• 7 Steps to Increase Digital Participation – CILIP. “Guest blog post from Douglas White, Head of Policy at Carnegie UK Trust” … show leadership, co-operate, have a plan, focus on the person not the tech, be holistic, involve communities and “make it fun”.
  • Bad news for books? The survival of libraries lies in positive promotion – Guardian / Culture Professionals Network. “The public should know about what they’re missing out on, not just how many libraries are missing in action” … “It’s difficult these days to find a piece of good news about libraries. No one seems to want to write about it being impossible to find a space in the quiet study area at Dalston’s CLR James Library because it’s so well used. Hardly ever are there any reviews of the thousands of pounds worth of online resources available to every library card holder – for free and accessible from the comfort of their own homes.” … “The way we market and promote our national library service is one of the areas that drastically needs to change if we are to give libraries any sort of long-term future” … “Our lack of agility with regards to technology is a real handicap and I’m looking forward to reading the findings of the latest libraries review.” … “in the library sector, we’re increasingly relying on staff to undertake the marketing of services.”.
  • Campaign over gender-specific books gains support – BBC. “backed by a number of leading authors, as well as bookseller Waterstones. Let Books Be Books, launched earlier this month, is supported by former children’s laureate Anne Fine and current laureate Malorie Blackman. At the weekend, The Independent on Sunday announced it would no longer review books marketed to exclude either sex.”
  • Daily quiz, 14 March 2014 – Guardian. “In our weekly reader-set quiz, Leigh Billings and Mya Gosling test you on everything you might know about libraries” [I got 8 out of 10 – Ed.]
  • Enterprising Libraries – Carnegie UK Trust. Leaflet attached. “We are working with four projects to explore the potential and impact of libraries in promoting economic wellbeing by supporting the creation of enterprise, or by supporting people to improve their prospects of employment through the development of new skills. The four projects we are working with are: Gateshead Library, which is running a series of workshops in partnership with local digital companies including Ubisoft, Makerspace in Newcastle, and local enterprise bodies; Northamptonshire Libraries which is piloting a secondment and mentoring model to support other local authorities to use the approach to creating enterprise hubs in libraries which has been developed successfully in Northamptonshire; Neath Port Talbot Library, which will run two Technoclubs with primary and secondary schoolchildren, learning how to build and programme Lego Mindstorm robots, and running sessions on the use of Scratch software, and App Inventor. Library staff will be trained as part of this project; St Botolph’s Waiting Room project in Colchester. While not involving a public library, there will be much to be learned from this exciting approach to stimulating creativity, which will include  a hack/maker space and a ‘give-get’ library.”

Enterprising Libraries  tells the story of the four projects we have been supporting over the last few months, which all, in different ways, have the potential to promote the economic wellbeing of individuals and communities. The Trust is keen to support the evolving role of public libraries, and we see an important part of this to be about contributing to and stimulating the ongoing debate about what libraries are, could and should be doing in the 21st century.” Martyn Evans, chief of policy, Carnegie UK Trust


  • R3bn upgrade in store for libraries – IOL News (South Africa). “South Africa’s libraries are set for a multibillion-rand overhaul, thanks to a massive cash injection announced at the start of SA Library Week on Saturday by the Department of Arts and Culture. Arts and Culture deputy director-general Vusi Ndima said R3 billion would be pumped into provincial libraries to upgrade existing facilities and recruit more staff, and into building new libraries.”
  • Social media and public libraries : exploring information activities of library professionals and users – Abo Akademi University (Sweden). “In the library field the adoption of social media has been widespread and discussions of the development of “Library 2.0” began at an early stage. The aim with this thesis is to study the interface between public libraries, social media, and users, focusing on information activities. The main research question is: How is the interface between public libraries and social media perceived and acted upon by its main stakeholders (library professionals and users)?”


