Some mentions of libraries are starting to surface in councillors battling local elections.  Not many though. Perhaps that can be changed with the  Speak Up For Libraries manifesto.  Or perhaps we just need more teenagers putting messages in books saying how great they are.  It may not be very earnest, but I love it.  See below.



  • Don’t be a loan – BookSeller. “Oswestry Library can offer flexible spaces for events, author-friendly audiences and access to its promotional networks, while Booka has its own dedicated fanbase and the ability to entice well-known writers to our corner of Shropshire. In terms of developing communities where reading is treasured and where books—whether bought or borrowed—are valued, our partnership can only be a good thing. Certainly, both bookshop and library are thriving.”

“Dear reader.  You are probably very intrigued to find a letter in your library book.  Well, good choice, one of my personal favourites. Anyway, this letter is here because (1) I thought it would be fun and (2) it is on my bucket list.

Sorry if you thought MI6 was trying to recruit you: now that would be exciting.  Nope, just a teenager enjoying life and trying to make people reading brilliant books smile.

If you love reading like myself the maybe you could try out some of my favourite authors: Patrick Ness, Charlie Higson, Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Grant. If you haven’t read any books by them, I can assure you that they are brilliant. Thanks for reading sorry for the interruption”.

Note found in library book, Suffolk Libraries

“When the creative industries bring £8m an hour into the UK and account for 5.6% of all jobs, surely it’s madness to deny access to the ideas that will provide the springboard to creative endeavour. It’s a bit like saying: ‘Hey, of course we want to encourage manufacturing, but it’s expensive to teach maths and physics, so let’s get volunteers in to do it instead.” Ann Cleeves

  • Local elections – Speak Up for Libraries. Manifesto from library umbrella group for the local elections.  “If people wait another four years then their own library could go”. Politicians should acknowledge libraries are important for people, ensure engage with communities for appropriate library provision, ensure libraries properly resourced and tracked, that libraries contribute to health and wellbeing in communities.
  • Welsh voluntary sector ‘facing its biggest shake-up since 1997’ – Third Sector. “Citing the debate about libraries closing down, which has touched several communities over the past few years, Benfield advocated the implementation of a co-production model. He said that instead of closing them down, volunteers could help to run libraries, if local government was prepared to mix its contribution with that of the community.”

UK local news by authority

  • Croydon – Let’s make our libraries the cornerstones of our communities – Inside Croydon. “Timothy Godfrey, spokesman on arts and culture for the local Labour group, outlines his party’s policy for the borough’s marginalised and privatised public library service” … “I visited the Central Library last week, and found the main entrance shuttered up. Entry is now via the exit. The new private contractor for Croydon’s public libraries (Carillion) finds it “easier” (for them) to manage the library through one entrance/exit. In our four-storey library, I found two escalators out of order, the place dimly lit, fairly grubby and with new restrictions on when and where students may or may not study – and with restrictions on the number of desks spaces, hardly helpful for students as we enter the annual exam period.”

An entire floor had no staff on it. The children’s library had no librarian on duty either. Carillion, the private company that now runs the libraries, has purposefully “de-skilled” the borough’s libraries, employing as few professional librarians as possible.

  • Devon – “We have to fight to save services” – Mid Devon Gazette. “If we value a service we really need to say so. Just because it is a newish facility does not protect it.” She said Devon County Council was “very clever” at making consultations exercises into closures seem like they were enhancing services when actually the schemes were all about saving money. Staff at the town’s library were concerned about the future of the service, she said, adding that the consequence of cuts to the library would seem “so awful”.
    Hertfordshire – Harpenden library rapped for stocking adult comics alongside children’s books – Herts Advertiser. “A major review into the positioning of “mature readers” graphic novels has taken place across Herts libraries after a mum complained about explicit images being easily accessible at the Harpenden branch.” … “The titles, which are aimed at adults because of their explicit or extreme content, were displayed on the other side of shelves holding children’s books, and mixed up with a range of all-ages publications featuring the likes of Superman and Spider-Man.” … “Louisa is a supporter of the national Child’s Eyes campaign aimed at keeping extreme images away from children, and added: “I am not calling for censorship, but if they are going to stock these books then the library staff need to know what is in them.”