My wording that scrolls along the bottom of the screen during the rather wonderful video for the “We Need Libraries” song has raised some interest so here it is below.  Watch the video too of course … and remember to check what events your library is putting on for National Libraries Day via this website.

We need libraries
For the preschooler at storytime and the parent to meet others
For the many children who do not have a book at home
And for the child who reads more than any parents can afford
For the student to study and for those looking for a job
For the lonely, the lost and for those in need of comfort
For the businessman for the wifi and for the busy to meet
For the community that need a place to meet on always equal terms
For the nation to be literate and have access for all
We need libraries to be a modern civilised nation
So it’s time to stand up now libraries need us

National UK news

  • Councils urged to sign up to digital inclusion campaign – Localgov. “The Spring Online campaign, run by Digital Unite in association with Carphone Warehouse, will provide access to computers at libraries, schools and other community places. Digital Unite is urging councils to help residents engage with technology, highlighting that 80% of all benefit applications are expected to be online after 2017.”
  • Find and add events – National Libraries Day. “Are you looking for a way to celebrate National Libraries Day? Or maybe you’d like to let others know about an event you’ve organised? Look no further – just check out our Google Map showing what’s happening on the day.”
  • Hillsborough information lead becomes CILIP Vice President – CILIP.  “Jan Parry, whose career at the Home Office included introducing a Whitehall-wide Ministerial briefing system, a programme tackling gangs and most recently the Information and Relationship Manager for the Hillsborough Independent Panel Secretariat, has been confirmed as Vice President of CILIP … As there were no nominations from members for the position of Vice President, in accordance with CILIP byelaws, the Elections Panel agreed that the Presidential team should consider suitable candidates according to the required criteria and compile a shortlist. The candidates were approached and the details of those willing to stand for the position were presented to CILIP Council who made the final decision.”
  • Improving council library and waste services – workshop – Guardian. “The future of libraries is always a contentious issue and one that people feel passionately about. So, how can the service be improved for the future? Sue Charteris, director of Equal Value Limited, said libraries are finding that health and social care partners are prepared to invest in initiatives that promote health and increase social connections. She has talked in the past about a campaign Reading Well, Books on Prescription, which provides help for adults for a range of issues including anxiety and depression. • How can libraries be reinvested in a Kindle age? • How can they work better with partners? • What new technologies can improve the service? • What examples are there from abroad?”
  • Row over DCMS library closure statistics – BookSeller. “A new Department of Culture, Media and Sport library report estimating that only 90 static libraries have closed in the UK since 2010 has been described as “bonkers” and “a farce” by library campaigners.” … looks at controversy quoting Public Libraries News, Desmond Clarke and Laura Swaffield.
  • Show me the money – Question Everything. “The biggest problem we as campaigners have is there is no real opposition, Labour, Liberal Democrats or Tories. Whatever the impotient, incompetent cocktail of the three we get in Westminster in 2015, libraries still won’t be on the agenda. ” … “We have to be like Christians trying to stop persecution by Romans, not by fighting but by converting councillors into library fans.” … “We all know libraries enrich, inspire and improve anyone who steps into them but linking the sets of data together showing this in a quantitative way isn’t easy. What we have to do it act like the parties do, create simple key messages and keep repeating them to councillors and everyone we meet until we’re blue in the face” … “This is how the parties do it, facts and evidence doesn’t come into it. A simple message and we keep banging on about it.”

International news

  • 23 Things – 23 Mobile Things. Easy to use course on learning social media and other tools essential for the modern librarian.
  • 14,000 Latvians form human chain to deliver books to new library – Global Post (Latvia). “On Saturday, about 14,000 people in Latvia’s capital formed a human chain of book lovers to kick off Riga’s year as a 2014 European Capital of Culture. The crowd braved icy temperatures to pass library books — by hand — from the old National Library to the new building 1.2 miles (2 km) away. As you can see from this video, there was much dancing and rejoicing:” … “More than 2,000 books were passed to the new National Library, with the rest (about 4 million) to be delivered later in a more conventional manner. The new building — dubbed “Gaismas Pils” (Palace of Light) — was designed by Latvian-born US architect Gunnar Birkerts and will open in August.”
  • Closing libraries will impoverish the Netherlands: commission – Dutch News (Netherlands). “The large-scale closing of libraries will impoverish the Netherlands, a commission says in a report to be handed to the education minister on Tuesday. According to the report, closing libraries will lead to a less scholarly population, a knowledge economy which does not do so well, a worse education system and a less social society.” … “The commission says libraries are a social good and it wants to see physical libraries with digital content taking a central place in communities as a place to find information and to socialise with other people.”
  • Library and Heritage Centre will be a landmark – Designing Libraries. Amazing looking domed library: “Construction has begun on the $45.5 million building, designed by ARM Architecture, will be a nine-storey facility providing access to information through print collections and the latest multi-media platforms.  The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre will stretch over more than 6,000 square metres and will include a children’s exploration and discovery zone, a heritage centre repository and reading room, a youth area and individual and group study spaces. There will also be a coffee shop, an exhibition space, a major event room, and community spaces for meetings and learning programs. Library visits are expected to quadruple to reach a million per annum”
  • Open the libraries – Open the Libraries (France).  “impairment, inadequate, the opening hours of libraries prohibit many of us to access that noon, that night, that Sunday. Modeled on those offices, they penalize those who should be the primary beneficiaries: student employees, job seekers, teachers, and many others. You do not learn, it does not create scheduled between 9:30 and 18h, Monday to Saturday. Access to knowledge and culture to the greatest number should be a priority.”
  • Public libraries seek to rebrand – Philly.com (USA). “”You have to keep up with all of the trends,” said library director Christine King. “We want to dispel the notion that we all do is dispense books.” In seeking to rebrand itself, the library has embarked on an ambitious mission to change its image as a community center where visitors can attend workshops, take an exercise class, or see an art exhibit.”.

