National news

  • Book Cover blending – St Helen’s Libraries / Pinterest. A great idea of holding book covers by the side of faces: very effective and really easy to do.  [The library staff clearly enjoyed doing this and makes me think that it’d be a great way to publicise bookstock – Ed.]
  • Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee – National Assembly for Wales. Transcript of public session of inquiry into public libraries in Wales, concentrating on their impact on those who are disabled. old or children.
  • George Kerevan: Want to get ahead? Get a book – Scotsman. “Public libraries are also taking a hammering. According to the Reading Agency [sic – actually it was this website – Ed.], last year 474 libraries were shut, transferred to volunteers, or scheduled for closure. That’s more than 10 per cent of the UK total. When a government minister blethers about taking tough decisions remember that means there will be fewer books.”
  • Go ON UK CEO demands greater Basic Online Skills investment – Go ON UK. “In addition to the moral and social case for ensuring everyone in the UK can use the web by 2020, the economic case is overwhelming.  Booz & Company recently estimated an economic benefit of £63 billion if the UK was a world leader in digital infrastructure, services and skills. It’s time to stop making excuses”
  • How government can engage with citizens online: expert views – Guardian / Public Leaders Network.  No mention of libraries, apart from in comments. Some useful ideas though.
  • Mutuals – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. “It’s not a ‘road to Damascus’ moment when they suddenly say “we need to embrace worker control for the good of society” it’s a cynical and ideological attempt to shrink the state and to introduce more private finance and risk into public services at the same time making more money for themselves and their mates who just happen to control/own most of the private finance.” … “I can fully understand the passion and commitment of the staff involved and wouldn’t like to be in their position but just like communities forced to take on the running of libraries it’s a gun to the head.”.
  • What should I wear on World Book Day? – Guardian / Children’s books.  Some great ideas for a last minute fancy dress costume.


  • 11 of the Strangest Public Libraries in the World – Next City.  Some amazing libraries, with special mention to the beautiful Southfield Public Library in Michigan: “The children’s section of this library in a Detroit suburb features such whimsical details as a storybook entrance way, telephone sets that read stories on demand, and several Dr. Seuss-inspired statues like that of the “two-horned drouberhannis” and “andulovian grackler.” The director of the Southfield Library has said, “There is not another children’s area in the world that is dramatic as ours.””
  • Libraries: we’re harder than you think – Matthew Finch (Australia).  A challenge to those who think cutting public libraries will be a walkover.
  • Public library mobile kiosk – Book of Words (Taiwan). ” I saw this mobile library kiosk at a train station and thought that this is a such a brilliant public library initiative. Owned by the Taipei Public Library, this automated machine is modeled very similarly to how regular vending machine works, allowing users to borrow and return books 24/7. The only thing you need is a library card and you will be allowed to check out any of the hundreds of book titles displayed for free.”
  • What it’s like to work as a librarian – Times of Malta (Malta).  A look at the National Library of Malta. A very quiet well-dressed librarian explains the job amid film of tons of old books on shelves. Job means being a “jack of all trades” but “it’s not rocket science”. Humidity levels appear important. Digitisation occurring.


  • Why empowering public libraries with technology is so important – EIFL (Uganda). “Public libraries in developing countries serve as critical information and ICT access points for people in their communities. There are over 100 public and community libraries spread across Uganda. But many of these known and trusted information service providers do not have electricity, computers or internet connections. The Connect Uganda Project is supported by a grant from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme.”


UK local news by authority

  • Brent – Library campaigners host radio event to celebrate St David’s Day – Brent and Kilburn Times. “Crowds turned up to listen to Members of Friends of Preston Library (FOPL) do an unrehearsed read-through of Dylan Thomas’ play Under Milk Wood.” … ““We didn’t know how many people would turn up nor how this would be able to be performed but it was a success and we received support from as far afield as the Welsh society of Chicago.””
  • Darlington – Darlington sex offender jailed after defying child ban six times – Northern Echo. “Prosecutor David Crook said his latest offence was to become a member at Darlington Library, which he was forbidden from doing because it could have brought him into contact with children using it for educational visits. Bland admitted joining the library when he was visited at home by a police officer who was carrying out a risk management review of him. When questioned he went on to say he was also a member of Teesside and Bishop Auckland libraries.”
  • East Sussex – Public’s views help shape new services at Hastings Library – Hastings Observer. “East Sussex County Council asked for people’s opinions about their priorities for library service provision and preferences for opening hours. A total of 1,233 people responded by completing a short survey or submitting their comments on a postcard or post-it note. The most important services, according to respondents, were a good choice of books and access to information on local services, groups and events. Convenient opening times during the week and on Saturdays were also highlighted.”
  • Peterborough – libraries add new research material – Peterborugh Telegraph. “Launched in January 2014, the site gives free access to 1.5 million academic full text articles on a wide variety of topics. However, the website can only be accessed in Peterborough libraries using library computers.”