If you have any news, views, corrections or comments please send them to ianlibrarian@live.co.uk, thank you.

National News

  • Edge live blog – Suffolk Libraries. Summaries and tweets on the Edge conference on libraries in Edinburgh.
  • Heads in the clouds – Leon’s Library Blog. “one of the problems with Cilip is that it has no competition  and as we all know it’s competition that drives up standards” … “Nowadays, when so much can be accomplished online and membership engagement is so low one question is why do we need the trappings of a professional body at all, including an expensive London based office?” … “in a time of social media, web based networks, unconferences, and single issue campaigns (library closures a case in point) do we need a traditional professional organisation at all or would it be better replaced with an ever evolving online library community?” [See the 110 page ALA annual report for a sense of how much more the US gets for their money than the UK equivalent (the UK one is glossy but barely a handful of pages: they also pay less for membership – Ed.]
  • Let’s reclaim “community” – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. “‘Community Libraries’ instead of meaning ‘a local public library based in the community’ now means ‘a volunteer-led library’ where because of closure local people have been forced to take on the running of the service. Another example is ‘Community Hub’ which now means an existent library or new build being used as a one stop shop for a host of other council/NHS (even post offices!) services, this can often lead to the core library service being diminished and library staff taking on other tasks, roles and responsibilities but at the same time having their terms and conditions cut.”
  • Loss of community services could have devastating impact – Penarth Times. “Sarah Rochira said: “Older people consistently raise with me the need for a greater focus on the importance of key local and community services, such as buses and community transport, public toilets, pavements, public seating, outdoor areas, libraries, leisure facilities, community and day centres. There is real concern among many older people that these vital services are disappearing, which will have a devastating impact on their lives.”
  • Privatisation helps west London libraries turn over new leaf – Guardian / Public Leaders Network. “Ealing, Harrow and Brent councils are on target to save £30m by contracting out management of libraries and leisure services.” … “… bringing Carillion into the contract has created the potential to boost the influence of Ealing, Harrow and Brent councils on the wider joint-purchasing agenda, according to Keith Townsend, Ealing’s executive director for environment and customer services.”.  See comments including “This really is the worst sort of advertorial masquerading as news. Could the Guardian not be bothered to interview library users or staff?”
  • Supporting Digital Access to Information and Services: Geo-locator – SCL. “The hub of this project is to create a geographically and postcode searchable database of health information held by local authorities and locally based providers, linking the national resources of information and services held on NHS Choices and other national health related websites as appropriate, to the locally generated information, advocacy and services provided by Local Authorities, the Voluntary Sector and independent organisations”
  • Why are we reviewing our governance structure? – CILIP. “Comparisons with other professional bodies show that CILIP’s governance structure is the most traditional kind and other models are now preferred. The aim of any change is to create a more robust governance structure that allows for better decision making and accountability. ” See also Governance FAQs.

International News

  • “A Very Small Satisfaction”: Oscar-Nominated Rithy Panh on Cambodia’s Missing Pictures – Truth Out (Cambodia).  “If you are a politician and you don’t invest in libraries, in culture, in cinema, you are a criminal.” … “You have the Hun Sen Library at Royal University of Phnom Penh, but it’s not enough, for 14 million people. And when you go inside their homes, there are a lot of videos, but no books.”
  • Are ebooks good or bad for public libraries? – Public Libraries (USA). “The bottom line is, more and more libraries and librarians are choosing to see ebooks and ereaders not as doomsday omens, but as yet another way that they can encourage the public to keep reading and learning. They realize that clinging to the hardcover past is a quick route to obscurity and irrelevance. And they believe that everyone should have access to the resources they need to become successful in their careers and in their lives.”
  • Book thieves stole 70,144 books from the Brooklyn Public Library in 2012 – New York Daily News (USA). “Library workers blame cutbacks for the large number of thefts, which spiked dramatically from 2011, when 61,543 books were never returned. At the Brooklyn Heights branch, staff has been slashed from 30 employees to 20 over the past five years, largely due to city budget cuts. In 2010, 71,087 books vanished.”
  • Building Idaho Makers: a statewide approach – Idaho Commission for Libraries (USA).  A look at what has worked and what is being developed in producing Maker Spaces throughout Idaho libraries.  Many pictures and easy to understand points. [It shows how far behind the UK in this field: this is getting embarrassing – Ed.].
  • Nine Reasons to Save Public Libraries – IVN (USA). Reasons are (1) Home of the 99%, (2) libraries build equity (3) Community hope chest (local history) (4) renewable resource (5) literacy (6) level the playing field (7) safe space (8) cultural touchstone (9) drop in or drop out.

