• Repair cafes – “Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). The types of items that can be repaired and reused include clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances and toys.”


  • Alice’s Adventures in Libraries – Sponsume. “Our mission is to stage theatrical interpretations of classic novels in libraries, creating innovative and exciting re-workings.  We want to reinvent the library as a space of inspiration, encouraging communities to explore their local libraries, promoting wider reading and a new generation of theatre-goers.  Our performances are accessible for those who usually have little-to-no access to theatre, due to financial or social barriers.” crowdfunding for new performance in libraries. 
  • Bibliotherapy in public libraries – Black Country Librarian. ” They are not brightly coloured, obviously cheery books (in fact their covers are nearly all dreary and dull) and it did cross my mind that the library budget could be better spent. But perhaps I’m missing the point – these are just the kind of books we should be encouraging people to read to boost their moods”
  • Can’t Give ‘Em Away – Laurie Graham. Would-be donator of books is frustrated by attitude of library staff who refuse donations due to cost of cataloguing them which is seen as  “a dead-head defeatist attitude. And you know I’d have been a lot more forgiving if the librarians I spoke to today had displayed the slightest hint of regret or frustration. That’s what happens to you when you work long enough in the public sector.” [I have some sympathy with this: my library welcomes donations and we get a ton of good books out of it, with the others being sold – Ed.]
  • Ed pops up – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. Regarding Ed Vaizey’s visit to Northamptonshire Libraries to highlight its initiatives: “what Ed, the press and the councillors didn’t mention was the unscheduled closuresredundancies, budget cuts, thefall in visitor figures and the use of volunteers not only to prop the service up but also to substitute paid staff. Concernshave also been raised about collocating ‘children’s centres’ with libraries” … “I find the report on Ed Vaizey’s visit to Northants depressing and distressing. It is not at all in tune with what I hear from former colleagues who have nearly all lost their jobs. The report from 2013 presents a truer picture of the situation”
  • Expert panel for review of Welsh public libraries announced – Alyson’s Welsh Libraries blog. “The panel will be chaired by Claire Creaser, Director of LISU, Loughborough University, and also includes Dr Steve Davies from Cardiff University, Peter Gomer from the Welsh Local Government Association and Professor Hywel Roberts, library expert of Wales. The panel will review local authorities’ delivery plans for public library services across Wales,  consider alternative service models that provide a more efficient and effective library service, based on collaboration and joint procurement, seek information from each local authority on their proposed changes and commission research on the likely impact of changes.”
  • Importance of Public Libraries to SMEs – IS4profit. “Public libraries were once considered to be outdated institutions. However, there has been a recent resurgence; with the image of the public library transforming from outdated and old fashioned into an important resource for SMEs, start ups and entrepreneurs”

“the role of the public library has dramatically transformed into a hub offering advice and resources to budding entrepreneurs, SMEs and start up businesses. However, it is essential that aspiring business people understand the options available to them. These libraries could be falling at the last hurdle by failing to promote their business and enterprise resources and it is essential that up-and-coming business minds understand that one of the most powerful and useful business tools could be found in their local town centre.”

  • My (totally withdrawn) challenge to new librarians: create your own Library degree – Real Wikiman. ” Can I just point out that this isn’t my ‘answer’ to the problem of the LIS degree, it’s a suggestion that someone attempt a different route through the existing environment, rather than a suggested model for a new environment. It’s a thought experiment around the idea that anyone who undertakes the degree now (assuming they’re working full time to support it – obviously if you have funding then much of the below doesn’t apply) has to invest an enormous amount of time and money, and I’m not sure they couldn’t use the time and money differently and get a more interesting result”
  • Robert Muchamore goes after fellow children’s writers with ‘big samurai sword’ – Guardian. “The bestselling children’s writer Robert Muchamore has written an extraordinary diatribe in which he  says that “trivial” concerns about closing libraries and slashed arts budgets make him want to go on a “slaughter a whining lefty” spree.” … “Muchamore went on to say that he was not anti-library, rather “anti bombast”, adding that if he were a local councillor facing a choice between a library, meals on wheels or mental health provision, libraries would come third.”. Others, include Alan Gibbons and Jeff Norton disagree.

“”Michael Rosen gave a speech about how libraries are closing and ‘Gove’ is ruining education, and blah, blah whatever. Then Francesca Simon gave a speech about how libraries are closing and publishers don’t give authors a chance anymore. Then Patrick Ness gave a speech about … TBH I can’t remember but it was the same shit,” Robert Muchamore

  • The wonderful thing about standards is there’s so many of them…” – RFID: Changing Libraries for Good. “One of the fields used in ISO 28560 is something called the ISIL (International Standard Identifier for Libraries). Basically it’s an identifier that shows which library actually owns the item that’s been tagged. In the UK this number is supplied by the British Library’s ISIL agency other countries have similar agencies and many use their OCLC ID (also valid under the terms of ISO 28560). Many libraries may never have occasion to use this information but since it costs nothing to add it (the space is reserved for it anyway) I am at something of a loss to understand why everyone isn’t doing this. articularly if they seek to emulate the national lending system that operates in Denmark for example. There, items may be freely borrowed and returned from any location in the country  – all managed by the ISIL.”
  • Ten ideas to reinvent the library – Francesca Wakefield. Ideas include more e-lending, community centres, Maker Spaces, filter and tailor information, communities purchasing threatened libraries, bibliotherapy, gaming, repair cafes,  innovation incubators, hybrid library/community centre/cinema/café.


