• Arts, Libraries and Library Campaigners – James Powney’s Blog. Points the out the continuing need for Arts events and funding in libraries. ” If you want to have arts activity at all, you need to sustain it.  It cannot simply be switched on and off like an electric light. ” … “the arts are a significant contributor to society as a whole.  You can argue for this in economic terms” … artists provide social benefits and more users/readers to the library. “The ability to attract new users is certainly characteristic of Brent Dance Month, that brings many people into libraries who are not normally library users.”

“Above all, this kind of stuff is fun, and people do need some fun in libraries even (or perhaps especially) when the outlook for libraries and local government is so very bleak. ” Cllr James Powney

  • Authors’ Public Lending Right payments frozen – Guardian. “Fees for library loans to remain unchanged in 2013/14 at 6.2p for each book borrowed” … “Though the rate per loan is to stay the same, the Society of Authors(SoA) wrote to Vaizey outlining its concern over the rise in number of volunteer-run libraries, which are excluded from PLR if they are not affiliated to a local authority.” … “SoA also noted that this year’s freeze represented a “15% reduction in funding in real terms over the period 2011/12 to 2014/15, following the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review”.”
  • Contributions wanted for We Need Libraries video – Voices for the Library. “Musician One Man and His Beard, who performed at the Speak Up For Libraries lobby in 2012 is looking for library lovers to contribute to his We Need Libraries video for release on National Libraries Day 2014. What he’s after is photos of you holding your library card. Send your photos to him at by 5th January 2014. We think it’s a great idea and we will be sending ours.”
  • Get involved in the Library A to Z – Voices for the Library. Your chance to add to the alphabetical list of what a public library does.
  • Librarians name jails’ most in-demand books – Scotsman.  Want to get more men into your library? Stocking these books would be a good start.
  • Reflecting on the Future of Academic and Public Libraries  – Facet Publishing.  £49.95 for a book on academic and public libraries. “Anyone interested in the future of libraries, especially library managers, will be engaged and stimulated “
  • Scottish book sculptures – Wikipedia. One of the most mood-lifting library stories of recent years is the series of beautifully intricate paper sculptures left in public libraries and other places by an anonymous artist. There’s a complete list and links on this “wikipedia” thing.

International news

  • America’s Public Libraries take on the NSA – AllGov (USA). “The American Library Association (ALA), a group not known as a lobbying powerhouse in Washington, received a $1 million grant last month from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to advocate more on behalf of its members. And one of the first subjects the ALA is tackling is NSA reform, due to concerns that the agency’s meta-data collection will infringe on the freedom to read and conduct research.”
  • Detroit Public Library HYPE Makerspace – Facebook. “Focused on inspiring the passion of young adults, the HYPE Makerspace celebrates the spirit of invention, creativity, and do-it-yourself (DIY) culture.”.  See also HYPE webpage “HYPE stands for Helping Young People Excel.  It is the umbrella for teen-focused programs and services at the Detroit Public Library.  DPL recognizes that teens need their own space to learn, explore or simply hang out.” [This looks like a great project and I understand that Valerie Sobczak, amongst others, should take a bow – Ed.]
  • How to Prove a Library’s Relevance: MCPL’s Brilliant Brand Strategy – Information Today (USA). “ll in all, we can say that the branding experiment was a success. However, this brand was built specifically to work in an ever-changing library landscape. That landscape hasn’t stopped shifting, so we must continue to redefine what “access” means to our customers and our community.”
  • Lee Rainie: Libraries and Communities – Library 2.0 (USA).  Lee Rainie is Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. [Warning: sound not working well when I checked on it – Ed.]
  • More life at the library – Model Programme for Libraries (Denmark). “In general terms, the trend is towards more life at the library through more programming, interplay with partners, use of volunteers and the citizens’ own activities. For instance, 1,527 volunteers contributed their assistance with homework help, IT help, audio newspaper etc. in 2012, distributed across 59 of Denmark’s libraries.” 220,000 more visits to Denmark libraries in 2012 compared to 2011. 560 libraries in 2012 – half the number of 1990. “Since 2004, long-distance lorry drivers from Southern Jutland have been able to borrow audio books recorded on CD at their workplace. ” Identifies four “spaces” that the library services and looks at the typical day, with users changing throughout.
  • More public libraries needed in Phl to promote literacy – Freeman (Phillipines). “Stephen Krashen, University of Southern California professor emeritus and researcher, explained to The Freeman that “poor” children do not read very well because of the absence of libraries. He said that money allocated for assessment tests should be allotted to the construction of libraries.

