Good to see the success of the CILIP AGM “Big Day” on this Saturday past.  There was much positive stuff about Libraries Change Lives (well done to Northamptonshire) and Honorary Fellows (congrats to Janene Cox and Philip Wark).  William Sieghart, at some point before January to publish his inquiry into English public libraries, spoke about the sector being at a “Beeching” (as in the savage cuts to the railways) moment but at how impressed he was about the work that was done.  The CILIP President’s speech was an appeal to work together, look to the future and focus on the good that is done.

In terms of votes, all motions were carried apart from the one that was causing all the rumpus because it would have reduced, in the eyes of many, the representative nature of the CILIP Council (now renamed “Board”).  So, seen from afar, this looks like quite a good result for everyone: the organisation gets to boost its achievements and that of libraries and those worried about its direction of travel need not worry about a decline in democracy.  It was indeed a Big Day.



  • Governance: vote to reduce number of directly elected Council members defeated (two thirds majority needed but vote was 113 for, 86 against, 5 abstaining), others successful.  The AGM voted to change name of governing body from Council to Board, with 12 elected Board members and the option of co-opting on an additional 3. As the structure hasn’t changed, it means the Presidential Team and the Chair will be kept.

“we have a more coherent structure, but have retained members’ democratic control over appointments to the Board (Council).” Tim Davies

  • Libraries Change Lives Awards. “Enterprise Hubs, a partnership development between Northamptonshire Library and Information Service and the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, which stimulates business start-ups and self-employment among the region’s budding entrepreneurs and job seekers, was today announced the winner of the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award by William Sieghart.

“It is extremely good to see the extent of the success of Northamptonshire’s Libraries in leading residents to brand new careers and creating jobs in the region. This is exactly what the DCLG set out to achieve in supporting the Enterprising Libraries programme and is an example of the vital support for entrepreneurship which is available via the library network in towns and cities across England.” Eric Pickles

” a good lesson to (re-)learn is that paradigm-shifting ideas can grow out of small pilot initiatives; and that even small adaptations to how a library service does things can have wide-reaching consequences in the lives of people who then engage with that service … For me, however the best moment of the whole day came when Mr Sieghart responded to a question from John Vincent (tireless campaigner for equality) about public libraries’ role in contributing to fighting inequality. The immediate and clearly sincere response was: “You are meting out social justice every day.”” Tim Davies

  • Cilip AGM 2014 – Leon’s Library Blog. Views of attender of AGM: “[Sieghart:] Overall, the talk was high on aspiration but low on substance. Anyone attending expecting a detailed analysis will have been disappointed so will have to wait for publication of the report for the specifics.” … “A highlight for me was Philip Wark’s comments during the Library Change Lives awards defending the professional integrity of library services over them being handed to volunteers.” … “It’s easy to forget in the cut and thrust of disagreement that Council is made up of genuinely decent individuals, giving their own time and doing what they think is best for Cilip. It’s OK to disagree but let’s remember do it professionally.” see also Cilip subscription fees – Leon’s Library Blog.

“It’s a world that’s begging for action. It needs a change of narrative, it’s in a downward spiral of negativity, judicial reviews, closures, volunteers, we do not have a positive narrative but there are elements of positivity. We need to do something urgently. We’re at a Beeching moment – the review that led to the closure of railway branch lines – which many regret, and that’s why this is urgent.” William Sieghart

  • CILIP Big Day Speech – Library Stuff / Barbara Band. The speech of the President of CILIP.  “One of CILIP’s aims is to be seen as a key stakeholder and participant in the wider Information Literacy agenda across a range of issues; only by being visible in this way will we be included in any strategies and decision making.” … “When you read statements such as the fact that 11 million people in the UK are offline and you know that professionally led library and information services are essential in helping these people, not only to get physical access to technology but to gain the necessary digital skills, you again wonder how libraries can be considered unnecessary and be closed”

On governance vote: Today we had an important vote on the Governance proposals. There has been much written and said about these so I’m not going to go into any detail here but members have decided not to accept all of them. CILIP is a strong organisation and it will carry on with the excellent work it has been doing, advocating for the profession and supporting those who work in it. We “lost” two votes at the last AGM and still went on to have a great year. 2015 will be no different.

On decline in membership: “I think it is better to have a smaller number of pro-active and engaged members, the sort we have heard speak to us today, supporting each other, advocating for the profession, and working with CILIP to make their organisation stronger than having a larger number dis-engaged and not connecting with anybody. Do we want quantity or quality?”

