@publiclibnews IMHOlibraries are a jewel in the crown of our social landscape. As much temples for the lonely as feeding houses for the mind

— Ragged University (@RaggedTalks) March 3, 2014


National news

  • 23 Things UK – “the free online course which introduces library staff to social networking, online tools and mobile technology”. Revised and updated. “The course is self-directed and unstructured and will point you in the direction of where to explore. We want you to browse, play and experiment! At the end of each Thing, you’ll find some activities, which you HAVE to do if you want to claim to have done the course, and some recommended follow-ups which are simply to allow you to explore further if you want to. Record your progress, thoughts and activities on your blog, which you’ll create in the first module.”

“As part of the Centenary Commemorations of WW1 libraries are invited to  take part in Private Peaceful Day on 31 March … Schools have been invited to special screenings of the film at 100 cinemas  across the UK. Michael Morpurgo will take part in a live Q&A via satellite  after the screening to discuss the issues surrounding the film. This will also  coincide with Cityread London’s launch of Private Peaceful as its junior title  this year. Libraries are able to buy the DVD of Private Peaceful at a special rate of  £4.50 (+ VAT inc P&P) to include the rental/screening licence. HarperCollins  has designed a poster for libraries available shortly. Libraries can order  online  … For more information please contact info@fluidityfilms.com or  visit www.privatepeaceful.co.uk

  • Public Library E-lending Pilots Launched – Society of Authors. “The Publishers Association (PA) and the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) have announced the launch of a yearlong pilot for e-lending in public libraries. The aim of the pilot is to carry out real-time, real-world research into the impact of ebook lending in public libraries on authors, publishers and on the library service so that a suitable and sustainable model for all stakeholders can be found” … “The four library authorities participating in the pilots are Vivacity Peterborough, Newcastle City Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and Derbyshire County Council. Library customers in these authorities will be able to access a list of over 1000 titles which are not currently available in other authorities for e-lending, including new releases which will be phased in during the pilot year. Loan periods will be for either 7 day or 21 day periods.”

The digital revolution in the UK publishing industry is going to transform the way books are borrowed, and it is vital that libraries explore how to make e-lending practical for their customers. This is an important step. William Sieghart, Author of the Sieghart Review.

  • Why is there only one Monopolies Commission? A reply to Leon Bolton – Tom Roper’s Weblog. “is competition. To take my own case, I am a member of CILIP, but also of EAHIL and the Medical Library Association; I have in the past been a member of the Special Library Association too. I’ve worked with, and been part of many networks of information professionals, some of which have had links with CILIP and its predecessor organisations, and some of which have not. For the young library and information professional, there’s no shortage of choice of organisations and platforms to join in order to learn and develop.” … “I can think of nothing that would gladden Ed Vaizey more than if CILIP were to dissolve itself into a loose, informal network. I know very well that CILIP has its faults, but better to bring a sense of purpose back to the organisation back than to abandon it. If we tackle the decline in membership and if we assert our professional values against their enemies in government and elsewhere, we have a future.”

International news

  • Boise Library Wants To Revive Sunday Hours, Offer Airport ‘Digital Branch’ – Boise Weekly (USA). “library officials have been huddling with their information technology department and Boise airport Director Rebecca Hupp to develop what they’re calling a digital library at the airport. The proposal is to construct a kiosk at the airport that would provide spaces for people to sit, read and/or plug in their electronic devices. The kiosk is also expected to include some tabletop tablets preloaded with magazines for passengers while they’re waiting for their departures. The kiosk is being modeled on a similar digital library branch at the Philadelphia airport.”
  • Closing of British Libraries – Library Journal / Annoyed Librarian. “there’s another way of thinking of libraries: “What if libraries simply provide pleasure, enlightenment, civilisation, respite? I can think of no better reason to save them.” I don’t know how that will play out in Britain, but something like that seems to work better in America for some reason. I’m sure there are Americans who are swayed by the ROI argument about libraries, but surely most library supporters think about the other positive, nonremunerative things libraries do: story hours, support for children’s literacy, leisure reading for adults, Internet access for the poor, even Third Places, etc. The library supporters are in the minority, and because American support for public libraries seems less top down than in British libraries, it’s harder to gain control over the government entities that fund them. If the federal government cut out all library funding, that would hurt libraries, but not destroy them.”

  • Why I love libraries – Highland Park Public Library (USA).
  • Saving Our Public Libraries in a Paperless World – Simplicity 2.0 (USA). “the Internet makes libraries more important than ever, because the library becomes the primary resource for people who don’t have computers or the Internet at home. Libraries also become a resource for learning how to use computers and the Internet, such as through free or low-cost classes for the community” … “Paperless is good. Libraryless is not.”

UK local news by authority

  • Derbyshire – County Council open credit union points – Chad. Council “is opening up credit union collection points in its libraries to encourage residents to use them to start saving and as a source of safe, affordable loans. The council recently approved £360,000 to help credit unions provide loans to more residents on low incomes who may be tempted by payday loan companies and other high risk borrowing. And it has now opened up collection points for Bolsover-based 2 Shires Credit Union at its libraries in Clowne, Creswell and Shirebrook making it easier for people to visit.”
  • Leicestershire – Librarians being put in firing line – Leicester Mercury / Letters. “The plans seem to be to make many librarians redundant and hope the smaller libraries will be run by community volunteers. When Cameron talked of his Big Society, I actually said to my friends, in so many words, that it almost certainly would involve sacking librarians and hoping they, or someone else, would run libraries for no pay.”
  • Leicestershire – Library cuts looming – Leicester Mercury. “the county council will begin   discussing    ways of shaving  £800,000 from its £5.5million  libraries budget” … “Many parish councils have been talking about running the libraries, because they are community hubs, staging job clubs and other activities.”
  • Lincolnshire – An open Letter to Mr Ed Vaizey MP re Lincolnshire Libraries – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. Point out that Ed Vaizey’s comments while in opposition are in direct contradiction of current DCMS policies.
  • York – New chapter for city’s libraries – Press. “There will be no library closures on her watch, she says. And there will continue to be professional staff in every York library.” … “The city’s library service is going through an uncertain period. From April 1, it will cease to be under city council control. Instead, the 16 libraries and the city archive will be run by a new, independent charity: a “community benefit society”.” … “It will be a tough challenge, but we look forward to her delivering on that. Libraries are simply too important to be allowed to wither through lack of adequate funding.”.