My last item, probably, on children’s library webpages.  John Dolan has kindly pointed out to me that Stories from the Web has been doing much of the work for those authorities who buy into it for years. I hadn’t really come across it before and there lies the problem – only 17 authorities in the UK buy into it.  How many more will continue to do so as the cuts further bite can only be guessed at.  It strikes me that this is something that could usefully be done nationally and avoid the vagaries of individual authorities.  It would also mean that the website could forget about its cumbersome need at the moment for the prospective user to go to a physical library for a username and password.  Like so many other things, this is something that Sieghart could perhaps be looking at in his review. There are other areas too – like the much discussed libraries development agency, marketing, etc – that could be better done nationally but are so often not at the moment which could usefully be the subject of some research.  Here’s hoping.



  • Alan Gibbons, Children’s Author at Friern Barnet Library’s 80th Birthday – Youtube.
  • Consultation: backing no horses, and the importance of interim relief – Local Government Lawyer. “that the law holds protected by the requirements of procedural  fairness; the law recognises that the interest cannot properly be  withdrawn (or denied) without the claimant being given an opportunity to comment and without the authority communicating rational grounds for  any adverse decision.””
  • Dear Public Library: Getting rid of all of the books makes you a Community Center…not a library. – Reddit. “While I approve of innovation and embracing the future, getting rid of almost the entire collection of books and tossing patron browsing in the trash is a big mistake in my opinion.  What are your thoughts?”
  • Library RFID Survey – Lis-Pub-Libs. “After much lobbying the survey is back! Regular respondents will be pleased to know however that this year’s survey is much shorter than usual. Like the very first survey – in 2009 – the intention is primarily to try and establish how many libraries are using the technology – and in what ways. Since that first survey many things have changed and RFID is now frequently used for stock control, resource discovery, smart shelving and acquisition as well as with smartphones and tablets offering a growing number of new applications. I’m frequently asked for information about the scale of RFID use in libraries around the world. Not only librarians but suppliers, investors, library and cultural agencies and even governments want to know who’s using which applications and what trends are emerging – and it’s difficult to obtain accurate figures. So even if you have completed one of these before please do complete this year’s survey. You won’t have more than 15 questions to answer and none of them should take very long. Everyone is welcome to participate but you may need a little expert knowledge to answer ALL the questions so please pass this on to your local expert if you’re unsure of anything. All data collected remains both anonymous and confidential. If you have additional comments or information – not covered by the survey – please feel free to email me at mick@libraryrfid.co.uk. The survey will close on May 25th. Complete the survey here.
  • UK eBook Lending Program a Success for Libraries, Publishers – Good E Reader. “A recent program for UK libraries to lend ebooks has been considered not only a success for institutions and patrons, but also for publishers given the number of click through sales that resulted from borrows. The report, given at a panel at the London Book Fair this week, was from the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) president Janene Cox. The program, launched on March 3rd, 2014, in four areas of the country, gave visitors to the physical libraries access to content that wasn’t available elsewhere, including new releases. While visitors still had to come into their libraries to access the list of titles, they were gaining this access to content that wasn’t readily available for device lending elsewhere. The results of the pilot have already been enlightening and positive, and interestingly have also been in line with patron behavior in various pilots and studies conducted by different companies in different countries”

Supporter message

  • ‘Discovering Digital Libraries’ – Special Event at Oxford University Press – Do you want to have your say? We want public librarians to join us for a special free event in June, ‘Discovering Digital Libraries’, part of our series of Library Advisory Council meetings. This will be a fantastic opportunity to connect with public librarians from across the UK, and to discuss together ideas around discoverability and awareness of online resources in the library, using Social Media, increasing usage, and effective communication between OUP and our libraries. If you’d like to attend, please contact us for more information and to apply.


