A full judicial review to the deep cuts on Lincolnshire’s library service have been allowed by the High Court on all four grounds.  This will be a historic case as it will be the first to challenge on the “comprehensive and efficient” terminology of the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.  All other challenges have been on other grounds, notably the Equalities Act.

Wales has become the first constituent part of the United Kingdom to start automatic library membership in schools.  Every primary schoolchild will be allowed to borrow two books “straight away”, with full lending privileges given when proof of address has been given. Following on my post yesterday, lauding the Welsh for actually having things like standards and a national marketing strategy, Librariesmatter has kindly supplied me with the figures for the different nations. Let’s have a look …

Based on Cipfa 2012/13. Per 1000 head per population.
Based on Cipfa 2012/13. Per 1000 head per population. 

So Wales and Scotland have more visitors per 1000 population (and Wales wins out on book issues too) than England but they spend more money to do it.

Cipfa nations graph

England spends considerably less than the other nations on libraries per 1000 population. A lot less compared to Scotland.  Presumably the more widely spread out population has something to do with that.

England comes out on top on average though.

Which means English cost per issue and visit is the lowest, despite having less visitors and issues than Wales.


On the radar

  • Bromley – “Drastic cuts planned” in opening hours and staffing.


  • ACE to fund research gaps – Museum Association. “… there is a need for larger sample sizes, longitudinal studies and experimental methods. For example, there is no up-to-date information on the economic impact of museums and libraries and how they contribute to the wider economy, or longitudinal studies of the health benefits of participation in arts and culture. In a statement, ACE said: “While there is a considerable body of research literature, there are also many gaps. The evidence review has acted as a catalyst in our thinking and we will be committing substantial research grants to cover those areas where there is a lack of data.””
  • Schools – Welsh Libraries. “Welsh libraries and schools are joining forces to provide every primary school child with a free library card – starting with children aged 8/9 in six local authorities: Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Powys, Swansea, Flintshire and Gwynedd.  This card will allow children to borrow two books straight away. Once proof of address is provided, they can then have access to thousands of free books as well as many more resources to help improve their school work and enhance their leisure time”
  • Work of the Arts Council (England) – Parliament.uk. Written submissions to the CMS Select Committee Inquiry including several library-related: Society of Chief Librarians, Desmond Clarke, Shirley Burnham, Friends of Charmouth Library, Geoffrey Dron, Ian Anstice [that’s me – Ed.], Maurice Nauta and Alan Wylie.


  • 5 great examples how individual libraries promote themselves with infographics – Ebook Friendly. ” More and more infographics are being created by individual libraries. All the examples collected below were created in recent weeks. If infographics are a great and effective tool to draw attention of the online community, they’ll surely achieve the same in local communities and among library patrons.”
  • Abandonment of Kuwait’s libraries – Kuwait Times. State has 27 libraries, which are often segregated on different days for men and women.  Usage is incredibly low – perhaps four visits per day per library.  Users are charged a deposit if they want to take out a book.
  • Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant Program for Public Libraries & Public Schools – Ezra Jack Keats (USA). “a funding initiative called Minigrants, through which awards of $500 are given to public schools and public libraries for projects that foster creative expression, working together and interaction with a diverse community”
  • Gates Foundation Awards $2.97 Million Grant For South African Public Library Project – Library Journal (South Africa). “The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) together with the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) will launch the Gates Foundation Global Libraries’ Project in South Africa as part of celebrating the South African Library Week. The event will take place on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at the National Library of South Africa in Pretoria. The NLSA has been awarded a R32 Million [$2.977 Million/USD] Grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support a pilot project to strengthen selected Public Libraries in South Africa.”
  • Improving the reader’s experience with e-books in public libraries – Panlibus / Capita (USA). “Back in the summer of 2012, New York Public Library (NYPL) wrote a feature for Panlibus, titled “The value of public libraries into the e-reading ecosystem”. Since then the ecosystem has evolved and within NYPL, the e-reading service offered to their patrons today has greatly improved and continues to develop as a core feature of their collection strategy and the digital user experience.”
  • Library director sounds alarm on heroin use in downtown Ann Arbor library – Michigan Live (USA). “Library Director Josie Parker showed up to speak out against the council’s resolution on behalf of the library board, which asked the city to take a step back. “We’re not saying ‘no park.’ We’re saying take the time to plan it properly in the context of what is truly occurring downtown,” Parker said, voicing concerns about drug use and drunk and disorderly behavior that already goes on both in and around the downtown library, where police are called on a regular basis” [There’s a few interesting things about this post: that the librarian speaks publicly without fear of dismissal, that the council then listens to her and that the library has a $250k per year security bill.  The UK has similar antisocial problems but the difference in responses makes the US seem very foreign sometimes – Ed.]

