More details of the consultation on library changes in Staffordshire have emerged, with 24 out of 43 branches being listed as possible for being run by volunteers.  The county joins a list of others (Lincolnshire – 32 out of 45, Leicestershire – 36 out of 52) going down this route.  It’ll be interesting if the changes go by without significant popular protest (as they have done apparently in Leicestershire) or reap the wrath of the whirlwind (as they’re currently doing in Lincolnshire).  Why some areas protest and others do not is a bit of a mystery: as is so often the case in public libraries, the research simply has not been done.

The people of Rhydyfelin in the Rhondda were definitely of the not taking it lying down category when the council decided at the last moment to close their library instead of another.  They won the right to take the council to judicial review over the absence of a public consultation, at which point the council reversed its decision.  You have to do those consultations, people.

Finally Wales continues its national approach to public libraries by announcing that it is introducing automatic provision of public library cards to all primary school children.  This follows on from their national reference and e-book websites and from their continued use of public library standards.  Makes me proud to come from West of Chepstow.



  • Yoga storytimes – Yoga stretches and movement will be woven into the story for a fun, interactive experience blending early literacy and health.


  • 2014 Library RFID Survey – Part One – Changing Libraries (UK/Global). “In all 574 replies were received. Some duplicates and responses from RFID companies (the survey wanted consumer opinions rather than suppliers’) were removed, leaving 419 different organisations represented in the final results. 16 countries are represented with the United Kingdom – as in previous years – forming the largest contingent.” … “Another recent change has seen libraries beginning to use Near-Field Communication (NFC). This is a form of RFID that uses the same frequency as the majority of library tags but requires the user to be in very close proximity to the tags. An increasing number of android-based smartphones and tablets have NFC scanners on-board – a characteristic that is beginning to be exploited by “app” providers in the library context.” See also 2014 Library RID Survey – Part Two,

    Join Mythical Maze, Summer Reading Challenge 2014 – Reading Agency
  • Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians – British Library. “Discover 1,200 Romantic and Victorian literary treasures, new insights by 60 experts, 25 documentary films, 30 inspirational teachers’ notes and more.”
  • Frank Lampard: why I love reading, writing and playing football – Guardian. “I did go to my local library when I was young. I particularly remember going during school holidays and taking out books whilst I was off school. I think it’s great if kids go to libraries as it’s a way of finding lots of variety in what you are reading”
  • Labour Party Consultation on Public Library Policy – Voices for the Library. “Helen Goodman MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, the Creative Industries and Communications, is calling for comments to help inform Labour’s future policy towards public libraries. Helen sets out a series of questions that she sees as crucial to informing their policy as they move towards writing the Labour Party manifesto for the general election in 2015. Comments to the following questions are requested to be sent by 30th June”
  • Power to the people – Question Everything. Concerned that Helen Goodman MP is not conducting consultation openly.
  • Tom Gutteridge: Friend’s career change is to be applauded – Journal. “This decision spells the end of the resource that ordinary poor and elderly residents of the town have enjoyed for generations. The play could have been set in a public library in 2014.”
  • Welsh children to be given library cards automatically – South Wales Evening Post. “the Welsh Government has announced that every primary school child will be given a free library card. The scheme will start with children aged 8-9 in Swansea, Blaenau Gwet, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil and Powys.” … “
“Each library card-holder  will be allowed to borrow books straight away and be given a free goodie bag to carry them home. Once proof of address is given, children will have access to all library resources, including free homework help, computer use and access, and various clubs, games and classes.”


  • Libraries’ online books database protected under ‘fair use’, court rules – Guardian (USA). “Universities and research libraries that created a searchable online database for millions of books did not violate copyright protections belonging to authors whose works were scanned, a US appeals court ruled on Tuesday. “
  • Library is the hummingbird – Library effect (USA). “Storytime inspires our kids with the power of great stories and their parents to read aloud, which again helps the children’s language development and makes them better readers. Makerspaces are emerging at libraries worldwide. Oh, and I almost forgot, you can still borrow good reads at your library – in traditional paper form and as e-books. In other words, by being the hummingbird the library is doing its part to put out the fire by supporting learning and inspiring people to read, experience and think.”
  • Telling Our Stories – A Lifelong Resource – Chatham-Kent Libraries (USA).
  • Library users quiz Pew Research (USA). “Take our library engagement quiz to learn how your library habits and attitudes stack up against the general population.
  • New at the Rapid City Public Libraries: Yoga Story Time – Current happenings at the library (USA). ” Yoga stretches and movement will be woven into the story for a fun, interactive experience blending early literacy and health.”

Local UK news by authority

“We are truly elated. This victory is down to the power of the people. The whole community was committed to fighting to save this very necessary establishment and we weren’t prepared to back down.”

  • Staffordshire – Libraries in Staffordshire to be run by community groups – Express and Star. “Libraries would be classed as either ‘local,’ ‘core’ or ‘extra’ centres in the plans being put forward by Staffordshire County Council. Those which are classed as ‘local’ could then be taken over by communities. There are 43 libraries across the county of which 24 could not be run directly by the authority.” See also Residents called in to help shape future of Staffordshire’s libraries – Sentinel. “The proposals would increase the number of services available online, and in some areas of the county see local communities take on the mantle of running their library. The possibility of sharing the library building with police and health services will also be explored to provide the public with the things they need under one roof.” and also Staffordshire County Council looks at future of libraries – BBC. “A council has said it has “no plans” to close any libraries as it seeks to launch a consultation on the service. Staffordshire County Council said the 12-week consultation would help “shape the future direction” of 43 libraries.”
  • Suffolk – eReader pilot in Thurston having an impact – Suffolk Libraries. “Mr Self from Stowmarket heard about the eReaders and borrowed a nook with a Barbara Taylor-Bradford novel downloaded on it for his 91 year old mother. She has issues with her eyesight and was having problems holding heavier large print books. They have both been impressed and Mr Self thinks it will make a big difference to his mother’s life. He says: “My mother found the eReader very easy to use and was quite impressed with it. It’s a good idea to be able to trial something like this before deciding to buy one.””
  • Suffolk – The launch of our new library cards – Suffolk Libraries. “There are new adult and children’s cards and we are very grateful to local author/illustrator Rebecca Elliott who has kindly provided the colourful cover image from her book ‘Just Because’ for the children’s library cards which are now being given out to all children who become library users. There are also new adult library cards with a fresh new look.”