Mobile libraries are not having a good time of it at the moment: my records show Bromley’s decision to close it’s sole vehicle is the eighth mobile library gone since April: while only two static libraries have gone the same way.  One of the reasons of course is that it’s one thing to get volunteers to run a static library but a whole other thing for them to maintain a vehicle, find drivers and pay the insurances.  Mind you, of course, perhaps Bromley is missing a trick as there may be money in mobiles: Cambridgeshire certainly hope so as they have started offering advertising on them. That advertising idea is just one of seven I’ve spotted for this post: the large number due to a SCL report on digital skills that includes some interesting case studies.



National UK news

  • John Dolan becomes CILIP Trustee for second time – CILIP. “John Dolan has filled the vacant Trustee position on CILIP Council. The vacancy followed Tom Roper’s decision to resign from Council. John was previously a Trustee of CILIP between 2010 and 2013, serving as Chair of Council for two years.”

“Earlier this year Book Industry Communication (BIC) set up a small working party of UK RFID and LMS suppliers, media suppliers, and librarians to examine the issue in more detail and provide some guidance for librarians about the likely impact of NFC devices on existing RFID installations. The results of these deliberations have now been published as BIC’s guidance notes for librarians and can be accessed here. If your library uses HF (13.56 MHz) frequency RFID tags (as 98% of the world’s libraries do), and/or any of your library users have NFC equipped smartphones (current list here – iPhone 6 likely to be included soon) then you probably ought to read the guidance notes to ascertain any risk this might present to your library.” Mick Fortune on LIS-PUB-LIBS

  • Public Libraries in Wales / Lyfrgelloedd Cyhoeddus yng Nghymru “Libraries provide essential services which go far beyond lending books, says a National Assembly for Wales committee. The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee found that libraries contribute to many areas of community life, including health and wellbeing, education, and tackling poverty and social exclusion. They can also bridge the ‘digital divide’ by providing free internet access, something the Committee believes should continue.”
  • Consulting on library cuts – Law Society Gazette. “Local authorities proposing sensitive budget cuts inevitably cross minefields laden with lethal legal ordnance. This generally includes volatile consultation and equalities devices. But following the decision of Collins J on 17 July in Draper v Lincolnshire County Council [2014] EWHC 2388 (Admin), consultation may have become more complex. The council had a compliant expression of interest under the community right to challenge provisions in part 5 of the Localism Act 2011. And this was one of the mines that took out the council’s library service cuts proposals.”

“Although campaigners welcomed the decision, courts have no standing to interfere with the substance or merits of lawful local authority decisions. The proposals in question were quashed because of what Collins J found to be an unlawful process. However, in practical terms, the council is ultimately likely to achieve its aim following an improved decision process.”

  • Read on, MP urges parents at Commons book charity event – Hebden Bridge Times. “Mr Whittaker was speaking at a Booktrust event, “Reading together changes lives”, held at the House of Commons on July 15. The national charity Booktrust gifts books to every baby and young child in the UK and seeks to motivate parents to read to their children.”
  • SCL digital study points to unique role for public libraries as physical spaces for accessing digital knowledge and opportunities – Society of Chief Librarians. “The research suggests this unique role is becoming ever more vital, not least to conquer the digital divide. SCL will also provide support to strengthen digital leadership skills within the sector … The Digital Leadership Skills report highlights strong skills on key leadership challenges of managing change and complex projects, but gaps for some leaders on emerging challenges around self-publishing or potential opportunities such as offering new online learning resources via libraries (e.g. Massive Open Online Courses or ‘MOOCs’). It also showed that while some library leaders are well-equipped to maximise the benefit digital technology can bring, there are gaps in knowledge for some about who in their community lacks internet access, and the overlap between the digital divide and individuals whom libraries do not yet reach.. Priority actions will be around skills development and sharing learning, alignment with SCL’s existing Universal Offers, and using Wi-Fi as a catalyst for building the digital role of public libraries.”

The library is closing early

When at school we were taught that a book is our best friend
It was only later I understood; for on a friend one can depend

Some own a pet so they get through the strife of life each day
Others have television sets to help them keep the blues away

Other folk prefer to read: newspapers, books and magazines
We used to call them book worms: adults, children, also teens

Now we also have the internet to navigate, surf and explore
Still hungry to devour knowledge in our quest to learn more

For to learn is to be human: yearning to open up our minds
And libraries provide the means and information of all kinds

Reduce their opening hours and you reduce a human right
Free education to all folk – don’t try to dim the literacy light!

