• Blackman embarks on Scotland tour – BookSeller. “Children’s laureate Malorie Blackman will this May visit schools and libraries in four cities in Scotland as part of a tour organised by the Scottish Book Trust. Between 19th-22nd May, Blackman will talk at free events in Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh about some of the issues that she has tackled in her work, such as racism in her Noughts and Crosses series (Corgi Children’s), war in Nobile Conflict (Doubleday Children’s) and teenage pregnancy in Boys Don’t Cry (Corgi Children’s).”
  • Can we, will we pay the bill for digital inclusion? – UK Authority. “This month, the Cabinet Office brought together more than 40 public, private and voluntary sector organisations – from Age UK to e-on, Google and the BBC – to sign a UK Digital Inclusion Charter. The move formed part of a new national digital inclusion strategy which aims to reduce the number of people who are offline by 25% by 2016, and a further 25% every two years after that. This will bring 2.7m more people online by 2016, with 8.1m remaining offline; a further 2m online by 2018, leaving about 6m; a further 1.5m by 2020, leaving about 4.5m; and so on.”

“All these initiatives are welcome, though some might ask – why are private firms stepping in to offer what seem like public services, more commonly offered in libraries or housing centres? Clearly, the firms involved feel there will be branding and marketing benefit, from feel-good factor to bringing potential new customers to their stores.”

  • #uklibchat: Classifying the librarian – #uklibchat. “This chat is about the ways we go about supporting our customers needs and the boundaries of what we do, specially when we interact with our customers. Librarians can be teachers, advisers, information sources, researchers, events managers, web designers, data analysts, marketeers, child minders, social workers. How far should we push the boundaries of what a librarian is?”


  • 7 Big Myths About Libraries – Huffington Post (USA). “Americans value their libraries, but there are still misconceptions about libraries that exist among folks who maybe haven’t visited a library in a while… or haven’t visited one ever! Since we at the Library as Incubator Project work hard to highlight the many ways that libraries and artists can support each other, we thought we’d turn some of these misconceptions on their head by looking at them through an artsy lens” … myths are: quiet, bookclubs are boring, crafts are for kids, libraries are books only, boring, for nerds, for little kids.
  • Changing role of a librarian – Hindustan Times (India). “As India moves towards ­becoming a knowledge-based society with a proliferation of learning and research ­institutes, the demand for and ­importance of library science is growing ­rapidly. As a result, job ­opportunities are on the upswing. With the advent of information technology, the traditional concept is being revised to include new-age tools of information like CDs, Internet, e-libraries etc.”
  • Henry Rollins Loves EveryLibrary – Huffington Post (USA). ” This is a guy who gets it. He understands the leverage inherent with libraries, the fact that we are in everyone’s backyard and accessible to all. Rollins does not put libraries in a box, does not make them objects of nostalgia and romance; no, he sees them as a genuine force in people’s lives. He is smart enough to endorse EveryLibrary, the national library Super PAC and to his credit that is some seriously next gen support of libraries”
  • In multicultural Australia, libraries should be non-negotiable assets – Guardian (Australia). “The federal government pulled $1.05m for the construction of a new library in Tarneit – a move that seems downright petty and callous … If you wish to glimpse the heart of the outer-west suburbs of Melbourne, step into a local library. This is what you might see: Karen refugees learning English idioms, young Sudanese-Australians at the computers or a Chinese woman browsing through audiobooks. You might hear the lilt of nursery rhymes from a far corner, where babies and toddlers are waiting to be read stories. Behind the shelves, elderly women are playing Scrabble. “


  • Principal Librarian: Education Library Service (ELS) – Nottinghamshire County Council. £33,128 – £37,578 pa. “We are seeking to appoint an experienced leader for our education library service. Highly rated by its customers with over 70% of schools in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire deciding to buy back each year…”

UK local news by authority

  • Leicestershire – Have your say on libraries – Leicester Mercury. “Leicestershire County Council is consulting on the future of 36 libraries and is looking to save cash by handing them over to parish councils or residents’ groups.”
  • Leicestershire – Reusable Nappy Talks & Demonstrations – Leicestershire Council. “For Real Nappy Week (28th April to 3rd May) Leicestershire County Council are hosting talks and demonstrations across the county. There will be a display of different types of reusable nappies and a demo of the Lending Kit, with the opportunity for questions afterwards.”
  • Somerset – Mental health books in Somerset libraries – This is the West Country. “Books to help young people improve their health and happiness areavailable on a Books on Prescription scheme. The initiative, co-ordinated by Somerset Libraries and Somerset County Council’s public health team, enables health care workers to prescribe self-help books”
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Fighting Library cuts in south Wales – Socialist. “Around 100 people, including Unison members, library users and anti-cuts campaigners gathered outside the Civic Offices in Barry on 28 April to protest against the Vale of Glamorgan council’s plans to inflict brutal cuts on the library service” … “The Socialist Party will be holding a public meeting on the fight to defend the libraries at the Windsor Hotel, Holton Road, Barry at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7 May. “
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Protesters slam library proposals that could see staff replaced by volunteers Penarth Times. “Crowds gathered outside the Vale Council Civic Offices in a UNISON-organised protest to show their opposition to the plans before they were discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday, April 28. Motorists beeped their horns in a show of support as they drove past the protest, while campaigners urged passers-by to sign a petition to save libraries across the Vale.”

“It’s a big community and people deserve to have the library run by the council and not get people from the community to run it themselves.” She added: “It’s not fair to expect volunteers to provide a service that the council should be providing. It will be difficult and it will be a very restricted service.” One employee of Penarth Library, where there is set to be reduced opening hours, said staff were “disgusted” by the proposals. “We don’t think the review has gone through the necessary feasibility studies that it should have done,” they said. “It’s just how they think a library can be sustained with skilled and trained staff replaced by volunteers to maintain a service.””

  • Warrington – Changing attitudes to reading in Warrington Reading Agency. “Libraries in Warrington wanted to build on the existing Reading Activists project and work with more young people in the area to improve their confidence, self esteem and employability and to change their attitudes to reading. So they set up The Friday Project with a group of eleven young people for two hours a week over a five week period. The young people involved had left education and were all seeking training or employment. They were all between the ages of eighteen and twenty.”
  • Wiltshire – Wiltshire’s Creative Libraries at the heart of the local community – Arts Council UK.”Alongside the core commissions, a number of micro commissions and participatory projects will take place in libraries across the county, giving the library service the opportunity to work closely with a range of arts organisations, and for smaller and larger arts organisations to share learning through the project.  Creative Libraries is being delivered in close partnership with Wiltshire’s Arts service.”

“It is hoped that the Grants for the arts Libraries fund will inspire ambitious, innovative partnerships between libraries and arts organisations, and encourage library users and those living locally to take part in artistic and cultural activities. Public libraries can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 covering activities lasting up to three years. The fund opened to applications on 27 September 2012 and will run until March 2015”