National news

  • Anatomy of a non-crisis – Alan Gibbons. “In not one case has Mr Vaizey been ‘minded’ to intervene to defend the idea of a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ service even though these cuts are at least as drastic as those which led previous Culture Minister Andy Burnham to intervene in Wirral. At the time Mr Vaizey had an absolute hissy fit. Hypocrisy is not a word to be bandied about, but it is one that is hard to avoid. It is to be hoped that the government-commissioned Sieghart Review will not prove as toothless and ineffective as so many that have gone before it.”
  • Bookshop tips for public libraries – Black Country Librarian. “At Langley, which is small enough for us to get to know a lot of our regular customers, we often recommend particular books we think they’d enjoy, and there are a lot of coffee and cakes around too. But what we’re less good at is marketing this service and we don’t even have a lot of general If you love… then try this information around the library. I’m definitely going to do something about that! Toronto Public Library has some great book lists, including Read Alikes and Who’s Reading What lists with local celebrities and I also love some of the If you love this… graphics on and New Orleans Public Library.”
  • Stark warnings of library ’emergency’; hopes for new review – BookSeller. “Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman was also doubtful, saying: “While I have actively encouraged those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter to submit evidence to this new review before the deadline of 21st March, I can’t help wondering if this isn’t an attempt to kick the whole issue of delivering a meaningful nationwide public library service into the long grass, especially as this report will not be delivered until the end of the year with little chance of implementation before the next general election.” However, Barbara Band, president of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, welcomed the move. “I know some people have said we don’t need another review, but you don’t get action without these reviews. What we really need is a comprehensive statement of what constitutes a public library service. There is no definition, and councils are providing very different levels of service.”” Remarks from numerous library experts and commentators.


  • Salt Lake libraries forgive fines in exchange for food – KSL (USA). “The Salt Lake City Public Library System and the Utah  Food Bank have teamed up for the annual Food for Fines program. In the  program, $1 will be subtracted from patron’s overdue library fines for each  non-perishable food item donated. ” … “Shaw said the library hopes to double the nearly 6,500 pounds of donated food  items that they received in 2012.”

UK local news by authority

  • Doncaster – Meeting to discuss Bentley Library’s future – Star. “Bentley library is one of many which Doncaster Council is proposing to make community-managed.”
  • Hampshire – I’m with Oliver Twist when it comes to our libraries – News.In my family, being without a book is cause for mild palpitations, so thank goodness for the mobile library. What a fantastic idea – a lorry, lined with books, delivering them to the people who needed them and couldn’t get to the nearest library. Amazon eat your heart out.” … “Hampshire County Council wants to close one in four to save cash, including the one I used as a child. I understand the reasoning, but it’s such a shame that a lorry full of imaginary worlds, of knowledge and facts, should be binned.”

“There should be greater numbers of libraries, including mobile services, not fewer, for who delves into their Kindle or whatever for Jilly Cooper and comes out with Tess of the d’Urbervilles instead?”

  • Lincolnshire – Grantham Journal columnist: Jacon Stuart – Grantham Journal. “Among the most alarming of the claims that led to this legal challenge is that the decision was allegedly already made before public consultation began, making the planned cutbacks unlawful. If this is true this a huge breach of public trust, and needs to be dealt with very strongly.” … “The council has responded strongly, stating it will be presenting the “strongest possible defence” and I hope that its willingness to fight this review is evidence of properly following procedure. To have it any other way would be not only damning on this particular spending plan, but would cast a critical eye over other Lincolnshire County Council decisions.”
  • Lincolnshire – Latest news on Deepngs library campaign at meeting – Bourne Local. “The councils’ initial expression of interest in taking over Deepings Library was bounced back by the county council for being incomplete. But Coun Dilks said it had been impossible to come up with a complete business plan because councillors did not know where the library would end up. He said this was because the county council had been exploring the option of moving the service from its current location in High Street, Market Deeping, to the nearby Deepings Community Centre. Coun Dilks said: “It’s time for them to come clean now and tell us what’s going on. What they are expecting us to do is to put an expression of interest on a library that we don’t know when it’s going to be built, how big it will be or even if it will be built.”
  • Staffordshire  – Poll: Are libraries as important as they used to be? – Express and Star. “Officials at Staffordshire County Council say they are carrying out a review because there needs to be a greater focus on technology and providing services online. They are yet to reveal exactly what the changes could involve but they are analysing the responses and one option being considered is the ‘co-location of services.’ Are libraries as important as they used to be? Vote in our poll and have your say in the comments section:”  Council reports 12% less users in three years. Three comments all favourable to libraries.
  • Swindon – Air your thoughts on town’s library service – This is Wiltshire. Council says ““We are facing unprecedented financial challenges and have to find savings of £48m over the next three years. To do that we need to look closely at how we deliver services and make changes to reflect our financial position. “I would urge anyone who values and has an interest in the library service to let us know how they would like to see the service operate in the future so we can shape the service to meet their needs.””