  • 100 Libraries to Follow on Facebook – Matt Anderson (USA).  “Previously, I did a post called 100 Libraries to Follow on Twitter. This is a follow-up…a list of active libraries that provide great content on Facebook. They are quick to respond to people’s comments and questions, and the public is utilizing their Facebook pages. If you are trying to learn about what leading libraries are doing, check out the following 100 Facebook pages”
  • Supervisor Don Knabe to spend $45 million to improve libraries, including Los Nietos facility – Whittier Daily News (USA). “Knabe, who will be termed out of office in December 2016, said he’s trying to accomplish his “own little bucket list.”” … ““In the last three years, the library has seen more than eight million people pass through their doors and more than nine million books and videos have been checked out”.

UK local news by authority

  • Bristol – Honeycomb book hive celebrates library’s 400th anniversary – BBC.Hundreds of old books have been turned into an animatronic honeycomb hive sculpture which will interact with lenders at Bristol Central Library. The hive is made up of hexagonal frames with movement sensors that react as people walk past, making the pages of the books rustle and creak. The display is also designed to allow visitors to smell the old books as they open and close in the hive. It has been built to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the library.”
  • Dorset – Official opening of Dorchester Library and Learning Centre – Dorset for you (council webpage). “Minette Walters, England‘s bestselling female crime author, will be marking the occasion by unveiling a plaque in front of invited guests and dignitaries as well as library customers and staff. The ceremony will be on 20 February at 11.30am and everyone is welcome. There are also opportunities for people to join guided tours of the facility in the afternoon. The stunning centre on South Walks in Dorchester is the first new library in the county for more than a decade, and since it opened in July, has attracted over 1,000 new library members.  Each month over 12,000 local people and visitors pass through the doors to take advantage of the modern, spacious facilities right in the heart of the county town.”.  Space doubled.
  • East Sussex – Building work at new Seaford Library nears completion – Newsroom (council webpage). “The £6million development will include a new library and café, supported living flats for adults with learning disabilities and offer services for older people.”
  • East Sussex – Works of art to be commissioned for libraries in Newhaven and Seaford – Sussex Express. “East Sussex County Council’s Library and Information Service was awarded £56,000 from the Arts Council England’s Lottery Funding for the pieces. The money will also be put towards a work of art for Hastings Library.”
  • Sefton – Pulped fiction – council dispose of 34,000 library books following closures – Crosby Herald. “An estimated 24% of the total withdrawn stock will be passed on to a book collection company who share the revenue of any sales made. A tiny profit of £448.10 has so far found its way back into council coffers through this process, with the vast majority of books set to be destroyed. The figures, which were revealed following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, show that 56,981 books, CDs, and DVDs were retained within the library service.
    Only 5,000 items (or 3% of the total stock) were donated to Sefton organisations with the majority going to schools” … “Ironically, given the council’s recent decision to reject bids from community groups in Crosby and Aintree to run their libraries, over 28,674 items have been retained by the council “as possible donations to community library groups”
  • Sheffield – Compromise on how to run libraries and wait for a change in the climate – Sheffield Telegraph / Letters.  “We would like to see the council fighting to retain the library with a librarian – to weather the storm until a time that the library can be taken back fully under council control. The council has identified that libraries are essential to health and well-being, hence accessing funds from budgets relevant to this. It is vital for Sheffield to look beyond the current strictures to the city it wants for the future. If it can retain its libraries, the financial and political landscape may be very different in a year or so – and we can all feel proud that we resisted national attempts to dismantle and demoralise communities in our city.”
  • Sheffield – Library cash could be a ‘poisoned chalice’ – Star.coming up with this money and making people bid for it is not enough. “I am a bit concerned that this is a bit of a poisoned chalice. Every site really needs to have a member of staff – even part-time. “What the council have really said is we’re not going to change our position, we’ll come up with a little bit of funding, but it doesn’t really change the model that was proposed last year.”.  See also Sheffield – Council ‘listens’ to library fears with cash but protest fight goes on – Sheffield Telegraph.
  • Staffordshire – County Council looking at £1.5 million library cuts – Stoke Sentinel. “more than £1.5 million of cuts to Staffordshire’s libraries over the next  three years. Staffordshire County Council launched a review of its library service last month  with cabinet members claiming changes were needed to make it fit for the 21st  century. But now it has emerged the authority is looking at slashing the £9 million  libraries budget by £1.525 million by 2017.” …. “Mr Farrelly believes the level of the ‘projected savings’ means some libraries  will have to be shut, despite previous assurances from council leaders that  there would be no closures” … “Mr Lawrence said the £1.5 million figure was only a target, and could change  once more information became available”.
  • Suffolk – Councillors help Haverhill Library to Get Connected – Haverhill Echo. “Haverhill county councillors popped in to the town’s library to see for themselves how funding they provided is helping it to provide a better service. Councillors Anne Gower, Julian Flood and Tony Brown each gave £500 from their locality budgets to The Friends of Haverhill Library, money it put towards the installation and maintenance of the library’s Wi-Fi.” …. “Haverhill is one of 30 libraries in Suffolk with Wi-Fi.”