  • Cycling for Libraries: Advocacy on Wheels – CILIP. Wednesday 9th April in London. “Cycling for Libraries is a politically and economically independent international unconference bringing together librarians, library lovers and bicycles to engage in library advocacy across borders.   Since 2011, participants have sought to raise the profile of libraries by public visibility outside of the confines of the library walls. Each year a week is spent cycling and visiting a range of different localities and libraries.  Last year Phil Segall joined 100 international colleagues from over 20 countries on a 400km route Amsterdam to Brussels and will be sharing share his experiences at this Informal.” Book via

UK local news by authority

  • Bristol – Gloucester Road swimming baths conversion halted over quality concerns – Bristol Post. “After years of false starts and hitches, work to convert the former Bristol North Baths into a community health centre and create a library and flats on the adjacent car park was in full flow. But the project has now come to a halt, with Bristol City Council telling builders to down tools over concerns about the quality of work being carried out.”
  • Brent – Council wastes £10,000 on former library planning appeal – Brent Council Liberal Democrats. “Brent taxpayers are in the bizarre position of paying for both sides of the argument over whether the former Barham Park library buildings should be converted for office and light industrial use. One part of of the council will soon argue to the independent planning inspector that Brent Council planning committee’s decision to refuse permission should be upheld. At the same time another part of the council will pay a consultant to argue that the councillors’ decision should be overturned.”
  • Ceredigion – New Quay library in Ceredigion to be managed by volunteers – BBC. “… threatened with closure has been saved after 25 people volunteered to help run it. Ceredigion county council’s cabinet has agreed to lease New Quay library to the seaside town’s council for 12 months at a peppercorn rent”
  • Cornwall – Library hours reduction plan confirmed by Cornwall Council – Western Morning News. “confirmed a measure which will see most libraries and one stop shops open for one day less per week. The changes, which will come into effect on June 1,  is designed to save £400,000 from the budget.” … ““Of course it is not ideal that the council has had to cut opening hours at libraries and one stop shops but it has been necessary to meet our reducing budgets whilst allowing us to keep all sites open rather than closing some of them,” he said. Work will also continue to look at the possibility of amalgamating stand-alone one stop shops and libraries.
  • Hertfordshire – Library set to open with extended hours after refurbishment – Royston Crow. “The refurbished Royston Library is set to be unveiled on Wednesday 26 March after a major programme of improvements which include a dedicated area for local studies; an upgraded ICT area; a new teenage area and increased study and WiFi space.”
  • Hertfordshire – Public consultation spells a new chapter for libraries in Hertfordshire – Herts and Essex Observer. “More than 13,000 residents across the county completed questionnaires in an extensive consultation about what Hertfordshire libraries might look like in 10 years time.” … “Nearly 60% of respondents were in favour of sharing existing library buildings with other services such as police or youth services, while just over half were in favour of relocating some libraries to share other premises such as doctors’ surgeries and community centres.”
  • Leicestershire – Petition launched to save libraries – Loughborough Echo. “Would-be Labour MP Matthew O’Callaghan has launched the petition following Leicestershire County Council plans to save £110m over the next four years.” … “The county council is proposing to encourage community groups to run its 36 smaller libraries, with support from the council.” … 400 names so far … ““My fear is that this is the first stage of the county closing down he library network which will mean that to survive Parish Councils will have to pay for them which only shifts tax from the county to the parish precept.”
  • Lincolnshire – New home for Coningsby Library – Horncastle News. “The existing library is recommended for closure as part of controversial cutbacks proposed by Lincolnshire County Council. However, Coningsby Town Council is considering setting up committee which would run the library – with the backing of the local community”
  • Southwark – £1.2m library to open in Elephant & Castle shipping containers – London SE1. “part of The Artworks, a ‘retail and creative business hub’ built from 50 recycled shipping containers”…” a temporary replacement for Newington Library which has been closed since a devastating fire swept through the adjacent town hall building in January 2013.” … “”Demand for the use of other library facilities has increased since the closure of Newington Library with around 400 additional customers using the John Harvard Library on a daily basis which is creating additional pressures for the service and leading to delay and other frustrations for customers,” said a report prepared for cabinet members.”