3D printers look to be the same as buses: you wait for one for ages then two come at once.  Dundee have let me know that they had their machine set up last Tuesday while Exeter, tardy things, only opened theirs up to the public on Thursday.  The Scottish library service is using theirs in quite a novel way too: to print out characters which are then used in story-telling sessions for those with additional needs. It will also be used for printing items for reminiscence packs. Genius.




  • Response to Challenge Accepted: Alternatives to Volunteer Libraries – Leon’s Library Blog. Trevor Craig puts the case for avoiding volunteer-run libraries. “I think a back to basics approach is what is required, and the SCL’s universal offers is a good framework for this but it cannot be delivered by volunteers and self service machines, both of which the users don’t like and arguably doesn’t actually save much money.” … “The obvious answer to anyone that looks at the CIPFA returns is the huge gigantic elephant in the room of the service support costs. Obviously I’m more on top of the detail for the Oxfordshire data but most I’ve looked at it costs councils millions to support the library services. Its too much and the administrative burden could and should be shared with other authorities.” … “The 151 library authorities should be abolished and replaced with a smaller number of authorities along a similar line to police authorities”
  • Why curiosity will rule the modern world – New Statesman. “Before the internet and before the printing press, knowledge was the preserve of the 1 per cent. Books were the super yachts of 17th-century kings. The advent of the printing press and, latterly, the worldwide web has broken this monopoly. Today, in a world where vast inequalities in access to information are finally being levelled, a new cognitive divide is emerging: between the curious and the incurious.”


  • How to Build a Kinder Web for the Transgender Community – Wired (USA/Global). “Web filters are more than a temporary inconvenience for many transgender people who rely on public libraries and internet cafes to access the internet. The problem is even worse in the UK, where all new internet connections are filtered by default at the ISP level.”
  • Library Advocacy & Lobbying: #followalibrary day (International) – International Librarians Network (Global). “What would happen if each person on twitter would mention his or her favorite library there? One definite outcome would be: the enormous amount of positive attention to this great industry. And for this reason October 1 has been declared follow a library on twitter day. 
  • The Answer To “Who Are You Empowering?” Better Be “Our Patrons” – Librarian By Day (USA). “We all make trade-offs on privacy and technology, some knowingly (I own a Kindle and I use Google) some unknowingly. Insulting patrons by telling them you know best, or better, about their privacy wants and needs isn’t going to win the hearts and minds of your patrons. Think carefully about the message you’re sending, anything that could be interpreted as “come to the library, we’re smarter than you” might not be the message you want to send. “
  • Why We Shouldn’t Worry About Open Wi-Fi – Gizmodo (USA). “At EFF, we are big fans of open wireless. But we also know that operators of open networks sometimes worry that they could be legally responsible if people use their networks to engage in copyright infringement. We’ve put together a short white paper that generally explains the scope and limits of operator liability for the acts of users, and additional steps network operators may choose to take to further limit their legal risk. “


  • Library Campaign AGM – June 14th from 2pm at Room 3B, University of London Union (ULU) Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY.  Includes 3pm to 4.30pm discussion on how all groups can work together.

Local UK news

  • Cheshire West and Chester – Councils spent £393k on failed merger of services Chester First. ““It is right to thoroughly investigate an opportunity and have the bravery to say it isn’t right for us at the moment. The work we have already done is not wasted and puts us in a much stronger position to deliver our internal service reviews. “The close relationship we have developed over the last few months is already yielding positive results. Most notably, the work we are taking forward in developing a shared traded service for schools and work around our leisure offer.”
  • Dundee – 3D Printing First for Central Library – Leisure and Culture Dundee. “Dundee Central Library is the first Public Library in Scotland to incorporate 3D printing into their library services for groups with additional support needs. These groups, who already use the library for IT, storytelling and creative writing sessions, are now using 3D printing to produce resources to help the library and its users. Characters are being printed from a children’s book that, once constructed, are used in storytelling sessions in the Children’s Library to help enhance the experience for children who are blind, or partially sighted.”

“Using the 3D printer gives people in this group a real sense of achievement and builds confidence and self esteem. It also offers them the opportunity to learn new skills, and make something that is both useful, and worthwhile. It also uses their new found abilities to help others.”

Andy McNab at Oxgangs Library Edinburgh May 2014 - 2 (1)

Andy McNab at Oxgangs Library Edinburgh, May 2014

  • Edinburgh – Top author Andy McNab joins Edinburgh Libraries to champion reading for pleasure – Reading Agency (press release). “Bestselling author Andy McNab joined Edinburgh City Libraries on Wednesday 21 May to support Learning At Work Week (19-25 May in Scotland) and kick off a UK tour celebrating the success of The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge programme.” … “Andy McNab, said “We all want to have the best chances in life but reading and writing with confidence are key to this. The Six Book Challenge is a fantastic way for people at work to improve their skills at the same time as enjoying reading and talking about it with their colleagues and friends.”
  • Glasgow – Glasgow School of Art – 23 Librarians. “Glasgow School of Art has featured twice on 23 Librarians, in posts by Delphine Dallison and Jennifer Higgins. The photograph above was taken on Thursday last week, the day before the fire in the west wing (nearest to camera) of the Mackintosh Building. As most of you will know, although 90% of the structure was saved, the iconic Mackintosh Library was gutted by the flames. In case anyone is interested in helping, a Mackintosh Building Fire Fund has been set up – you can find details on the GSA site.”
  • Greenwich – Panini Sticker Swap Club at Plumstead Library – Better. “Plumstead Library are giving you the chance to get swapping with their new Panini Sticker Swap Club. Come along to Plumstead Library 3.30pm after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and all day on Saturdays to get rid of your swapsies! The Swap Club will be running from now and throughout the 2014 World Cup. So if you have a spare Rooney or Suarez, Plumstead Library is the place to be. See who can finish their album first! “
  • Hampshire – Library consultation ends – Salisbury Journal. “Plans to shed jobs, axe mobile libraries and man some libraries with volunteers are threatened under £900,000 worth of cuts that will be made to the library service, which unions fear will leave the service “unsustainable”. A total of 27 full-time posts, which include headquarters staff, library managers and outreach teams, face the axe.”
  • Hampshire / Southampton – Not enough active borrowers in Southampton, according to study – Southern Daily Echo. Looks at performance of both library services by using the Cipfa comparator data.  “Southampton leisure boss Councillor Matt Tucker said a review into the future of the library services currently under way would address any failings. In terms of the spending, he said the city was under severe financial strain following years of Government cuts. He also questioned if library usage could be measured by people borrowing books alone because people now have access to e-books and other digital services available in city libraries. No one at Hampshire County Council was available to comment.”
  • Orkney – Reading for wellbeing:‘mood-busting’ titles at the library – Orcadian. “service was launched this afternoon. The original service was set up in 2007 and centred around a list of self-help books that GPs and other health professionals could recommend to people experiencing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, alcoholism and whole range of other mental health problems. The revamped service, which will go under the name of Reading for Wellbeing, includes the original titles but now includes novels and poetry.”
  • Oxfordshire – Downton Abbey saves village library with £20,000 donation – Telegraph. “Downton Abbey has helped to save a village library after it donated £20,000 to residents for putting up with the shooting of the hit ITV show … The sum has been set aside by Bampton Parish Council to fund half the £8,800 staffing costs the village must pay each year to keep Bampton Library up and running after its funding was dramatically cut in 2011” … “Carnival also hires the village recreation ground for parking its trucks, canteen wagons and make-up artists’ cars, and has given £2,600 to Oxfordshire County Council, who are spending it on library furniture. “