National news

  • Your Local Authority Needs You! – Leon’s Library Blog. “Ever since the Barnet Graph of Doom  was mooted the future of departments outside of adult social care and children’s services have been hotly debated and contested, but not, unfortunately, well planned for. Thus, the rather ad hoc and often quite weak response by councils to library provision. Couple this with the political ideology of the Big Society and it is proving to be somewhat of a perfect storm for public libraries up and down the country. What will be left after the storm abates remains to be seen.”

UK news by local authority

  • Brent – Increase in visitors to Brent libraries buckle London and national trend – Brent and Kilburn Times. “The use of libraries in Brent has buckled the London and national trends by increasing in the last 12 months, according to figures released today. Statistics complied by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance Accounting (CIPFA) showed the number of library visitors in the borough was up by one per cent. However across London the overall figure was down by seven per cent and across the UK it dipped by six per cent. Borrowing of books in the borough decreased by two per cent but across London the slump was almost ten per cent.”

“Today’s Brent libraries are cutting edge, dynamic schools of learning and fun which embrace modern technology and have adapted to fit the busy lifestyles of local residents.” Brent council

“If people’s libraries are taken off them, they will – if they have the means – go to the remaining ones, thus boosting their stats. Nothing to crow about. ” Shirley Burnham

  • Cornwall – Reduction is planned in library services – Plymouth Herald. “Library and one-stop shop opening hours are likely to be reduced by about a day a week across the county and the council will look at ways of amalgamating stand-alone one-stop shops and libraries.”
  • Derbyshire – Time to have your say on future of Derbyshire mobile library service – Derby Telegraph. “The council has come up with four options for the future of the service, which has a fleet of 10 vehicles – two large vans and eight smaller – that travel around the county.”
  • Havering – Library volunteers shortlisted for national award – Enquirer. “The Council has been selected as a finalist in the Community Involvement category for the 2014 Local Government Chronicle – LGC – Awards, to be held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 12 March. The Council’s libraries have been shortlisted for their dedicated team of volunteers. More than 300 regular volunteers of all ages and backgrounds give up their time to act as reading buddies, provide summer reading support, help with IT and more.”

“With three volunteers to every member of staff – last year they worked 6,371 hours – the equivalent of 910 days or 182 working weeks – that’s a 64 per cent increase compared with the previous year.”

  • Leicestershire – Small libraries may be community run – Melton Times. Council “invite parish councils and volunteers to run its smaller branch libraries as it bids to save £1.4m a year”
  • Liverpool – Read Liverpool e-library service offers thousands of new digital titles for city readers – Liverpool Echo. “The new service, called Read Liverpool, expands the e-library with more than 6,000 e-books to be downloaded for free. The city council is investing more than £370k in re-launching the facility with more titles being added to the collection every week.” … “Eight books can be downloaded at any one time and will expire after 21 days. Compatible devices include iPads, iPhones, the KindleFire range, PCs, Macs, Android phones, Android tablets and other e-readers such as Kobo, Nook and Sony.”
  • Neath Port Talbot – People power set to take over threatened Resolven library – South Wales Evening Post. “Resolven Community Council discussed plans for a new trust run by local residents to take over the running of the at-risk village facility. January’s meeting of the council was told that an advert had gone out asking for people to apply to become trustees on a committee to run the Neath Road building for the community. So far, three people have applied …”
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff – Meetings over threatened libraries in Rhydyfelin and Tregaron – BBC. “One of the protesters Christine Thompson said the decision by the cabinet had come “like a bolt from the blue”. “Politicians have promised to come back to us with answers but we are very unhappy that other areas were given a four week consultation period on library closures and we have been given five days.””
  • Sheffield – Clegg plea for Sheffield library U-turn – Star. “Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has promised to put politics to one side and congratulate Sheffield Council if councillors agree to a U-turn on library closures.
  • The Sheffield Hallam MP described the council’s library review – which threatens to axe 16 facilities – as ‘one of the most spiteful acts’ he has witnessed since being involved in politics in the city.”
  • Torbay – Fears for future of Torbay libraries – Herald Express. £364,500 cut (25%) two years (£127,000 cut in the first year and £237,500 in 2015/16) to be discussed by councillors this week. “The review will look at opening hours and mobile library provision, options for working in partnership with other organisations, and a review of the management and support services. Councillors will be warned there could be redundancy costs as a result of the cuts which are described as major.”