On criticism in social media: “there’s more than one way to give criticism and it has more value if it’s given constructively. Discussion is essential and necessary as it’s a way of ascertaining people’s views, of questioning and asking for explanations but generalised statements without evidence is not good professional practise.”

  • Inspiring member achievements and important decisions at CILIP’s Big Day and AGM – CILIP. “Philanthropist, entrepreneur and publisher William Sieghart gave a keynote speech about public library services in England, he said, “It’s a world that’s begging for action. It needs a change of narrative, it’s in a downward spiral of negativity, judicial reviews, closures, volunteers, we do not have a positive narrative but there are elements of positivity. We need to do something urgently. We’re at a Beeching moment – the review that led to the closure of railway branch lines – which many regret, and that’s why this is urgent.” … “Seven outstanding library and information professionals were recognised for their dedication to the profession and positive impact on members’ personal and professional development.”


  • Publishing industry sets out policy proposals for next government – Publisher’s Association. “calls on the government to: Make it a statutory requirement for all schools to have a library to increase levels of literacy and reading for pleasure … “Ensure public libraries for all by providing a truly comprehensive and efficient library service in every community. 
  • What Ed Vaizey doesn’t tell you – Alan Gibbons. ““In my view, the library service in England continues to thrive.” That is the substance of Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey’s reply to my recent letters voicing concern at proposed library cuts in Kirklees and Wirral.
    He mentions the new Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester city centre libraries, but omits to mention the widescale cuts in library services in each of those cities. For example, over half of Liverpool’s branch libraries are to close. Here are some other facts Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey chose to ignore in his letter …”

International news

  • 15 vintage photos of libraries on wheels – E-Book Friendly (USA). “A first “perambulating” library was reported to operate in 1857 in Cumbria county in North West England.” … photographs of mobile libraries in US and UK from 20th Century and earlier.
  • Futurist Interviews Librarian Futurist David Lankes – Futurist (USA). “Lankes sees librarians’ roles evolving into that of “facilitators of conversation” who interact with their communities to support each one’s informational and learning needs.” … “I predict that the future is going to be fewer libraries and more librarians. The facility is transitioning from places where librarians do their work and to places where communities meet and gather. The physical space is simply where the librarians sit. The electronic medium is where they can research and read. “
  • Strategic mobile library development – a report from UCD Library, Ireland – SWETS (Eire). “Whilst only moderately successful, our survey of the Irish context suggested that app work within libraries here has been very modest, and a number of reasons emerged in our research and reading, of which the lack of suitably skilled staff in libraries and lack of resources to buy in expertise were prominent, together with the lack of any single obvious strategic path to take at this time regarding mobile user support, with some suggestion that apps are not the way forward and responsive web design is a better library investment.”
  • “Try Your Local Library Instead of a Coffee Shop to Get Work Done – Lifehacker (USA). “My local public library has study rooms and outlets everywhere. The Wi-Fi is fast and I can bring food and drink in with me. Many libraries, including my local library, have an on-site coffee shop too. Most surprisingly, nobody comes over to me and goes “shhh”, even when I talk on the phone”
  • Why do we still need public libraries in the digital age? – British Council (Bangladesh). “As well as emphasising the need for the physical and the digital to sit side by side, it finds that the 21st century public library service will be one in which “local people are more active and involved in its design and delivery.” A sense of community, always a defining feature of libraries, has renewed importance.” … “Our refurbished library in Dhaka will aim to bridge these two concepts, as it will be both a physical and a virtual space. As well as an updated physical collection of books, CDs and DVDs, the new library will provide users with remote access to over 80,000 e-books and 14,000 e-journals. The same quiet reading and study areas will be there for those who need it, but the library will be also be used as a cultural and social space where people can come together to watch theatre and film screenings, or take part in workshops, seminars, meetings, author talks and fashion events.”

