place, already being done in Chatteris and planned for Whittlesey.” … “But people also said if savings had to be made they would look to make deeper cuts in areas such as libraries and corporate services. “
  • Derby – More to work at Derby Council House as job losses bite – Derby Telegraph. “”The council is operating on a 7:10 desk ratio, which means there are seven desks for every ten members of staff. “Due to the success of our flexible working policies, enabling staff to work at home or from other locations such as libraries, we are able to reduce this ratio to 5:10, meaning that there will be five desks for every ten members of staff.”
  • Lincolnshire – Library closures expected to be rubber stamped – Guardian series. “The county council’s ruling executive is tomorrow (Tuesday) expected to wash its hands of 32 libraries – putting them in the private sector or closing them for good to save £2million.” … “Around 150 jobs will be axed under the council’s plan”.
  • North Yorkshire – Arts Council awards £100,000 to put artists into county libraries – Harrogate News. “As part of a three-year Creative Residencies Programme, 24 artists from different creative backgrounds will be based in eight libraries to work with library users and other community members on a range of projects. The inspiration for the initiative came from the North Yorkshire library service’s acclaimed, “Rewind!” project, that won the national “Libraries Change Lives” award in 2012. In this project, based in Skipton, young people were supported at the library by a professional musician to devise, fund-raise and stage their own gigs and events.”

“Changing both the public and government perception of libraries and developing them as cultural hubs and creative spaces are keys to the future sustainability of libraries. This is an ambitious programme with a clear vision, offering participants a broad range of artistic activities with which they can engage” Carl Clayton, Arts Council England