Tony Wyld www.poetryguru.co.uk

  • Time to Share? – Leon’s Library Blog. “Volunteer libraries beget volunteer libraries. But what would happen if communities refused to step forward and volunteer? Would the council still enact such widespread closures or would they fear the political backlash? It would be a very brave community that put this to the test and many are not prepared to play such brinkmanship for fear of losing the service.” … ” the automatic acceptance of volunteer libraries over closures also discourages investigating and challenging councils to consider other alternatives, such as charitable trusts and shared services. A point raised by the judge in the recent judicial review for Lincolnshire libraries …”

Supporter’s News

  • Lancashire Libraries Conference: Joining the Dots: Inspire, Innovate and Inform; a two day conference – 14th to 15th October in Lancaster.  This will include keynotes by Wayne Hemingway MBE and Paul McGee (SUMO Guy).   Click this link for full details, where you will also find the programme and a choice of workshops covering topics such as motivation, management, marketing and the arts in libraries.  The event will be held at the prestigious Lancaster House Hotel. Please circulate to your colleagues and appropriate contacts, and if you need any further information please email JoiningtheDots@Lancashire.gov.uk.

International news

  • Accumulibrary – Slate (USA). “The Accumulibrary is the indirect descendant of such bookseller warehouses. But it draws its direct inspiration from contemporary big box stores and the distribution warehouses of firms like Amazon.com. It weds the frugal interiors of the big-box store with the randomly organized megawarehouse in the service of a flexible, expansive, democratized concept of the research library.”
  • Book of funny encounters between librarians and patrons – Boing Boing (USA). “Gina Sheridan’s I Work at a Public Library is a collection of true, weird experiences that public librarians have had with patrons. I read parts of the book out loud to Carla last night and we both chuckled. ”
  • Google can’t compete with a skilled librarian steeped in information technology – Chicago Tribune (USA). “The truth is, access to a wealth of information on the Internet has placed even more importance on librarians. Foote notes that few other professionals are so specifically trained to access, analyze, share and manage all types of information.”
  • Libraries Are Challenged by eBook Business Model: Study – GalleyCat. “While more libraries in the U.S. are buying and distributing eBooks to patrons, the business model still needs to be worked out,  according to a new study by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).”
  • Public Library Reimagined (1/8): Are Libraries Fundamentally Shifting?  – Aspen Institute (USA). “The Public Library Reimagined (1/8) — As the institution continues to evolve, are libraries moving away from being mere repositories for books and increasingly becoming essential community centers? Panelists discuss the role of libraries as anchor institutions and centers of learning, and how they continue to innovate in radical ways after so many years. Tessie Guillermo relates the important themes of “People, Place, and Platform” in public libraries, and how libraries connect people in a central, important community location, creating both a physical and virtual network that provides the platform basis.” Series of short videos on the future of libraries.
  • The case for making libraries full of toys and games – Quartz (USA).  A substantial look at the games and toys being lent out by US libraries and the positive impact they have on children and communities.


LMS Suppliers Showcase – 30th September in Edinburgh. “Nineteen leading LMS suppliers will be exhibiting their systems, ready to listen to your requirements and find solutions to your needs.”

