UK national news

  • 21st Century Libraries – Are we there yet? – Helen Milner. Chief Executive of the Tinder Foundation summarises what her organisation has done and can do for libraries, looking at best practice in the sector. “Frankley Library, for example, is a centre for excellence specialising in the support of people with disabilities. They have dedicated training suites to support disabled people. Lancashire Libraries, are delivering digital skills training across the whole library authority with a focus on supporting job seekers and great partnerships with local Jobcentres. Southampton Libraries are a part of our NHS Widening Digital Participation programme working with MacMillan Cancer support to deliver training to inform volunteers and those affected by cancer.”
  • BookSeller Children’s Conference – BookSeller. Includes manager of Haringey Children’s Libraries and a school librarian focusing on how bookshops, libraries and publishers etc working together can boost book sales.
  • The big interview: Library enemies brought to book – This is Wiltshire. Interview with public library campaigner Shirley Burnham [who is a big provider of new to this website, amongst others including Desmond Clarke, Alan Gibbons, the Library Campaign and LIS-PUB-LIBS – Ed.]. ““I am not a politician, a consultant or a librarian, so should people like me speak out? Yes, because it is the users who must tell the policy makers what the service they value should be like and why it matters to them.” … “There are those who say libraries are a relic of the past, that their functions have been taken over by the internet and that few people want them. Shirley disagrees: “All you have to do is brighten up libraries, make them more user-friendly, refresh the stock and tell the people that the libraries are there.”

“A community centre with a shelf of books in it isn’t a library. A library has to have books, it has to have knowledgeable staff, it has to be open when people want to use it. And it’s a neutral space. Nobody’s got an agenda in the library. Whatever background you’re from, whatever religion you espouse is totally irrelevant. Whoever you are, you’re welcome in the library. It’s very different from places that are run by committees. Libraries should continue under council control, with paid staff.” Shirley Burnham

  • WF Howes launches E-book service for libraries – WF Howes. “The service is launching with over 12,000 titles, all of which are available for simultaneous multi-access download by library members, in a large variety of genres ranging from crime and thrillers, to modern fiction and romance, and celebrity biographies to sports, hobbies and self-help. The launch sees the addition of the eBook format to the OneClickdigital platform, the most widely installed and used audio platform in the UK library market”


  • 10 People The Library Can’t Live Without – Huffington Post (USA).  Some familiar (and unfamiliar) characters here.
  • IFLA eLending background paper – IFLA. “IFLA has published a very interesting paper drawing an updated state of worldwide library e-Book lending. You’ll find useful information about the different e-Book licence and purchase models in libraries worldwide, library advocacy initiatives such us the EBLIDA Right to e-Read Campaign or the ReadersFirst Initiative and so on.” (via NAPLE Blog).
  • IFLA launches Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development – Voices for the Library. “Today we welcome the launch of the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, which was announced at the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) World Library and Information Congress in Lyon. The declaration was drafted by IFLA along with its strategic partners and “calls upon United Nations Member States to make an international commitment through the post-2015 development agenda to ensure that everyone has access to, and is able to understand, use and share the information that is necessary to promote sustainable development and democratic societies.” “
  • What is a library? – Christopher Pressler (Eire). “A library is two things at once – a fixed cooperative of materials and readers and an unfixed collective where both readers and materials are removed, replaced and recycled. Libraries are still and fluid at the same moment. This remarkable state is achieved by the conjoining of concepts, in the form of books and other information, and of conceivers, in the form of authors and readers in the same space at the same time.”
  • What the ‘death of the library’ means for the future of books – The Week. “Libraries are actually an invaluable public and social resource that provide so much more than simple shelves of books (or, for those in rural areas, a Bookmobile like the one this author grew up with). A world without public libraries is a grim one indeed, and the assault on public libraries should be viewed as alarming”
  • Who’s Saving Whom? – Library Journal / Annoyed Librarian (USA). 3D Printers: Points out that public libraries are doing well in the US and don’t need “saving”.  Also suggests that 3D printer sales have been poor and so libraries giving them space is helping printer sellers and not so much the other way around. For an entirely positive spin on 3D Printers in libraries see Library 2.0 – Boulder Weekly (USA)

