All 141 of the 151 library authorities that made their figures available to the DCMS now have their comparative data available online. Also, I must write a note on the Cheshire West and Chester cuts covered yesterday.  I am an employee in this council and so, for what I hope is obvious reasons, can only cover the basics, without commenting.


  • Alan Bennett joins prison book ban campaign – Politics. Prisons minister refuses to accept that stopping prisoners having books sent to them is somehow limiting them from reading books. See also Ban on sending books to prisoners: ‘a very clumsy sledgehammer’ – Guardian. “There is no evidence the incentives and earned privileges regime will  improve behaviour. But there is lots of evidence that removing the means to  increase literacy reduces rehabilitation.”
  • Let libraries lend ebooks – CILIP. “Join the campaign for public libraries in the UK to be able to lend ebooks free of charge to the public, as they do printed books.” … “Current European copyright law means that publishers do not need to license libraries to lend ebooks at all. This means that the choice of ebooks available to borrow is limited and not all local authorities lend ebooks. Out of the six major trade publishers in the UK only three offer some of their ebooks to libraries and over 85% of ebooks are not available to public libraries in the UK.” … “We want a clear European copyright law that allows libraries to fulfil their mission of providing everyone with the opportunity to read, and access information and knowledge and provides reasonable payment for authors and publishers”.
  • Libraries and bookshops unite against twin threat of austerity and changing reading habits – Independent. “Libraries and bookstores are holding talks on ways they can work together as they battle to survive austerity and changing reading habits – amid fears from independent bookshops that they could be put under more pressure by libraries deciding to begin selling as well as lending in attempts to stay open. The Booksellers Association and The Society of Chief Librarians have held a number of meetings to discuss how the two bodies might be able to collaborate in order to tackle the current difficulties facing their members”
  • Red telephone box London’s ‘smallest’ library – BBC. “A new library – housed in a disused red telephone box – has celebrated two months of successful lending. It is claimed the library, situated on the corner of Loampit Hill and Tyrwhitt Road, in Lewisham, is the capital’s smallest. Sebastian Handley, who renovated the phone box, said borrowers should either replace or bring back books they take.”
  • Review of public libraries Lglibtech. Submissions to the Sieghart review on public libraries included from Desmond Clarke, CILIP, Library Campaign, ASCEL, Frances Hendrix plus various links.

International news

  • Boston Public Library unveils a Netflix-like service – Techflash (USA). Hoopla service allows “patrons to view streaming movies and TV shows from the comforts of their home. All you need is a library card. The library announced that it now offers the free streaming media service for all cardholders, providing access to thousands of movies, television shows, music, and audiobooks for instant streaming or temporary download for smartphones, tablets, or computers. Library users can download up to 10 titles per month and the automatic return ensures no late fees, with checkout times ranging from three days to three weeks, according to a press release”
  • Celebrating a Love of Reading: Mighty Girl Stories about Books, Libraries, and Literacy – Mighty Girl (USA). “Of course, the library is where your child will first meet a librarian — a person whose life is devoted to helping match people with books. A dedicated librarian can be a tremendous influence on a child’s desire to read. In Library Lil by Suzanne Williams, illustrated by Steven Kellogg (age 4 – 8), Lil has loved books since she was born, so nobody’s surprised when she grows up to be a librarian. She even gets the whole town — who used to sit staring at the TV all day — interested in reading! But when Bust ‘Em Up Bill and his motorcycle gang roar into town, everyone is worried: Bill loves TV and hates books. What will happen when the motorcycles are parked in the bookmobile’s spot? Will Lil meet her match? Or will she end up with a brand new assistant librarian? The tongue-in-cheek story and hilarious illustrations are sure to make this a favorite tall tale.”
  • I hang out at libraries, even when I’m not looking for a book  – Coast (Canada). “.””Libraries are information warriors fighting the digital divide that can be caused by age and income. As I travel up and down the province for work I’m always certain to check out the frequently old, frequently brick buildings in many places too small for much else. I have now been to most of them, and they have more in common than what sets them apart—invaluable access to programs and information that can shape the communities they sit in”

“The most important part of public libraries isn’t the “library”; it’s the “public.” Allison Sparling

UK local news by authority

There does not appear to be any local news today.  Please send any news articles in to me at ianlibrarian@live.co.uk