National UK news


  • 10 beautiful Australian libraries – in pictures – Guardian (Australia). Some lovely buildings [with my favourite being the one with the magnetic shapes children can put on the walls – Ed.]
  • Public library engagement in the United States – Pew Research Internet Project (USA). Very information 39 slide presentation: “An overview of three years of research into Americans’ relationships with public libraries in the digital age.”
  • The best new public library of the year is Australian – Kulturstyrelsen (Australia). “The building functions with high quality in an inviting, informal and human scale. With its open and flexible spaces, the library is transformed into a democratic space, inviting diversity and interaction. The library is an important new facility for the rapidly expanding community within the City of Hume. In addition to library services, the building also interacts with different partners, including an art gallery, a café, childcare facilities, computer training centres, and meeting and functional spaces. It is integrated so that the library can reach out to a wide array of users. “
  • With Schools Closed, Teachers and Volunteers Hold Class at Ferguson Library – Daily River Front Times (USA). “At 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, a couple of Walnut Grove teachers and other volunteers stood outside the Ferguson Public Library, a few blocks north of the Ferguson Police Department, waving signs that read “Teachers Here to Teach” and “Students Welcome.”” … “About 30 kids filtered in and out by midafternoon, and Pace expected more to come before the teachers and volunteers left at 4 p.m. They’ll be at the library again today from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., but Pace is uncertain about Thursday and Friday. The staff is required to attend a professional development session that will address crisis-management counseling on those days.”

UK local news by authority

  • Birmingham – Temporary closure of Children’s Library and Music Library during September – Library of Birmingham. “The Children’s and Music Libraries will be closed from 8 to 19 September 2014 inclusive. This is to enable remedial work and resurfacing of the yellow floor to finish it to an acceptable standard. With any new building, there are always things that need further attention after construction, and the Library of Birmingham is no exception. Please bear with us while this essential work is carried out and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
  • Hull – Give your views on the future of library Services – Hull City Council. “Hull City Council will today (Wednesday August 20) start consultation about the future of the library service.  Residents, visitors and library users have until Tuesday September 30 to take part in the consultation and provide feedback that will help to make important decisions and shape the future library service across the city.  The consultation will ask questions about the range of services on offer at the libraries, user’s satisfaction with the services and the opening hours of each site.”
  • Hull – Hull’s library service public consultation starts – BBC. “Liberal Democrat councillor Adam Williams said: “Last year they threatened to close Anlaby Park Library, u-turning when they realised the level of public outrage. “Earlier this year, they said they would not close any fixed libraries in the city, but then last month announced they were considering closing Holderness Road Library. Now they are saying they want to reduce the hours of libraries across the city. “In my view, reducing the hours that libraries are open is just a precursor to closing them.”

“Even before work started on Liverpool’s fancy £55m Central Library, funded by a private finance initiative deal, the Eye warned that annual repayments for the PFI scheme would threaten the ordinary branch libraries visited by most library users. Now the city has identified 11 out of 18 branches to face the chop or be handed over to community groups in an attempt to find £2.5m savings.  Announcing the plans, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson explicitly said the PFI payments have to be made from the library budget, so other library services must be cut. Those earmarked for closure include Sefton Park library, even though it is identified in a city council report as “good performing”, since potential interest has been shown in its listed building.  Another library in Wavertree is said to be of interest to a housing association; and “some form of library offer” might be kept if that deal went ahead.  That offer is unlikely to include a room for playing Xbox360 games and a cafe full of “scrumptious cakes” available to those with access to the fancy Central Library, but nor is it likely to be a properly staffed and stocked public library either.” Private Eye Issue No. 1373 Library News

  • Newcastle – Campaigners celebrating after High Heaton Library is saved from closure – Chronicle. “Book lovers are celebrating after winning their fight to keep a much loved community library open. High Heaton Library in Newcastle was facing closure after council cuts to the library service in 2012 put it under threat. However Newcastle College has come to the rescue by deciding to run some of its classes for students from the building, meaning that the library service can stay open for local residents.” … “The library building has been acquired by Newcastle College on a three year lease. Courses in literacy, numeracy and IT will be run on five half-days a week and while the classes are going on for students, people can access the full set of library services with a council librarian on hand.”
  • Swansea – Runaway ferret makes a surprise visit to Swansea Central Library – South Wales Evening Post. “Workers had a shock when they spotted a runaway ferret scampering between the bookshelves. The four-legged mammal darted through the main entrance at about 2pm on Sunday afternoon before vanishing amongst the books.”
  • Worcestershire – Hagley Parish Council steps in to save library – Stourbridge News. “An agreement has been reached whereby the county council will continue to provide a library service through the support of volunteers while the parish council takes over the responsibility for the building and the premises management costs involved. ” … “We had a public meeting about the library and over 150 people turned up. That’s how much it means to people. Proposals to turn the building into a community hub were given a resounding yes.”