UK local news by authority

  • Bromley – Bromley Mobile Library is being cut – News Shopper. “The council says due to “unprecedented financial pressures” the facility will park up on Monday September 8. The van currently operates six days a week, beginning its journey on Mondays in Keston, travelling throughout Bromley, and finishing on Saturday afternoons in Locksbottom. One Beckenham resident wrote to News Shopper to suggest discontinuing the library is picking on a “soft target”, and feels money should be saved in other ways – such as cutting the number of councillors.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Advertise with Cambridge Mobile Libraries – Cambridgeshire Libraries. £200 per month each for advert on rear of mobile library. 20% discount for six months.
  • Cornwall – Literary lad is so close to library petition target – West Briton. “Since Falmouth lad Leon Remphry started the petition against the reduced opening hours of his local library just three weeks ago, he has gathered support from more than 4,000 people, including the backing of local MPs. The petition set up by the King Charles Primary School pupil has also gained support from well-known children’s authors including Philip Reeve and Steve Cole, plus local writers Mandy James and Emily Barr. “I feel brilliant, I’m doing really well, it’s exhilarating to have everyone supporting me.”
  • Derbyshire – Talks over cuts to South Derbyshire mobile libraries – Burton Mail. “Overseal Parish Council has been told where its mobile library will stop as Derbyshire County Council makes £157 million of budget cuts. The council is consulting on the changes, which could see Overseal’s fortnightly service over four stops cut to a monthly service in just Woodville Road.”
  • Kirklees – 30 people sign up to help run Golcar Library as Kirklees looks to make savings – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Residents asked whether this meant that local people would have to take over financial responsibility for the library. In reply she said: “This is an option, but does not need to be considered yet. Training will be offered to local people who wish to get involved in the running of their library.” Clr Richards urged the community to respond positively with more than 20 signed up to be involved in the running of the library so far.”
  • Kirklees – A good deed for Kirklees libraries – Batley and Birstall News. User “said the deed under which the library was built ensured its use could not be altered. She said the land and money for construction, furnishings and books were supplied by John Mowat under the condition the grounds would be maintained and the site would remain a library.”
  • Kirklees – Public meeting set to save Lindley Library – Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
  • Leicestershire – Consultation is merely a sham – Leicester Mercury.  “”The county council wish to cut the libraries budget by 15 per cent. It has not presented the public with a number of different ways to achieve this saving but one plan that would involve volunteers taking over the running of 36 libraries. The same undemocratic approach has been adopted by the council in the consultation over the future of Snibston Museum.”
  • Lincolnshire – Letter: Delight at libraries legal victory – Bourne Local. “The judge ruled the consultation was illegal because the result had plainly already been decided and the refusal to consider Greenwich Leisure’s proposal to save the libraries was also illegal. Campaigners had been saying this for months but Lincolnshire County Council had refused to accept this and went ahead regardless (wasting £160,000 of our money in the process). They now know they were wrong.”

“As a result of this wrong-headed and illegal process many library staff have lost their jobs or are under notice of redundancy. If Lincolnshire had undertaken a genuine consultation, resulting in a different decision, they may well have had the opportunity to retain their posts. One wonders if a redundancy taken as a result of an illegal process is itself illegal? If so, the ramifications of this may well have further to spread.”