UK local news by authority

  • Doncaster –And in case you missed it… Doncaster are ‘giving’ another 8 libraries to volunteers – Save Doncaster Libraries. “As though this is a good thing.  As though access to information, reading, democratic process, technologies, assisted/guided by paid, trained professionals, is not needed by Doncaster’s Demographic. Those being ‘given’ to volunteers this time are:- Armthorpe, Askern, Bentley, Cantley, Conisbrough, Hatfield, Woodlands and Tickhill. It beggars belief. And there is little we can do.  Once a Judicial Review Appeal fails, where else do you go?”
  • Doncaster – Volunteering Opportunities – Doncaster Council. “Volunteer challenge: become the 700th volunteer to volunteer at a community library in Doncaster and receive a £10 book token. New volunteering opportunities are available in a further 8 libraries that will be handed over to community management this summer. These are located in Armthorpe, Askern, Bentley, Cantley, Conisbrough, Hatfield, Woodlands and Tickhill. The library service is looking for volunteers to develop in a number of roles at these libraries, including: committee members, digital champions, fundraisers and assisting in the library.”
  • Hampshire – Decision on Kingsclere library proposed closure shelved – Newbury Today. “A decision on the proposed closure of Kingsclere library has been shelved until early December.A decision was due to be have been made on Tuesday by Hampshire county councillor, Keith Chapman, (Con, Calleva and Kingsclere), the county council’s executive member for culture, recreation and countryside. However, this final decision on the library, which is situated within Kingsclere Village Club, George Street, (pictured) has been postponed until December 4, while discussions with the Kingsclere community continue until the end of October.” … “Other cost-cutting measures include withdrawing one of the four mobile library vehicles serving the predominantly rural county and reducing the number of stops by 98, saving £70,000 each year. Grayshott library is to close on December 31, saving an annual £25,700, whilst a decision on proposals to close Milford on Sea library, potentially saving a further £20,700, is also due on December 4.”
  • Hampshire – Library cuts mark a ‘black day’ for Hampshire County Council’s services – News. “At the culture, recreation and countryside meeting at Hampshire County Council, the decision was made to follow recommendations to cut £300,000 from the Libraries and Information Service budget. The announcement, made by executive member Councillor Keith Chapman will see one of three libraries close, 115 stops axed from the mobile library service and the Family Library Link service stopped.” … “The Family Library Link Service will continue until May 2016 when the vehicle’s lease runs out. “
  • Leicestershire – Leicestershire Council may cut library opening hours – ITV. “Plans to save money at Leicestershire’s libraries by reducing opening hours will be considered by the county council later. Proposals to reduce opening hours at 16 major libraries by 20 per cent will be discussed by councillors, before recommendations are made in November.”
  • Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire libraries could be saved by not for profit organisation – Boston Target. “Greenwich Leisure is among the favourites to take over the running of Lincolnshire’s libraries as the local authority gets set to embark on a new consultation process.”
  • Peterborough – Save Peterborough libraries and community centres – 38 Degrees. “Libraries and Community Centres are a focal point for the whole community. They are a diverse space where children learn to read, pensioners can go to socialise, and free internet access is provided for everyone. They provide access to education and the arts for everyone. We cannot afford to lose them.” see also Letter: Should we fear for our libraries? – Peterborough Telegraph. “The Green Party is questioning the latest consultation by the City Council on Libraries and Community Centres. What we are asking can this Conservative lead Council be trusted to deliver a balanced consultation or is the decision regarding this just another paperwork exercise by the Conservative Party Group lead by its leader Marco Cereste?”
  • Poole – Have your say on Mobile Library Consultation – Poole Council. “Local people and users of the mobile library are being asked to give their views on proposed changes to the mobile library service in Poole.”
  • Poole – Should council start community libraries? Views sought on proposals to axe Poole’s mobile library – Bournemouth Echo. “As reported in the Daily Echo, Wallisdown residents have already vowed to fight to retain their vital service, they currently enjoy weekly visits from the mobile library” … “The service costs £50,000 a year and the van is reaching the end of its operational life”
  • Sheffield – Council could face inquiry over decision to cut library funding – Yorkshire Post. Campaigners says ““It has been a long hard struggle to get the minister to take our concerns seriously and look into them, and it is a great pity that this action has come at such a late stage. We recognise that this has caused considerable problems for the council and that the council needs to save money. However we firmly believe that the benefit of libraries in the community is so great that they save money not cost it.” while “At a meeting of the local authority this week councillors said they were aware of the Government’s evidence-gathering exercise, but intended to press ahead with plans for the community takeovers of libraries and axing 75 members of staff.” see also Vaizey letter delays Sheffield library moves – BookSeller. “The culture secretary has a statutory duty to superintend the public library service and Vaizey has received criticism in the past for his failure to intervene in local authority closures. Last year, CILIP passed a vote of no confidence in the minister.”