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just people to stop reading them” Ray Bradbury, quoted in Save My Library

  • Public Libraries Are Doing Well In India, Thank You – India Spend (India). “India’s Ministry of Culture has increased spending on public libraries over the last four years from Rs 57.5 crore to Rs 130 crore in 2013-14. And the estimate for 2014-15 is Rs 199 crore” … “The core idea of NLM is to build six libraries under Ministry of Culture, 35 state central libraries and 35 district libraries with emphasis on economically backward districts as model Libraries. In addition, 629 district libraries across the states would be provided network connectivity.”

Supporter message

  • New titles available on Very Short Introductions online – Very Short Introductions is OUP’s newest online resource, providing access to hundreds of titles in this prestigious series on an easily discoverable, fully cross-searchable, and highly accessible format. From African Religions to Family Law, discover what’s new to the site this month!


  • Swindon Stock Transition Officer (temporary) – “Looking for an experienced individual with knowledge of libraries or the book trade for a one year project post. Self-starter, with well-developed organisational skills, and innovative ideas about transforming stock work and processes to ensure cost efficiency and effectiveness.”

Local news by UK authority

  • Kirklees – Denby Dale community library project lodged with Kirklees – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Led by local councillor, Jim Dodds, the Denby Dale Community Group quickly drew up plans, gained charitable trust status and secured much of the funding to make the £¼m project viable. The group was set to submit its plans before Christmas but Clr Dodds has revealed that he discovered a saving of almost £1,000 was possible by having Denby Dale Parish Council propose the application” … “The application says the group intends to provide a “flexible community building which can have multiple uses, including facilities for community groups, charitable causes and the local library, as well as community spaces that can be rented by private individuals.” Public consultation runs until March 17. The project has come about because the future of village libraries was under threat”
  • Leicestershire – County council approve cost-cutting budget – Loughborough Echo. Council “rubber stamped proposals, which will see libraries in the hands of volunteers, up to 700 job losses and Council Tax frozen in 2014/15” … “Coun Richard Blunt, lead member for heritage, leisure and arts, said: “No one went into Government for the cuts we are going to see in libraries. If people are going to volunteer and come forward and run our libraries they are going to need support from us and we are going to provide that support. “I am heartened that so many people are coming forward. They are community hubs already. They are no longer places of quiet learning. Libraries will be better than the ones we have got now.””
  • Lincolnshire – ‘If campaigners want to go to court to save Lincolnshire libraries, they should pay for it’ – Lincolnshire Echo.  Online version of article first reported here.
  • Lincolnshire – Sentinel: Hospital supplier, bridge, cinema, council meetings – Boston Standard. “Speaking of libraries and the county council – the authority’s leader bore the brunt of criticism from Public Libraries News’ editorial. Coun Hill claimed the people taking a judicial review out against the decision to cut the libraries budget should foot the bill themselves. Yes that’s right peasants – behave yourselves, keep quiet and abide by the decisions handed down by your lords and masters won’t you? Safe to say Public Libraries News isn’t too impressed with his suggestion. Sentinel reckons Coun Hill should have the courage to stand by his policy and defend it rather than worrying about cutting off a democratic path for protestors to take…”
  • Staffordshire – Library at heart of rural village Stoke Sentinel. “The library in Audley is a vital part of village life and any closure would cause real hardship to its residents. This library also houses a children’s centre, an active book club and a work club. The welcoming smile of the librarians is  the highlight of many older people’s day. It seems perverse that the Tory led government are forever talking about localism, and yet the Tory-led county council seem hell bent on destroying local facilities.”
  • Suffolk – Award for Suffolk Libraries Get Connected events – Suffolk Libraries. “We won the Digital category award at this year’s EDGE library conference in Edinburgh for our series of “Get Connected” events. (Follow our live event blog.) The awards recognise innovative library and information projects which demonstrate the benefits of library services to communities. At the events we provide advice on our online services, such as free wifi, ebook loans and free MP3s and streaming. Anyone can come along with their tablet, phone or ereader so they can get the services set up. Services we offer Free wifi at over 30 branches Over 6000 ebooks to borrow 3 million songs to download or stream