UK local news by authority

  • Devon – Libraries’ future uncertain as public consultation ends – North Devon Journal. “Results are being “collated, digested, and deliberated over” by senior managers and councillors who will make recommendations to the council’s cabinet in October” see also Council considering views on libraries – Exmouth Journal. “The council says it has received more feedback from the consultation than it ever has before, including 5,500 completed questionnaires, seen 2,500 people attending local library drop-in centres, seen 1,000 people attending public meetings, and also received many emails, letters and petitions.”
  • Flintshire – Flintshire Council facing up to £18m in budget cuts – Daily Post. “All services the council provides will come under scrutiny including education, social services, leisure services, libraries and waste collections.”
  • Kirklees – Villagers’ Meltham Library plan could save Kirklees Council 80% – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Meltham residents have submitted a plan to keep their library open at one-fifth of the cost. But those campaigning to keep Meltham Library open say they still need practical and financial support from Kirklees Council.” … “They hope to move the library from Meltham Town Hall across the street to the Carlile Institute where it will operate on the same floor as the community run post office.”
  • Lincolnshire – Future of libraries has still to be decided admits Lincolnshire County Council – Horncastle News. “The council’s plans for wide-ranging cuts to libraries were thrown into chaos recently after campaigners won a High Court ruling. Locally, opening hours at Horncastle Library were and the futures of libraries at Coningsby/Tattershall and Wragby were thrown into doubt with the council planning to hand control to community groups. The council is coming under increasing pressure to announce any fresh plans.”
  • Milton Keynes – Libraries in Milton Keynes play their part in improving the nation’s health – Milton “Get Reading Get Well is a national collaboration between the Reading Agency and The Society of Chief Librarians and currently has two schemes running. The aim is to improve the nation’s health through books and reading. Reading has none of the side effects associated with prescription drugs and often achieves good results more quickly. In Milton Keynes the council’s libraries are participating in a scheme called Books on Prescription, which aims to bring reading’s healing benefits to people suffering from a range of common health conditions.”
  • Sheffield – Sheffield librarian is ‘privileged to do a job I love that makes a difference’ – Star. “The mum is Sheffield Council’s early years librarian, a rare role for local authorities, and spends her days encouraging ‘reluctant’ readers to explore the world of books, play and creativity on offer in the city’s facilities. During her working day she regularly dons a bear suit, drives the van and turns random corners – from parks to flat courtyards, travellers’ sites and festivals – into creative hotspots.” … ““The service is for hard-to-reach groups, it is like a stepping stone between the outside world and libraries. “I get to meet people from all walks of life, it’s not just about under-fives as we get the whole family.”

“I think libraries mean the world to people. “They are a safe environment, somewhere people can go and find out any information. If you have any problem you can start at a library, if the answer isn’t in there then the staff can point you in the right direction. “They are a safe community space – it is not just books. I always used to take my boys to libraries, they loved it and I just wanted to pass that on.” … “Apart form being vomited on, the job is not without its challenges. It has revealed there are still many adults in the city who cannot read, or lack the confidence to help their children learn.

“How we treat our libraries expresses what sort of society we have made for ourselves, tabulates what it values that can’t be recorded on a spread-sheet. If we want ours to be a society where we are more than just producers and consumers; then we should be building libraries not looking for ways to close them down.”

  • Wolverhampton – Libraries close as staff go on holiday – Express and Star. “Staff numbers at the city’s libraries has been reduced from 156 to 79 under £123 million cuts – leaving gaping shortages. When the remaining staff took their booked off holiday over the past few weeks, it was discovered there was not enough cover to keep some of the libraries open. On other occasions, staff sickness have also led to forced closures.”