• Good for Goodman? – Leon’s Library Blog.  “the obvious question becomes what exactly constitutes a ‘core professional service’? For many politicians a small group of professionally managed libraries overseeing or working in partnership with a wide circle of ‘volunteer libraries’ is considered a core service.” … “Labour has already stated that it will keep to the current government’s spending cuts so don’t expect any increases in grants to councils, which in turn will see reduced funding to library services continue.” [Interesting comment about the difference between small urban libraries and small rural libraries too – Ed.]
  • Guest post: Library campaigner Alan Wylie – Reading for London. Looks at aspects of public libraries including cuts to library staff, impact of libraries on social equality, need for trained staff (and danger of volunteers). “So in the run up to the 2014 local and the 2015 general elections it’s vital that we let our MP’s and councillors know that cuts to library services are a false economy. They have a wide-ranging and detrimental effect on the educational and socio-economic wellbeing of our communities.After all, ‘Libraries gave us power’, as say the Manic Street Preachers:”
  • Pam Rhodes to host The 2014 Speaking Volumes Christian Book Awards – Speaking Volumes. “Pam Rhodes, presenter of BBC Songs of Praise, will be hosting this year’s Speaking Volumes Christian Book Awards at the International Christian Resources Exhibition, Sandown, on 13th May … The awards recognise literature that appeals to a wide readership – not just Christians – and that could be considered an asset to public libraries across the UK. Indeed, it has been the public who have been keenly voting from a shortlist of five books in both the adult and children’s category.” … “The sponsor and organiser of the event – Speaking Volumes – match-funds the purchase of Christian books for donating to any library where a book or DVD can be borrowed.”
  • Snapshot: 10 Photos of the Most Epic Libraries in the U.K. – BBC America. “With the digital age making information available at the click of a button, it’s easy to forget about the draw of a library. But there’s nothing like walking into a library, with so much material in front of you, all under one roof. The best bit, it’s quiet! Let’s take a peek at some of the U.K.’s impressive libraries with this snapshot of 10 photos …” – Libraries are British Library, Manchester Central, Shrewsbury, Eton, Radcliffe, Bodleian.

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  • An insight into an era with Who Was Who – This month sees the release of the third volume of Who Was Who, the standard reference book in libraries around the world, providing autobiographical articles from influential figures from all walks of life. Who Was Who covers the years between 1897 and 1940, offering a unique snapshot of that era: articles include those of Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, and H.G. Wells. Explore them here using our latest feature article.


  • Everything you need to know about librarians – Vox (USA). “The median librarian earns $55,690 [£33,000 – Ed] which is above the national median of $46,440 but well below the median $63,400 earned by people with master’s degrees. Slightly over 0.1 percent of employed Americans are librarians.”.  Education employs the most US librarians.  Charts show which states have the most librarians.
  • It’s Time to Thank a Librarian – Children’s Books (USA). “Do you have a special librarian that you’d like to honor? Click on “Comments” below and share what makes that librarian special.  I still fondly remember Miss Wright, the children’s librarian at the Westfield Public Library when I was growing up in Westfield, New Jersey.”

“It’s still National Library Week. You should be especially nice to a librarian today, or tomorrow. Sometime this week, anyway. Probably the librarians would like tea. Or chocolates. Or a reliable source of funding.” Neil Gaiman

  • Public Libraries – ALA. The annual summary of what has happened in US public libraries.  Headings include The public values libraries’ deepening community engagement; A range of services elicits a range of responses; Internet gains as a way of visiting the library; In Kentucky, tax rulings pose a grave threat to library funding; Are libraries becoming scapegoats for concerns about property taxes?; But elsewhere, libraries fare well in local funding referenda; Modest increase reported in funding for state libraries; State library funding for local public libraries also a mixed bag; Rural and small public libraries provide critical services and resources; Digital Public Library of America opens access to millions of items.


  • IFLA Satellite Conference: Public Library Futures in a global digital world – IFLA. 12th August at Library of Birmingham.  “Organised by the Public Libraries Section of ILFA, in collaboration with CILIP and the Society of Chief Librarians in England,  this satellite conference is hosted by the new Library of Birmingham and provides an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the public library world in the largest and most iconic public library in Europe.”

UK local news by authority

  • Devon – Council considers allowing local communities to run Devon libraries – Exeter Express and Echo. “Roger Croad, Devon’s cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, told a meeting of cabinet last week that it was not his intention to close any libraries, but he also stressed that he “never said I will not close any libraries”.
  • East Sussex – Mobile library services could be scrapped – Argus. “Mobile library services could be lost as part of moves to save more than £130,000. East Sussex County Council is to decide whether to launch a consultation on planned changes to when and where the library visits”. 17 stops lost. Half of mobile library users use static buildings too.
  • North Yorkshire – Library outlet opens in Deansfield Court, Norton – Gazette and Herald. “A new outlet has been provided in Yorkshire Housing’s Deansfield Court Extra Care Housing Scheme at Furlongs Avenue, off Beverley Road. The facility, which includes a lounge area with café, is the latest addition to a new generation of library services across the county, located in settings such as schools, village halls and extra care facilities.”
  • Sandwell – Libraries face job cuts in restructure – Express and Star. “all of the 14.86 management posts currently held at the council’s libraries are deleted and replaced with just 8.86 posts.” … “Of the six posts set to go, four are currently vacant and will be dissolved, but two members of staff will be offered voluntary redundancy. There will also be changes to how the council’s archive service is managed that will see the services frontline provision run from Smethwick Library, but the number of jobs will remain the same.” … “Sandwell Library and Information Service have been asked to deliver saving £343,000 for 2014/15.” Job losses account for £165 of cut. “This is the latest round of job cuts in the service after officers where set the task in 2012 of reducing the number of posts by 50 per cent, from 18.86 to 9.86.” … “The council already shaved £300,000 off its library budget in 2013/14 and cut a further £880,000 in the two years before that.” [The one comment on this post says that these management posts probably were not needed in the first place and won’t be missed – Ed.].