So public librarians know that, far from being the quiet shy people stereotyped in popular culture, we’re actually dealing with people all the time.  Being an extrovert is a positive advantage in this profession.  Library staff deal with the public every day but probably not enough with other library staff outside of their own organisations, especially in these days of limited and sometimes non-existent training budgets. But it is worth the effort to get out there and meet people with different experiences and views.  I think this is one of the reasons why the Librarycamp movement is doing so well as is #uklibchat.  I recommend both even though I’m not involved enough in either.  More traditionally, there’s a pile of events listed below, from the biggest like CILIP 2015 to webcasts.  I’d also recommend for your perusal the Library Campaign AGM because these are people who give up their time to fight for libraries and your jobs.  They work really hard and they care and, I think, they’d really appreciate a few librarians along to give them support and some inside (and totally confidential) views on what is really going on.


National News

  • The Human Rights and Equality Impact Assessments of Public Spending Cuts – A Resource Database – Warwick University. “The Centre for Human Rights in Practice has developed this database to provide useful resources for organisations, groups and individuals concerned with the human rights and/or equality impact of public spending cuts in the UK. The database contains resources to support organisations, groups and individuals who wish to carry out Equality and/or Human Rights Impact Assessments of the public spending cuts or to use human rights or equality legislation to challenge public spending cuts. It includes examples of impact assessments that have already been carried out, toolkits and guides to carrying out impact assessments and sources of information that might be useful in carrying out impact assessments. It also includes a comprehensive list of legal challenges to public spending cuts on human rights and equality grounds and guides to using human rights and equality legislation to challenge public spending cuts.”
  • Internet training would cut pensioner loneliness, says think tank – BBC. “Loneliness among the over-65s could be tackled by training more older people to use the internet, a report by a centre-right think tank has suggested. Policy Exchange has called for every person in the UK to be taught basic digital skills, including how to send emails and use social networking sites.” … one case study includes “I learnt because the public library had a very good facility where you could go and learn how to use the internet and that was very useful indeed.”
  • Library A to Z illustrations, book and advocacy tools…  – Kickstarter.  Project raises £4543 from 155 backers.  Original goal was £2000.  An heavily illustrated A to Z of words associated with public libraries will be produced. Cards and posters will be produced available for all to use.  Materials will be sent to at least five organisations to publicise the message.
  • Mellissa Morgan: Entrepreneur British Library. “Mellissa Morgan, aka Ms Cupcake, used our Business & IP Centre to help her start-up the first entirely vegan bakery. Based in Brixton, Ms Cupcake has taken part in the Innovating for Growth programme. One to one session with experts and specialist events such as speed-mentoring have helped the business to grow both nationally and internationally”
  • New LGA chair: I’ll end ‘consensus at all costs’ approachLGA. “The LGA is set to give its political groups a greater role in speaking out about government policies, abandoning its cross-party approach to lobbying on controversial issues, its likely next chair has revealed.”
  • Skillswise resources for the 2014 Quick Reads books – BBC. “BBC Skillswise has teamed up with the Quick Reads charity to give you a taster of each of the six new Quick Read books for 2014. You can hear the authors reading from their books below. If you are in a reading group, or learning or teaching in an adult literacy class, you can print out conversation starters around scenes from each of the stories.”


  • CILIP 2015 conference – 2-3 July 2015 at St George’s Hall in Liverpool. “The 2015 conference will seek to facilitate the essential information and debate of relevance to CILIP Members and those working across the library and information professions. We will continue to build on the successful strategy behind CILIP Umbrella 2013, one of eight conferences in the running for the title of Best Association Conference at the forthcoming Conference of the Year Awards. “
  • Going beyond Google – American Libraries.  Webcast on 12 June (2pm EST time: 8am in the UK).  “It’s a question librarians are asked constantly: Why do people need us when they have Google and other public search tools? … we’ll talk about our value as experts, what it means and how we can effectively convey it to the public.
  • Library Campaign AGM14 June in London. “Book a free place to attend The Library Campaign’s AGM and the open discussion that follows to explore the issues surrounding libraries and to help help shape the future direction and priorities of The Library Campaign … You need not be a member of The Library Campaign to attend, although only members can vote at the AGM. And we always welcome new members to support our work”
  • Simply Connect! Libraries breaking social isolation – Northamptonshire Libraries.  12 June in Northampton, 9.45am to 3.45pm. “Public libraries role as safe, stigma-free places at the heart of communities is well-documented and often mentioned – but what opportunities does this offer to tackle social isolation?  What other assets do libraries bring to the table?  This one day conference will set the framework and showcase examples of great, innovative practice of libraries helping to break social isolation.”