“Huge amount of money are put into testings. The money should go to libraries. If you put in libraries, the reading scores go up,” Professor Stephen Krashen

UK by authority

  • Birmingham – Meet Father Christmas at the Library of Birmingham – Birmingham Updates.  £5 to see Santa at the Library. “Every child will receive a goody bag from Father Christmas. The ticket also provides a 10% discount off at the library shop.”
  • Bristol – Central Library basement to become school – BBC. “The lower two floors of the building will be leased to the new Cathedral Primary School providing up to 420 places. Approval was given at a meeting of Bristol City Council’s Cabinet. The lease will be for 125 years with rent of £60,000 a year and a premium of £600,000 paid to the council and ring-fenced for the city’s libraries.” … “The move would include full digital cataloguing of all books and storage on rolling shelving at the cost of about £500,000.”
  • Buckinghamshire – Community libraries a focus for Russian delegation – Buckinghamshire County Council. “Despite many small and remote locations across a vast geographical spread, she said, there were no community libraries in Russia.  ‘We have many remote libraries, and we wanted to see how Buckinghamshire, which is a leader in community libraries, had managed the project,’ said Alexandra. ‘Great Missenden community library as a model is quite astonishing and doesn’t exist in Russia at all.’ “
  • Derbyshire – Mobile library service may be axed in bid to save £157m – Bakewell Today. “Derbyshire’s mobile library service – which last year loaned 719,000 titles – could be scrapped under council cost-saving measures. The £720,000 service – which accounts for 17 per cent of all library issues – is under threat as part of Derbyshire County Council’s bid to save £157 million in five years.”
  • Lincolnshire – Councillor blasts ‘great Deeping library betrayal’ – Guardian series.  ““It’s no surprise that our community has not been sucked in by the council’s relentless grooming exercise. Deepings people can see you might run a couple of book shelves for a few hours a week on the council’s offer, but it wouldn’t be a proper library.”
  • Lincolnshire – Deepings Library cuts approved by executive – Stamford Mercury. “Lincolnshire county councillor for Deeping St James Phil Dilks (Lab) said: “Deepings has been totally betrayed by a hopelessly out-of-touch executive who run Lincolnshire County Council. “The all-powerful eight Tories and one Lib Dem refused to listen to more than 9,000 Deepings voices who called for a reprieve for Deepings Library which serves a community of 18,000.”
  • Newport – 2014/15 Budget & Medium Term Financial Plan – Newport Council. Increased room hire, Bibliographic Services Librarian and part-time administrator post to be lost 2014/15, a further post to be lost in 2015/16.  Central Library to be closed one day per week. Some libraries under threat (14.5 FTE). Schools Library Service to end. Newport already in lowest quartile of staffing in Wales.
  • Pembrokeshire – Reviews mobile libraries – BookSeller. “A report put before cabinet earlier this week said that the majority of the mobile library service’s users “are in higher income communities with very high levels of car ownership”. The report also said book issues from the single largest vehicle were down 70%.”
  • Somerset – Library volunteers scheme criticised by community group – BBC. “Somerset County Council is hoping to save £850,000 over the next three years with “community supported libraries”. It follows a High Court ruling in 2011 that the council’s decision to withdraw funding to 11 libraries was unlawful. But Peter Murphy, from Friends of Somerset Libraries, said not having a “professionally run and staffed” library was “the wrong way to go”.”
  • Sunderland – Community group bids to take over closed Sunderland library – Sunderland Echo. “Back on the Map (BOtM) has found support from residents in its decision to try to reopen Hendon Library as a community centre with “library provision.” … “If BOtM is successful, it will apply for about £50,000 initial funding from Enhancing CommunitiesFund to make the site usable. The group also hopes to turn its current office into a charity shop to fund the new centre.”
  • Surrey – Community Partnered Library Launches in #Bagshot – Podcast + photo blog – Surrey Heath Residents. “This afternoon the Residents Network attended the launch of the Bagshot Community Partnered Library.”
  • Sutton – Terry Pratchett novel returned to Sutton after ‘good Samaritan’ finds it in Mauritius – Guardian series. “A lost library book has been returned after being found more than 6,000 miles away in Mauritius. The Fifth Elephant, by Terry Pratchett, went missing after it was borrowed five years ago from the free book shelf, run by Cheam Library, at Cheam Station.”
  • Swindon – Public could shape future of Swindon libraries in proposed consultation – Swindon Advertiser. “Councillors will be asked to approve a 12-week consultation on the draft library strategy to seek the views of the public and those interested in libraries. The revised strategy will build on the success of the current strategy which has seen more than 200 volunteers and three friends groups working within libraries across the borough.”
  • Worcestershire – Cuts could hit library opening times – Redditch Standard. £100k cut before April 2014: opening hour cuts considered at Redditch and Woodrow. “Possibilities also include other Worcestershire County Council services moving into the central library in Market Place – which was refurbished at a cost of £820,000 in 2009/10 – which would see them pay rent to the libraries department.”

“The council has spent all this money on refurbishing libraries and making them great community assets. “Why are we reducing the hours of opening if they are such wonderful places to go to?”