  • 404 Day Recap – Electronic Frontier Foundation (USA). “to call attention to Internet censorship in public schools and libraries in the United States. This censorship is the result of a well-meaning but misguided law, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which ties federal funding for public schools and libraries to requirements to filter child pornography and content that is obscene or “harmful to minors.” Unfortunately, bad and secretive filtering technology and over-aggressive filtering implementations result in the filtering of constitutionally-protected speech, among other problems.”
  • Check It Out! A Photographic Tour Of America’s Public Libraries – NPR (USA). “Robert Dawson has been photographing public libraries across the country for almost 20 years. And now, just in time for National Library Week, he has published his photos in a new book called The Public Library. It includes reflections on libraries from Dr. Seuss, Amy Tan, E.B. White and others, but the stars of the book are the photographs, from the New York Public Library — which is as splendid as any great European cathedral — to libraries that are housed in shacks and shopping malls.”
  • Michigan librarians trained to deal with active shooter situation – M Live (USA). “The training by the Michigan State Police coincidentally comes a day after a student at a Pittsburgh area high school stabbed 20 students. The program was presented by the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. The recent spate of school violence – including Wednesday’s mass stabbing at Franklin Memorial High School in Murrysville, Pa. – has led to a more proactive approach to potential trouble in a common areas such as churches and libraries”
  • Report: Libraries Prefer the 3M Cloud Library Over the Competition – Good E-Reader (USA). “Overdrive is getting quite ubiquitous for digital eBooks at the library. The company has the largest international footprint and a huge marketing department. In most cases the libraries that buy into Overdrive are the same ones doing business with 3M Cloud Library and Axis 360. A new report issued this week asks the question what eBook distribution system is preferred for US libraries?”

UK local news by authority

  • Brent – More than a Quarter of Brent Library Loans are Outside Libraries – James Powney’s Blog. These include online renewal, outreach service, home library service, phone renewal and (to a very small scale – about 1.1% of all Brent book loans) e-books.
  • Buckinghamshire – Report to the Environment, Transport and Locality Services Select Committee – Buckinghamshire County Council. “Since 2009/10 the Library Service has succeeded in reducing costs by over  £1 million without closing libraries or reducing opening hours. The Bucks financial plan for the four years to 2018 requires efficiencies  of £595,000 from the Library Service. Plans are being developed to deliver savings as follows: • Self-service , organisational change and additional volunteering  £450,000 • Community libraries £65,000 • Increased income £40,000 • Improved management of book stock £30,000 • Review of Home Library service £10,000 Work is underway to deliver four more community library partnerships by the end of 2014 (Bourne End, Burnham, Castlefield and Micklefield)”
  • Cheshire East – ‘Hub’ plan could open new chapter for county libraries – Guardian series. “Our challenge is balancing the expectations of our traditional library users with the diverse needs and expectations of residents who visit our libraries to seek help with finding a job, get information on benefits, develop digital skills or take part in community activities. He said the council’s ambition was to broaden the role of its libraries and develop community hubs that appealed to a wider audience, bucking the trend of declining library usage. The council’s three-year plan established a project to develop a new model for sustainable library services and community hubs.”
  • Devon – County Council plan analysis of £110m cuts hitting youth centres, libraries and care homes – Exeter Express and Echo. “Conservative leader John Hart told a meeting of his cabinet this week that he was concerned over the combined effect of planned reductions to youth and children’s centres, libraries and care homes. The move comes after it emerged that South Molton could become a government case study to assess the effects of cuts to an average market town.”
  • Dumfries and Galloway – Council agree to increase library hours – Galloway Gazette. “Robust opposition from the library users of Wigtown and Whithorn have forced Dumfries and Galloway Council to shelve  plans to cut costs by slashing the opening hours in both facilities. There was worldwide outrage earlier this year when the local authority announced that Wigtown Library, at the heart of Scotland’s National Booktown, would have its opening hours trimmed from 40 and a half to 17, while Whithorn Library faced a cut of three hours from 12 to nine.”
  • Greenwich (GLL)  – Libraries in Eltham and Thamesmead extend opening hours following public demand – News Shopper. “The newly refurbished Claude Ramsey is now open for an additional 15-and-a-half hours a week including Monday and Thursday mornings, and all day Tuesday. The Eltham Centre now offers an out-of-hours Library Express, open for 34 hours a week outside regular library opening hours.   Library Express offers access to bestsellers, quick pick collections, internet, and photocopying facilities.”
  • Hampshire – Libraries ‘unsustainable’ under £900,000 of cuts – Southern Daily Echo. ” Unison claim the cuts – which are three times more than originally planned – are unnecessary because the council is sitting on about £400million of reserves.   Steve Squibbs, a local Unison rep at Hythe Library, said: “If the cuts go ahead they will result in a service that is unsustainable as staff struggle to maintain a quality service for the public.””
  • Hampshire – Library staff jobs under threat in council bid to save money – Get Hampshire. “The council is looking to cut 27 full-time equivalent jobs from the service that has libraries in Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet and Yateley. The proposals are part of a package of measures , which include reducing the mobile library service in Hart and Rushmoor and ending the family library link service and closing three libraries in other parts of the county.”

