The figures below are similar to the ones from yesterday but just for England.  They show the cut in overall budgets is 30% since 2009/10.  Perhaps the wonderfully determined Lincolnshire campaigners can mention that to Number Ten when they’re there tomorrow over the little matter of the council giving away 32 out of its 45 librariesPerhaps also the Culture Secretary Maria Miller may be willing to give a donation the cause as I understand she may have some extra money hanging around at the moment that is causing her some embarrassment.

Total annual expenditure in England, inflation adjusted as percentage of 2012 spending

Total annual expenditure in England, inflation adjusted as percentage of 2012 spending













  • Fines recovery – Public Libraries News (new page). List of known amounts owed to different UK library authorities and a look at the pros and cons of using fines as a means of generating income.
  • More than books: How libraries are branching out to pull people in – BBC. “As investment in UK library services continues to fall and borrowing rates drop, many libraries are facing closure or severely restricted opening hours. So can a broader range of events, from breastfeeding groups to bulb planting, keep people coming through the doors?” … “beyond the library stacks, visitors can attend an Ashtanga yoga class, a knitting group, or even try out a laughter workshop (that’s learning how to “laugh for no reason”).”

“People see the libraries as a form of “people’s university”, owned by and for the benefit of the community. In my research it has become abundantly clear just how pivotal to some people’s existence libraries are. For the lonely in society, the library is somewhere they can go and sit and just be amongst people.” Dr Louise Cooke, Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University

  • The harm of censorship is worse than the harm of debt? A response to: Should public libraries block payday loan websites? – Philosophical Politics. Many objections to the original article. “Strangely he is concerned about the reputation of the library because people will go elsewhere.  He also worries that the web’s reputation will be ruined by such action. Yet, he does not accept that payday loans and aggressive business practices promoted through the web are a problem or hurt the web’s reputation. It is only a problem when a democratically mandated organisation seeks to reduce the harm from the web on its residents.”.


  • Amazon Is ‘Evil’ According to Digital Minds Conference Opening Keynote – Digital Book World. ““Amazon are evil bastards–I loath them, I fear them,” said best-selling British author Anthony Horowitz, giving the opening keynote speech at the London Book Fair’s Publishing for Digital Minds conference in London, quickly adding, “but I use them all the time because they’re wonderful and that’s part of the problem.””

“Horowitz went on to speak passionately about the decline of libraries, especially school libraries, where learning a love of reading begins, he said. And he called on the several hundred British, European and international publishing executives in the room to embrace digital publishing and support reading as a whole, because without a populace that loves reading, publishers will find it harder to be profitable.”

  • Decreased funding to public libraries unacceptable – Collegian (USA). “Libraries are more than just large depositories of books — they are community gathering places. Libraries are places community members can hold public events. They are places where galleries of art can be shown. They are places for readings of children’s books. They are places that show senior citizens how to use online resources they may not know how to use. They are public classrooms, where all of the public is invited — where independent learning is valued. The public library is a sanctuary, where kids who come from broken homes can go after school and feel safe. A lot of people today read books on electronic tablets, but what about those who don’t have the money for that? We learn to read at these places — we learn an appreciation for the book at these places. What does it say about a society that doesn’t want to support the library? It says it doesn’t value knowledge or the concept of community. We need places like Schlow, and we should have communities that support the local library.”
  • George Drake ’56 recalls Steve Jobs’ Grinnell board service – Grinnell College (USA). “Former Grinnell President George Drake recalled when Jobs, at age 29, came to visit, spend several nights in a student dormitory, and agreed to join the board, where he served for 2½ years. He said Jobs had strong opinions and wasn’t shy about sharing them, like when he argued against an expansion of the school’s library because “the day of the book was over.””

UK local news by authority

  • Derbyshire – Nearly £250,000 in library fines owed to Derbyshire County Council – Derby Telegraph. “More than 357,000 people across the county have outstanding fines totalling £244,000. These figures follow the news just months ago that council bosses proposed to axe the mobile library service in the county in an attempt to save money.
  • Doncaster – Public asked to become volunteer librarians – Yorkshire Post. “just four libraries will be run by council staff in a South Yorkshire town as the authority asks the public to take over the running of the the bulk of the network.”
  • East Sussex – Final chapter for Lewes Library saviours – Sussex Express. “The voluntary body which led a high profile campaign 14 years ago to ensure Lewes got a new library is being closed down because it now “has no clear future role” to play in its development.” … “Chairman Fred Baylis said: “The county council is already initiating effective development policies for its libraries and the Friends had been assured that ‘the large amounts of capital invested in new libraries in the county proves the council’s desire to preserve and promote libraries’.”
  • Hillingdon – Hillingdon’s first head librarian at Uxbridge Library opening – Get West London. “Philip Colehan, 92, was amongst the guests” … “Hillingdon Council has invested £10million in all 17 of the borough’s libraries”.
  • Lincolnshire – Tomorrow we ask David Cameron to Intervene #Lobby4Libraries – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. “On Tuesday (April 8th) a delegation from Save Lincolnshire Libraries is going to 10 Downing Street to appeal to the Prime Minister to intervene in Lincolnshire to maintain a comprehensive public library service in the county.” … “At 2.30 the delegation will present a book to No 10, containing over 900 comments from among the 23,000 people who have signed the Save Lincolnshire Libraries petition, and including comments from Melvyn Bragg and Michael Rosen in support of the campaign.” see also the list at 900 comments.
  • Liverpool – Consultation on the future of Liverpool’s libraries starts – ITV. “A consultation on the future of libraries in Liverpool has started, as the service looks to find £2.5m worth of savings. The service needs to reduce its £10 million budget by 25 per cent, as part of £156 million of savings needed over the next three years due to cuts in government funding. There is likely to be a significant reduction in the 19 libraries that are currently operated across Liverpool.” see also Liverpool residents being consulted on libraries they want to save from closure – Liverpool Echo. “people had to be prepared for “a significant reduction” in the service and the fact that “there will not be a library in every community” in the future.”.
  • Wandsworth – Putney Library Opening Hours ExtendedPutney SW15.Com. “Putney Library will now open for an extra three hours a week – between 2pm and 5pm on Friday afternoons. The library remains closed on Tuesdays” … “Commenting on the new opening hours, Diana Edmonds head of library services at GLL which operates the library on behalf of the Council said: “The growing popularity of our libraries is a fantastic testament to the staff that run them and the wide ranging facilities and services on offer. The fact that we have extended our opening hours at two key facilities reflects growing demand and means that even more local people can benefit from what we have to offer.”