I love a good publicity or advocacy tool, as you may have noticed from my coverage of the new Librarian of the Year Awards yesterday.  Well, another one has come along today in the form of a beautifully illustrated A to Z of public libraries.  Of course, it has not actually been produced yet but I’m sure us supporters of public libraries won’t let a little something like that get in our way.  So, watch the video and then consider supporting it.  It has raised over a quarter of its required funding already in barely a day but the more invested then the more you get out (a bit like a public library really) and the more likely this great promotional tool will be landing in the in-box of a cabinet minister.

  • Library A to Z illustrations, book and advocacy tools…  – KickStarter. “Libraries are great. But are they just about books? No! To highlight this we’ll produce a visual A to Z of what makes libraries so fantastic.” … Many sides to this including “A library A to Z book. This will be full colour, containing each illustration Josh has created opposite a list of the words that inspired that illustration. There will be a short chapter included about the positive impacts of libraries, plus acknowledgements of all our backers in the book. We hope that supporters will use these as advocacy tools, sending them to people who may need persuading of the positive benefit of libraries!”. See also An exciting announcement for the #LibraryAtoZ – Information Twist. “It would be fantastic if we could get this funded and turned into reality and we ask that if you can contribute please do (as the video says, it doesn’t matter how little you give). Please also share this in as many places as you can – all around the social networks, in libraries, anywhere! If we don’t make the target of £2,000 the project won’t happen.”
  • News
    Announcing PMLG Bursaries – PMLG.  There are “a number of bursaries to help our members with the financial costs of attending events and working on their Continuous Professional Development. All library and information related events such as study days, workshops and conferences will be considered. Up to four bursaries, up to a maximum of £250 per applicant, will be awarded in each financial year. For more information visit the ‘Bursaries’ page of the PMLG Website.
    Coldplay hide lyrics to new album in library books around the world – NME. “Fans of the band must try and find the lyric sheets via instructions from the official Coldplay Twitter. The lyrics will be hidden in ghost story books in libraries in nine countries, located across the planet. As each one is discovered, a photo of the lyric sheet will be posted, for all of the band’s fans to see”
  • How to manage public services you know nothing about – Guardian. From previous Lancashire council director: “Without expert knowledge, it can be difficult for managers of diverse services such as libraries and adult education to deal with resistance to reform.” … “Just as I assume the new culture secretary will need to do, I needed to fully get to grips with these services, forget what I thought libraries do, put aside my views on who visits museums and ignore my assumptions about what was on offer in adult education. Most of what I thought I knew turned out to be wrong. And despite the enthusiasm of staff, a track record of innovation and evidence of effective management, libraries would have to close, services be reduced, management posts cut and staff made redundant in order to deliver budget savings.”
  • Querying the culture grid library data service – Find My Library. “If you’ve used a UK library finder on a site such as Find A Library (http://www.findalibrary.org) or Bookmark Your Library (http://www.bookmarkyourlibrary.org.uk) then the chances are that indirectly you’ll have been querying the Culture Grid API (http://www.culturegrid.org.uk/use/).” … a guide to how to query the Culture Grid for particular library figures and lists.

Sandeep Mahal is today announced as the new Director of The Space – a new company jointly established by Arts Council England and the BBC for artists and audiences to invent and explore brilliant digital art. She will be taking up her new post in September 2014 after 7 years with The Reading Agency, the national charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Sandeep is currently on secondment to The Space and will return to The Reading Agency in July. She will then depart in mid-September. Reading Agency press release [Sandeep has been a good friend of libraries and I am very sorry to see her go – Ed.]

  • Soft Furry Belly for Librarians – Library Journal / Annoyed Librarian. “Librarians don’t make a lot of money, but if we can believe this study, then so what? They don’t need the money when they can get the feeling of getting more money every day without ever actually getting the money. Just as dancers love to dance and swimmers love to swim, librarians love to go to libraries. To give them the thrill of going to the library every day and paying them more would be overkill. Their low salaries are compensated by the daily joy of the workplace.”


  • “In” Crowd: Librarian Jobs Beyond the Library – INALJ (USA). “There are many types of jobs information professionals, like librarians, can do.  One such group I call the ‘In’ Cluster, because the job titles all start with the letters ‘IN.’  While there are more than just these six listed in the image below, these are the six I will be discussing in this article …”

UK local news by authority

“At Bexley Community Library we have over 800 members signed up, the great majority on a free basis. Our paid membership scheme gives members the opportunity to become Friends for £12 – which covers the household – and gives greater borrowing rights and no late fees. From conversations with Friends, it is not so much the additional benefits that attracts them to pay towards the Library, but the opportunity to support us in our activities. It is tough covering the costs of maintaining a Library and membership/friend schemes can be a useful way of fundraising.” Jonathan Rooks, comment on Increasing Income: Charging.

  • Croydon / Lambeth – Crystal Palace-based developer gives £1,000 to Upper Norwood Joint Library – Croydon Guardian. “Upper Norwood Joint Library which was hit heavily by cuts from Croydon Council and had its opening hours reduced from five days to three days a week has been awarded with £1000 by Crystal Palace based developer Lightbox. The money was given to the Upper Norwood Library Trust, a registered charity which is set to take over the governance of the library currently funded by Lambeth and Croydon councils.”
  • Essex – Saffron Walden Library gets self service overhaul – Saffron Walden Reporter. “The library will be closed after business on Tuesday, May 6 until Friday, May 9 due to the installation of upgraded RFID self-service machines”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries closure delayed until High Court hearing result – Lincolnshire Echo. “Campaigners fighting to save Lincolnshire’s libraries from closure have forced the local authority to delay its planned changes to the service until the outcome of a High Court hearing is known. A judge will decide whether to quash Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to axe 30 libraries across the county and turn them into coummunity hubs or allow the changes to continue. Library lovers, who successfully lobbied for a Judicial Review into the local authority’s executive decision, will present their case to the High Court in July.” … “The case will now be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice over two days on July 8/9 and the judge’s ruling is expected to be revealed a few weeks later.”
  • North Yorkshire – Parish council steps in to help library – Scarborough News. “In 2011 when other libraries were reducing hours in response to local government savings Eastfield were able to retain their hours due to a partnership arrangement with Yorkshire Coast Homes. At the end of last year Yorkshire Coast Homes took the decision to withdraw its Customer Service operation from Eastfield and concentrate resources in Scarborough. This looked likely to result in a reduction in library opening hours from 38 to 30. Eastfield Parish Council has now stepped in to support an additional eight hours of opening for the next year using the parish precept. During this year efforts will be made to recruit volunteers to extend the library opening hours.”