• A library ‘solution’ without the staff! – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. “Now there are many who would argue that volunteer-led libraries are basically staff-less and that the whole concept is not a new one with Denmark, Taipei, US and Ireland leading the way but one thing that worries me is that this ‘new’ model will be used by councils purely as a cost cutting exercise.  You’ve got to remember that the public library sector especially in England is incredibly fragmented with no real leadership, standards or strategy, with each local authority cutting, closing and divesting until a legal challenge lands on the desk of the borough solicitor.”
  • Common Libraries: prototyping the library of the future, today – OuiShare Fest Awards / Common Libraries. One minute video showing work by Common Libraries in creating Maker Spaces / Hack Spaces in libraries.
  • Libraries, we have a £100,000 fund to help you hire Apprentices – London Apprenticeship Company. “The fund will be used to support the creation of the following types of Apprenticeships: • Information assistants • Library assistants • Archive assistants • Search room assistants • Learning support assistants • Archive Co-ordinators • Records Co-ordinators • Information Services Coordinators • Library Services Supervisors. If you would like to find out more about the scheme and how you can benefit please complete this Expression of Interest form and we’ll get right back to you.”
  • Public & Mobiles Library Group Survey – Leon’s Library Blog.  “What’s startling is that after four years of such advocacy, highlighting the value of libraries extensively, not least through Cilip and SCL, and websites such as Voices for the Library, that colleagues still think this approach actually works when set against the politics of austerity, neo-liberal ideology, and the avowed intention of the government to shrink the state. When even an award winning service like Devon is targeted with substantial cuts you have to wonder at the political naiveté of such a stance.”

I wonder how public campaigners will respond when they see the results of this survey. I suspect there will be many ‘head in hands’ moments and a lot of disappointment as it seems that library staff, while professing to be concerned about cuts and closures, appear as a profession to want to do little about it, or even worse, leave it to the public to campaign on our behalf … Unfortunately, perhaps the fact that one of our greatest strengths as a profession; the willingness to cooperate and share, to be team players, has left us unable to cope in more adversarial conditions

  • Under 12s challenged to Finish The Comic: Competition created by The Phoenix comic for The Reading Agency – Reading Agency (press release). “Would be graphic novel artists and junior cartoonists have a chance of putting their work before the creators of The Phoenix, the weekly comic founded by publisher David Fickling and featuring work by top UK illustrators including Sarah McIntyre, Neill Cameron, Jamie Smart and Dave Shelton. A spring competition being run by The Phoenix and national charity The Reading Agency’s website for children, asks youngsters to complete a comic strip adventure started by Bunny vs Monkey creator Jamie Smart. The entries will be judged by the editor of The Phoenix and a panel of contributors. A year’s subscription to the comic is the first prize. The competition is free to enter and the closing date is 15 May. Full competition information can be found at:


  • Elending Landscape Report 2014 – ALIA (Australia/Global). “The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has published a “worldwide e-lending landscape report”, commissioned by Brussels-based Civic Agenda. Their goal, to identify “public library-led initiatives to secure e-books for borrowers”.
  • 20 modern libraries from around the world – Ebook Friendly. “the libraries are shaping the way we learn things and enjoy books in the digital age. They offer access to books in every possible form and format. You can visit them in real, but you can also visit them via internet – not only by checking out their websites, but also by taking a virtual tour using Google Street View. The purpose of this post is to encourage you to visit the library near you. You will probably not have a chance to go to Colombia to read for hours in Biblioteca España, but that library you are passing every day on your way to school or work, will also welcome you – with a magic of books and the charm of the librarian.”

Local news

  • Brent – Writers Maggie Gee and Nick Rankin back plans for community-run library in Kensal Rise – Brent and Kilburn Times. “Two novelists who actively campaigned to save Kensal Rise Library have thrown their support behind plans to open a community-run reading room in its former site. Dr Maggie Gee OBE and Nick Rankin back proposals by developers to give Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) two-thirds of the building’s ground floor space to use rent free.”
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Library service staffing plan comes under fire – Chester First. “Cllr Louise Gittins said it was the first time the councillors had been made aware of any changes to librarians job descriptions. She said: “My worry is this will get pushed through without proper consultation with residents and ward members. This needs to be looked at properly. “One concern I have is the numbers of staff being reduced and what is happening to our qualified librarians. We have been given no job description information.” Cllr Samantha Dixon said changes were happening “under the radar” … “Tory member Neil Sullivan defended the plans. saying libraries needed to change when IT was changing so quickly. He said: “In my mind it makes sense for librarians to be doing more of what they are good at rather than managing buildings and teams. There is no proposal here that all our libraries will close. We are changing the service, not closing the libraries.”
  • Devon – Saving Devon’s libraries for our, and their, future – ITV. Two minute television slot on the threatened libraries. “The number of people using libraries has been falling, but there’s no doubting the support they have … We’ll keep them open. We’ll keep them open as much as we possibly can, through social enterprises, charities, volunteers. We’re looking and listening to every idea that comes out and I think it’s not a one size fits all situation. There’ll be 28 different solutions I’m absolutely positive.”
  • Lincolnshire – libraries: Campaigners received reply from Prime Minister David Cameron – Lincolnshire Echo. “the group must guard against complacency and told the local authority it was not too late to do a u-turn on their controversial decision.”
  • Lincolnshire – Reply from Downing St for Save Lincs Libraries Save Lincolnshire Libraries. “It is pleasing to know that he has taken notice of our campaign and the issues have been passed forward, alongside our submission to the new Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport. However although we have cross-party support for the campaign we must not be complacent. We need the ongoing support of the general public if we are to keep Lincolnshire’s much needed libraries as a professionally run service.”