UK local news by authority

  • Brent – How will you vote in May? – Fight for Preston Library. Election video arguing against the reappointment of the councillors responsible for closing libraries.
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Agenda and appendices Cheshire West and Chester Council (p.36). Alternative methods of service delivery with £500k cut (2016-17), 12 FTE to be lost and bookfund cut (£280k cut) 2014/15.
  • Cornwall – Disappointment for St Just campaigners as library cuts are confirmed – Cornishman. “It was announced by Cornwall Council yesterday that reforms to library opening hours across the county would go ahead, helping to reduce the cost of the service by £400,000.”.  St Just schools had mobilised against the cuts but to no avail.
  • Doncaster – £109m Doncaster cuts budget set to be approved – Star. “News of the budget has been met with opposition, with many residents staging protests against the proposed closures and plans to make eight further  of the town’s libraries community   managed.”
  • Edinburgh – Edinburgh Libraries: Your Library – Panlibus / Capita. “This January saw the re-launch of Edinburgh’s My Library, which features links to more than 50 sites and apps and offers a single access point for all online resources and services. Edinburgh were shortlisted for the ‘Smart Governance’ Eurocities award for their outstanding transformation, offering a digital one-stop-shop that brings together the city’s library facilities with local information, services and activities and utilises seamless 24/7 mobile and online access.”
  • Edinburgh – Reading Rainbows scheme to hand out free books to under fives – Edinburgh Reporter. “Around 1200 four-year-olds across the capital will receive two brand new books each, specially chosen to inspire youngsters to read and share stories. Reading Rainbows, launched in Edinburgh last year, aims to spark a love of reading amongst under-fives, giving them the best start when they begin school. The project is also designed to support parents and carers to share books and stories with their children, encouraging them to think about the tales together and to visit libraries more often.” … “Reading Rainbows was implemented in 2013 by City of Edinburgh Council’s Library and Information Service and Children and Families Service and focuses on areas of disadvantage across the city. The initiative addresses the fact that, in Scotland, children receive free book packs between birth and the age of three and once they turn five from the Scottish Book Trust, but nothing when they are four.”
  • Lincolnshire – Full Judicial Review of Library Service to go ahead – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. “On Friday 14th March the High Court granted permission for the application for judicial review of Lincolnshire County Council to go ahead. The challenge is being brought against the council’s proposals to cut the library service by £2 million.”.  Allowed to challenge on all of the grounds (decision taken before consultation, ignorance of Equalities Act, failure to consider offer by GLL and failure to be “comprehensive and efficient”. See also Judicial review into Lincolnshire libraries cuts approved – Lincolnite and Library cuts face new probe by High Court – Spalding Today. “Maurice Nauta, who managed the county’s libraries between 1988 and 2002, said: “I feel that only a full inquiry will be sufficient to properly address the strong evidence that there is serious doubt as to whether the council is complying with its legal obligation to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service.” and Lincolnshire library campaigners get judicial review go-ahead – BookSeller.
  • Norfolk – £20m ‘tax’ from new development in Norwich to be pooled to build roads, schools and libraries – EDP. “South Norfolk and Broadland are also set to pool their CIL money, which could be used for major schemes such as the Norwich Northern Distributor Road and the Long Stratton Bypass. But the money is also meant to be used for schools, libraries and sports provision.”