International news

  • Aaron Tay (Librarian, e-service facilitator at National University of Singapore Libraries) ‏- This Week in Libraries (Singapore/Netherlands/Global). “Aaron is Senior Librarian and e­-service facilitator at the National University of Singapore Libraries. Aaron was also named a Library Journal’s Mover & Shaker in 2011 as Tech Leader. Aaron Tay’s prior experience as an auditor makes him “a believer in collecting and using empirical data to make decisions.” He now applies that mind­set to social networking and the website to find ways to improve the library. By using web tools to monitor social media sites for mentions about his library, for example, he has converted unhappy users “into strong supporters of the library due to our fast reaction and service recovery response.  We talk about Blue Ocean strategies for libraries, virtual reference, hearing yourself think through blogging and helping researchers to get eyeballs on their materials. “
  • Did you know? – Public Libraries 2020 (EU). 22% of EU has never used the internet, 50% have little or no computer skills.  Public libraries provide computing to 13.9 million Europeans: 24 million Europeans have been involved in informal learning at their public libraries.  Many more statistics too.
  • Interview: How Libraries Changed Maya Angelou’s Life – Huffington Post (USA). First published in October 2010 and reprinted here in tribute to her on her passing away.  “”I always knew from that moment, from the time I found myself at home in that little segregated library in the South, all the way up until I walked up the steps of the New York City library, I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I’ll be OK. It really helped me as a child, and that never left me. So I have a special place for every library, in my heart of hearts.”
  • Official launch of new national library service providing accessible library materials to the over three million Canadians with print disabilities – CNIB (Canada). “The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) will officially launch a new national service to provide accessible library materials – including a broad selection of materials in audio, braille, e-text and described video formats – to the over three million Canadians with print disabilities. ” … “It is hard to imagine a world without access to reading, but for the over three million Canadians who have a print disability, access to a wide selection of reading materials is often an ongoing challenge. CELA makes it possible for these Canadians to gain easy access to a wealth of reading materials, in formats of their choice, right in their own communities, through their local public library.  “
  • Public Libraries 2020 – “The Public Libraries 2020 programme is run by the Reading & Writing Foundation, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries programme.” …. “We will support advocacy projects at any level (local, national or international) that outline services that public libraries provide in the areas of social inclusion, digital inclusion or lifelong learning. The grant: You can apply for a grant of up to 15,000.00 euros.”
  • Public libraries in Nigeria to become public access points – Humanipo (Nigeria). “The Nigerian government has announced plans to transform public libraries across Nigeria into public access points to allow them to provide reliable and affordable internet access.”

UK local news by authority

  • Brent – Conservative leader vows to hold the council to account – Brent and Kilburn Times. ” “Our concerns are still the concerns of the people which we outlined in our manifesto. Library closures are still a major issue and we will endeavour to support the campaigners and reopen the libraries with community support. We will also see that the state of footpaths and potholes in our roads, which Labour has neglected over the last four years, are tackled urgently”
    Nottingham – Volunteers lead way as library escapes the axe – Nottingham Post. Bakersfield Library, threatened last year, will now be run by volunteers with council support in the first example of its kind in the city.  12 month trial period.
    Nottinghamshire – Council to explore community partnership libraries – Worksop Guardian. “In recent weeks, local groups in Misterton, Collingham and Sutton on Trent have all approached the county council to explore the idea further but as yet no firm proposals have been put together. Coun John Knight, Culture Committee chairman, said: “We are keen to work with communities to help provide the library services they want and we also want a fairer deal for library users.” … “There is also the potential for a small number of ‘mini-library’ access points in the Newark and Sherwood district being explored and discussions are underway.”
  • Southend – Avid readers knock book challenge for six – Echo. “Southend mayor Chris Walker handed out certificates to 80 of more than 165 Southend Adult Community College students who have completed this year’s “Six Book Challenge” … “A short film shot at the Forum Southend library in Elmer Square to promote the challenge was shown at the ceremony, which Westcliff jazz trumpeter Digby Fairweather also attended, along with Echo editor Colin Channon. Mr Fairweather, a trained librarian, said: “As the Southend Six Book Challenge champion I’d like to offer my sincerest congratulations to all the gifted people who accepted their certificates.”
  • Tameside – Free Adult Learners’ Week events – Tameside Citizen.  Impressive array of events.