Items of note include a third of a Cornish town signing a petition against its library reducing its hours and the sheer effectiveness of library lobbying in the USA.  Apparently, for the latter, every one dollar given to the EveryLibrary group results in more than one thousand dollars of extra funding for public libraries.  We need more of that over here perhaps, although it is quite possible our different systems would reduce its effectiveness.

The less said about the “15 reasons to date a librarian” the better, though …



“CILIP members may be interested in a couple of great international opportunities that are available now. Six grants of £725 each are being offered to attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress at Lyon, 16-22 August this year. A grant of £3000, jointly awarded with the English Speaking Union, is also on offer for a study tour of libraries in the USA or Commonwealth on a professional theme or area of interest of your choice. For further details go to: http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/news/fantastic-international-opportunities-available-cilipCILIP on Lis-pub-libs.

  • Women’s Library to reopen doors at London School of Economics – Guardian. “The Women’s Library, the oldest and most extensive collection on women’s history in Europe, is about to open its doors again in what campaigners hope will be a permanent home, after almost a century of repeatedly having to pack up and move a unique archive of books, letters, diaries, magazines, protest banners, pamphlets and photographs. Although the London School of Economics, whose founders shared many of the radical ideals of the women who started the library, has pledged to care for the collection and keep it open to members of the public as well as academics, the move was bitterly contentious to some.” … “A petition against the closure of its old home, backed by the trade union movement, attracted more than 12,000 signatures and its adoption by the LSE was described by one letter writer to the Guardian as not a rescue but “an abduction”.”


  • 15 Reasons to Date a Librarian – eHarmony. “Shh! Just because you shouldn’t ask loudly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite that cute librarian out for a drink. Here are 15 reasons to date a librarian:” … reasons include literacy, high education and punctuality (!).
  • 35 Library Stories You May Have Missed in February – OEDB (USA). “Google Glass, eBooks, and 3D Printers have dominated library news in the early part of this year. If you’re still catching up on your reading, here are 35 articles, infographics, and blog posts that will get you up to speed on everything from issues facing academic libraries to graphic novels, to the possibility of a new TV series titled “The Librarian”.  And please feel free to leave any you’ve found noteworthy in the comments!”
  • John Chrastka: Movers & Shakers 2014: Advocates – Library Journal. “EveryLibrary founder and executive director John Chrastka pulled no punches. “The Worst Library Election in the Country,” he called it—and then put $5,000 behind the get-out-the-vote campaign to block the ballot measure. EveryLibrary marshaled library defenders (including Neil Gaiman) from across the country, who donated, posted, tumbled, and tweeted about the vote. It also bought eight Facebook ads targeting Lafourche.” … “In its first year, EveryLibrary raised more than $35,000, about half from hundreds of individual donors, the rest from publishers and library vendors, as well as unions. “For every dollar we spent that first year, we helped secure $1,140 at the ballot box”
  • Kansas City Public Library is better than your public library – Observation Deck (USA).  Good to see people saying that the new Birmingham and Liverpool Central Libraries beat it though.
  • Libraries, Authors and Publishers Head to SXSW 2014 – Publisher’s Weekly (USA). “SXSW Interactive (March 7-11), the annual tech festival, opens today in Austin, Tex. and expect to see a wide range of publishers and publishing-related events. This year look for a number of events organized by and focused on librarians, comics events hosted by both Comixology and Marvel, and the much-anticipated Books & Bytes and John Wiley parties. John Chrastka, founder of EveryLibrary, a library political action committee, points out that librarians will be on hand in Austin, organizing a number of panels and meetups to “raise awareness of the ways librarians are already supporting emerging entrepreneurs and tech businesses across the country.”  Chrastka said the goal is to make more entrepreneurs aware of the ways, “librarians can help them scale their businesses.””
  • Public Library: A Photographic Essay – Amazon (USA).  Due next month, this looks to be a very good book on the subject of public libraries, albeit with a strong US bias. “Over the last eighteen years, photographer Robert Dawson has crisscrossed the country documenting hundreds of these endangered institutions. The Public Library presents a wide selection of Dawson’s photographs— from the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California’s one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves. Accompanying Dawson’s revealing photographs are essays, letters, and poetry by some of America’s most celebrated writers. A foreword by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett bookend this important survey of a treasured American institution.”
  • Resurrect plan for ghost libraries – Telegraph (India). ” You have come across them in your city, town or village — cramped, dusty and poorly lit buildings with racks of tattered, hard-bound books no one seems interested in. Short of staff and new publications, these public libraries can count themselves lucky if they can attract a handful of readers looking for the day’s newspapers. The Union culture ministry now plans to upgrade at least the top 10 per cent among the country’s 54,000-odd public libraries, most of which seem to be on their deathbed.”
  • Survey of 3D Printing in the Library – Primary Research.”The 50+ page study presents detailed data and commentary from 30 academic, public, special and school libraries about their experience with 3D printers.  The report helps librarians to answer questions such as: What brands and models are librarians considering and which libraries are buying which brands and models? …”