“Library management make no secret of the fact that these proposals have been under discussion for up to a year, but we are being given just 30 days to respond. “The council needs to rethink its approach and engage in meaningful consultation with the trade unions about how the library service and our members’ jobs can be protected.” The council was unavailable to comment.”

  • Leicestershire – Doors open at revamped museum and library in Harborough – In Loughborough. “As part of a £5.75m transformation of a former corset factory in Adam and Eve Street, the museum, library, adult learning and registration service is now on the first floor of The Symington Building which also houses Harborough District Council’s offices.” … ““In the library, we also want to encourage children’s reading as well as supporting well-being for the local community which emphasises the changing roles of today’s libraries. We want to inspire, support and encourage learning for everyone of all ages and abilities.”
  • Leicestershire – Closure threat for libraries in council cuts – Burton Mail. “Measham Library, in High Street, is one of 36 of the ‘least used’ libraries in Leicestershire that could close if Leicestershire County Council cannot find volunteers to run it as a ‘community hub’. The council has now launched a consultation running until July 7 for residents to have their say on the proposals.”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries: Sir Edward Leigh tells Lincolnshire County Council to think again over closures – Lincolnshire Echo. “Sir Edward has protested the scale of cuts to libraries in Lincolnshire and in a letter to the council he calls local libraries “an absolutely vital local resource” and said they “inculcate in the young a sense of the adventure of learning and provide access to new avenues of knowledge for them to explore”. He writes: “No one disagrees with the need for savings to be found and for cuts to be made. “But it is necessary we in Lincolnshire think about the long term.”
  • Lincolnshire – Libraries: county council responds to Sir Edward Leigh’s criticism – Lincolnshire Echo. “Councillor Worth responded: “I’m sure that Sir Edward will be delighted to know that, thanks to the support of local communities, it now looks like that we’ll end up with more library provision than we have now – while also making substantial savings. “We’ll be offering all the groups that have come forward both financial and professional support, helping create a firm foundation for the long-term future of the new community hubs.”
  • Lincolnshire – Library campaigners take their fight to Westminster – Sleaford Standard. “Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe, hosted a lobby in The Peel Room at the Houses of Parliament and six campaigners walked from Parliament to 10 Downing Street to appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron directly. The six campaigners presented a book of 900 comments called ‘The Tip of the Iceberg’. Maurice Nauta, one of the six, said: “The lobby was to make sure the case for saving the libraries in Lincolnshire was heard loud and clear in Westminster and would reach the ears of the Prime Minister himself.”
  • Rochdale – Scheme to encourage early library membership launched – Rochdale Online.  “Each parent who registers their newborn’s birth at Rochdale Register Office will be given a library card. “
  • Windsor and Maidenhead – Royal Borough libraries to be part of e-book research  – Maidenhead Advertiser. “The borough is one of four local authorities nationwide taking part in a project carrying out real-time research into the impact of e-book lending in public libraries. The year-long pilot will look at the impact on authors, publishers and libraries to help find a suitable and sustainable model for all stakeholders”