“We envision a place where everyone can grasp opportunity.” Willingboro Library mission statement

  • ‘Starbucks effect’ and the changing role of our libraries – KCRW Which Way LA? (USA). “Thanks to voter approval of Measure L in 2011, the 30 percent budget slash that wrought havoc on the system during the recession has been corrected.” … ““Thirty years ago people primarily came in and checked books out and left,” she said. “Now we have a whole lot of people coming in who want a comfy chair and a place to do their reading.” Patrons today, she said, look at the physical library more like a “third place” outside of home or office, where they can do work, ask for assistance, use wi-fi or computers: “It’s the Starbucks effect.”

Local UK news by authority

  • Brighton and Hove – The scheme will launch in west Cumbria tomorrow at the Workington Library Café on Oxford Street – Argus. “To improve people’s moods,Brighton and Hove City Council’s public health team is co-sponsoring a Happy Book scheme during January, which provides a wide range of mood-boosting titles in libraries across the city.” … “The campaign is backed by mental health charity Mind in Brighton and the national Reading Well scheme, which advises on prescriptions for those with depression, stress and anxiety.”
  • Cumbria – Shops, cafes and libraries sign up to protect Cumbria’s vulnerable – News and Star. “The Safe Place scheme has been set up to support vulnerable people who might be confused, scared, bullied, abused or harassed while they are out and about. A host of local centres have joined forces with Cumbria Police and jumped on board. They will display the scheme’s logo in their windows, showing people who are in need of help that the location is a safe place.” … “The scheme will launch in west Cumbria tomorrow at the Workington Library Café on Oxford Street.”
  • Derbyshire – Isolation concern if ‘essential’ library service cut – Burton Mail. “Derbyshire County Council is currently consulting with the public on whether to get rid of some mobile libraries which visit villages across the county, including South Derbyshire. Now Ticknall Parish Council has issued its concerns over the cuts saying: “If we lose the mobile library it would be sad because these are essential in rural villages like Ticknall.”

“It is more than just a library but a point of contact for many people where they meet people and have a talk whereas they might never see anybody.”

  • Manchester – An exclusive look inside Central Library – ITV. Four photographs of interior. “Renovations on Manchester’s Central Library are nearing completion. Work began in 2010 with tens of thousands of items being temporarily housed in a salt mine for preservation. The building is due to reopen to the public by the end of March at a total cost of around £48 million.” [It looks nice and modern but rather boring to me: let’s hope that the finished product has some panache and style – Ed.]
  • Plymouth – Spending on libraries may be slashed – Herald. “council hopes to slash the £2.8 million a year cost of running 17 libraries across the city. It plans to evolve libraries into “community hubs”, and is already rolling out WiFi across all city libraries.” … “existing libraries could also house police stations, housing and benefits offices, a one-stop shop for council services, perhaps even a doctor’s surgery. Each of these new users would pay rent to the council.”
  • Sheffield – Upperthorpe Library Readathon – Zest. “hildren from Netherthorpe Primary School will be among the first to take part in the Upperthorpe Library Readathon, organised by The Friends of Zest Group.”
  • Walsall – Birth of a ‘great’ idea will see babies signed up automatically at Walsall libraries – Walsall Advertiser. Babies “born in the borough will automatically become library members under a new scheme unveiled by Walsall Council. The initiative, which will see newborns registered under the government’s Tell Us Once system receive their very own library card, is being piloted in a bid to encourage more parents to use library services.”