Local UK news by authority

  • Birmingham – Library staff propose co-operative solution to cuts – Co-operative News. “Staff at Birmingham’s libraries are proposing a new community library co-operative. They are working up a management buyout proposal in the face of plans to close four of the city’s 39 libraries.” … “Birmingham City Council deputy leader Ian Ward (Labour) met senior library workers to discuss the move earlier this month. He offered them help from council finance officers in putting together their proposal. Mr Ward said the staff were taking lessons from City of York Council’s library service, which is developing a co-operative to run its 15 libraries and archive service.”
  • Brent – All Souls College ordered to disclose Kensal Rise ‘binding agreement’ – Wembley Matters. “All Souls College, Oxford, has been ordered by the Information Commissioner to provide a copy of its Option Agreement – also known as the ‘binding agreement’ – for the sale of historic Kensal Rise Library (KRL) to developer Andrew Gillick. Only the date of completion, price and names/personal details of those involved in the transaction can be withheld. The Commissioner made his decision on 4 March, in response to a Freedom of Information request by a supporter of the campaign to save the Mark Twain library from conversion to yet more unaffordable housing. The college authorities have 35 days in which to comply with the request. Failure to do so could result in the Commissioner writing to the High Court where lack of compliance may be treated as contempt of court. “
  • Cornwall – Friends of St Just Library hand petition to Cornwall Council’s Adam Paynter – Cornishman. “Concerned St Just residents travelled up to Truro this morning to deliver a 1,500 strong petition to the head of library services at County Hall as part of their campaign to protect their library. The petition follows a number of events designed to highlight Cornwall Council’s proposal to cut nine hours from library opening times.” … “Townsfolk say the cuts “would have a disproportionately adverse effect on the local community, with its remote location meaning access to an alternative public library and all its resources is very difficult. “ … “St Just residents demonstrated their support for the library by taking part in a mass book withdrawal on Friday February 28. More than 500 people were recorded using the library on that that day alone, with over 3,600 issues and renewals.” [NB. population of St Just is only around 4600 – Ed.]
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf – Your council, your money – BBC. “The closure of Rhydfelin library is causing anger in the village. It’s one of 14 out of 26 libraries in Rhondda Cynon Taf due to shut – just one of the ways the local council is trying to save money. There are threats of legal challenges to stop the closure of Rhydfelin library and of changes to nursery services in the county borough.” Council call its budget cuts “Armageddon”.
  • Tower Hamlets – Mayor rejects Labour plans at budget meeting, but free school meals in the works – East London Advertiser. “The final budget for 2014/15 includes a freeze on Council Tax, no cuts to frontline services like libraries and children’s centres, and a new Town Hall in Whitechapel, which the mayor says will save taxpayers £14million per year.”