  • Manchester – Fixing benches at the library? I wrote the book on it, says DIY hero grandad Walter – Manchester Evening News. “A dilapidated bench standing outside a library has a new lease of life – after an 80-year-old great-grandad had it delivered to his house so he could mend it. Keen handyman Walter Curtis was sick of the sight of the busted bench which had stood unusable outside Fallowfield Library in Manchester for two years.” … “The bench being reinstalled coincides with the library being re-launched as The Place At Platt Lane. After council funding was pulled in budget cuts, it has been transferred as a community asset to the Friends of Fallowfield Library and City South housing association.”
  • Manchester – Learn at the library! How to run a community newsroom – Manchester Lit List. “Join this great project and you’ll learn how to produce a radio programme with FCUM Radio. The free twelve week course covers all aspects of radio production – you’ll learn how to write scripts, interview, present, record, produce, and edit. The course is also designed to develop personal employability through building confidence, self awareness, motivation, and social skills.  On completion learners achieve a Level 1 Award in Radio Production and a PEARL Employability Skills Award.  The courses run at the following libraries …”
  • Manchester – War Horse close up – Flickr. Some beautiful pictures of children and adults meeting the War Horse puppet at Manchester Central Library.
  • Northamptonshire – Funding Gives Support To Northants Women Entrepreneurs – About My Area. “The £23,000 will extend the reach of the county council’s Enterprise Hubs into rural libraries, and produce a series of promotional films showcasing local women with small businesses who have been through the enterprise hub programme.”
  • Peterborough – Peterborough Libraries To Close? – Heart Cambridgeshire. “The eight-week consultation, which started yesterday (Monday 4 August 2014), is asking people in the city and surrounding villages to tell us which libraries and communities centres they use around Peterborough, when and how often they use them and what they use them for.” .  Council says “We have seen a 40 per cent reduction in our funding from government over five years at a time when there is an increasing demand for services with more children in care and an ageing population with complex needs.” … “We will also be consulting with all parish councils and clerks, 79 registered community and resident groups, 77 networked faith and linked community groups, 45 voluntary sector partners such as the disability forum, Age UK and Peterborough Citizens Advice Bureau, MPs, the youth council and youth MP. ” see also Peterborough libraries and community centres under threat – Peterborough Telegraph.
  • Poole – Axe Poole’s mobile library and you’ll take away community centre, say residents – Bournemouth Echo. ““It’s not just a library, it’s our community centre – that we don’t have,” said Mrs Powell, who reads a book a week. “If this is taken away we have nothing.” There are three stops in the ward every Thursday, at the crossroads, Benbow Crescent and Sainsbury’s Alder Road and many elderly people use the mobile library, said Mrs Powell, including a 92-year-old lady with limited sight, who collects her talking books.”
  • Sheffield – Council urged to back Walkley Library community plan – Sheffield Star. “Campaigners have urged council chiefs to chose the community to run Walkley library – and not a firm. The group hoping to take over the library is still waiting for a decision on whether its business plan – or one from The Forum group of pubs and restaurants – will be accepted by Sheffield Council, which is due to make a decision soon.”
  • Staffordshire – Tamworth people can have say on future of libraries – Tamworth Herald. “As Staffordshire’s library service enters a new chapter, users and non-users of library facilities in the town are being urged to speak out during a 12-week consultation process. Face-to-face sessions at every library in the county have now started in a bid to unearth new suggestions about the service.” … “”Under these plans the county council will continue to provide a full service through ‘library extra’ and ‘library core’ and it is expected that the ‘library extra’ particularly will share space and facilities with a wide range of other services. ‘Library local’ will be the most localised service, with the community deciding what it wants and then delivering it, with county council support.”
  • Suffolk – Woodbridge: Young bookworms George and Esmie Grimwood have read almost 1,500 library books including Horrible Histories and Tom Gates in just a few years – EADT. “Their amazing capacity for reading came to light when a member of staff at Woodbridge Library pointed out to their mum, Emma, that George had clocked up a total of more than 1,200 books on his membership card – all before his eighth birthday, which he celebrates today. With the children often sharing their library card, much of that total has also been borrowed by six-year-old Esmie, who also has her own card boasting 222 book loans.”
  • Suffolk – Suffolk Libraries celebrates 44 members – Suffolk Libraries. “Suffolk Libraries is a membership organisation and has been working to encourage local people to form Community Groups which are then formally adopted as part of the Society. The last two groups to join, Friends of Bury (St Edmunds) Library and The Friends of Great Cornard Community Library were formally adopted as members at a Suffolk Libraries Board meeting on Thursday 31 July.” see also Suffolk – Great Cornard Library Friends are adopted – Suffolk Free Press. 

“Working with library staff, the Community Groups have helped us to achieve some fantastic results; helping with fundraising activities, developing new ways of encouraging people to discover their library and helping us to improve what we offer our customers. For example, the Aldeburgh Library Foundation recently won Project of the Year at the Suffolk Adult Learners awards and the Friends of Thurston Library have helped us to pilot a project to lend eReader devices to people” Alison Wheeler, Suffolk Libraries General Manager

  • Suffolk – Video: Suffolk’s mobile library is a lifeline for rural readers– EADT. Two minute video and story on how important mobile libraries are. “within minutes the former policeman, is busy stamping in and out books and chatting to library users. He said: “It’s the best job in the world.”.  User says ““I don’t drive so this is a wonderful service for me. I try to plan it so I don’t miss it.””
  • Suffolk – Mobile libraries – Youtube.
  • Swindon – Council to ask non-users about views on Swindon’s libraries – Swindon Advertiser. “Plans are under way to launch a town-wide consultation into the future of the library services in Swindon. The aim of the survey will be to find out what people think the shape of any changes to the service should take, in the face of budget pressures. It will follow on from a consultation earlier this year, which the council said was aimed predominantly at library users. There were more than 1,500 responses to that, the majority of which were in support of keeping libraries open.”
  • Swindon – Why keep on asking us? – Swindon Advertiser / Opinion. “It is of course very proper that all council tax payers contribute views on the council’s overall budget but as Shirley Burnham so rightly points out, there was an earlier consultation which was open to all opinions. Is the council now simply seeking an opportunity to encourage opposing views in order to make further cuts to the service?”