• Abolition of the Advisory Council on Libraries to go ahead – Voices for the Library. “We are extremely disappointed by this decision to abolish ACL, especially in light of the responses highlighting the role an improved and re-invigorated ACL could have performed in relation to England’s public libraries. We believe that the development of the ACL role could have provided independent strategic leadership and guidance for the development, support and sustainability of public libraries in England, as well as a means to enforce statutory duties and ensure comprehensive and efficient service requirements were met.”
  • Books that make children happiest: UK-wide poll launched to mark Chatterbooks Week (11-18 October) – Reading Agency. “A UK-wide online poll has been launched ahead of the first-ever Chatterbooks Week (11-18 October 2014, which will celebrate all the fun to be had with reading via national charity The Reading Agency’s ever-growing network of Chatterbooks reading groups for children. The results of the poll will be officially announced on Monday 13 October. Young readers can vote now via the Summer Reading Challenge website, which gives children all-year-round access to a whole range of exciting reading-related activities
  • Investment needed to tackle digital divide, says Go ON UK – Computer Weekly. “A lot of libraries have 10-year-old desktops, are staffed by volunteers without digital skills or are under so much demand they have to limit users to 30-minute sessions. If libraries are not up to scratch themselves, it’s not realistic to point non-digital-savvy citizens to the local library”
  • Library Camp UK Newcastle #libcampuk14 – Books and Libraries. “The second session I went to was about York City Libraries who extracted themselves from local council control to become the Explore York Library service.  This was a result of the service being shrunk  due to cuts.  They talked about the process and how they had, and have, a vision of what they wanted to do.  This was a useful and informative talk as I hadn’t realised what the options would be for services that are not council run and not volunteer services – it seems there is another way to keep libraries open …”


  • November Elections on the Horizon – Every Library (USA). “For November libraries with staff and trustees, we’ve been out to train on best practices for Information Only campaigns.  Library leadership have a plan for the library.  We help them root their communications and outreach in that plan.  On public time with public money, they have a responsibility to talk about how this new or renewed tax will benefit the community and what are the consequences of a loss.  This outreach includes ‘at the desk’, online, and, most importantly, to stakeholder groups, agencies, and organizations.  We have a regular coaching relationship with all our libraries.  It’s not just train the trainer.  But two of our libraries don’t have any staff right now.  A key messages for those two Vote YES committees is to restore the professional librarians to their communities.”


  • Inspiration, Knowledge and Support: Libraries Promoting Economic Wellbeing Northamptonshire Libraries. 2nd October in Northampton. “A final reminder about this one-day knowledge-sharing and networking event:  it brings together case studies from library services that are actively addressing the challenge of supporting business, entrepreneurship and self-employment in public libraries – why and how.”

UK local news by authority

  • Barnet – Library closure fears over £5.1million cuts – Barnet and Whetstone Press. “Anne Hutton, Barnet Council’s Labour spokeswoman for libraries, has accused her Tory counterparts of refusing to explore alternative ways of making savings that would avoid closures or privatisation – and is calling for a “wider public debate” about the future of libraries in Barnet.”
  • Bexley – Will there be four more co-operative libraries in Bexley? Council launches draft strategy – News Shopper. “Bexley Council is planning to partner up with community organisations on four libraries in order to save £800,000. The proposals will see a “core” service of longer hours for six libraries whilst the council will team up with community groups to manage the facilities in Blackfen, Bostall, Northumberland Heath and Upper Belvedere.” … “Bexley’s first community managed library in Bexley Village is now open for 25 hours a week, compared to 16 hours when it was managed by the council. A second community managed library will open on October 13 in the new Slade Green and Howbury Community Centre. Council support of the community libraries includes staff seconded from the Council’s libraries and a supply of new books.”
  • Cornwall – Schoolboy campaigner, 10, told his petition to trigger library debate was handed in too late – Western Morning News. “Falmouth schoolboy Leon Remphry launched a campaign to keep Cornish libraries open for longer and on September 4 delivered a petition containing 5,556 signatures – enough to trigger the discussion. Yesterday, the King Charles Primary School pupil gathered his courage and took the microphone at County Hall to call for all-day opening on Saturday and Sunday, as well as one day in the week. But he was told that there had not been time to draft a report ahead of the full council gathering and the debate would not take place.”
  • Coventry – Coventry City Council warns ‘some services that people value and rely on will simply have to go’ – Coventry Telegraph. “Warning from council finance chief Damian Gannon that services such as libraries and children’s centres may be in firing line … The authority is drawing up a shortlist of where the axe might fall as it looks to slice £12million from next year’s budget. Operations such as libraries, community and children’s centres are likely to be in line for severe reductions in finance or even closure.
  • Harrow – Fears over future of arts amid looming Harrow Council cutbacks – Get West London. ” the Labour administration has tabled a raft of cuts as options it is considering ahead of finalising its budget, with shutting down libraries …”
  • Hertfordshire – ‘Have your say’ plea as Stevenage and Hitchin libraries given top tier rating in 10-year strategy – Comet. “A three-tiered library service is set to be introduced but those behind a new strategy are urging the public to have their say to ensure each facility remains at the heart of the community it serves.” … “The library service currently has an annual budget of £15.8 million, but savings of £2.5m need to be made over the next three years.”
  • Hertfordshire – Technology to lead libraries’ revolution in Hertfordshire – Mercury. “Volunteers feature heavily in the strategy, manning the smallest of the current libraries, including Buntingford, Cuffley, Goffs Oak, Knebworth and Stevenage Old Town. At other times, they may be self-service with swipe card access. Mrs Pearson said: “It’s nothing new, volunteers have been a mainstay for a very long time. “There won’t always be staff there, but there will still be the full range of services.”
  • Kirklees – Enterprising idea to safeguard Chestnut Centre’s library – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Pharmacy will bring income in and protect library service which is under a Kirklees review … It will use some of the area currently used as a library, and the centre believes the new income make the library’s survival more likely as Kirklees Council looks at its library provision across the borough.” … “The library is growing in popularity. In 2013/13 there were 14,200 book issues, a rise of 13% which staff believe is linked to a community cinema scheme, with people borrowing books of films that have been shown.” … “The health service idea is also seen as a good link for the centre”
  • Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire councillors call for rewind on library changes – Lincolnite. “The Labour opposition of Lincolnshire County Council is calling for library services in the county to be returned to their former state after High Court quashed plans to diminish facilities. At a meeting on September 26 the group are set to propose that a proportion of the council’s £40 million underspend is spent on returning services lost in the consultation process.”

Lincolnshire CC Full Council meets tomorrow Sept 26th – Libraries are on the Agenda – Watch the live webcast from 10:30am  or track on Twitter, using hashtag #lincslive “

  • Liverpool – Future of Liverpool’s libraries discussed – ITV. “Liverpool residents will get to have their say on the future of 11 community libraries at risk of closing in the city. The budget is losing £2.5m as the council tries to save £156m over the next three years. The public meeting will take place from 6pm to 8pm at the Lee Valley Millennium Centre, Childwall Valley Road.”
  • North East Lincolnshire – Deadline approaching for library services in Humberston, Laceby, Scartho, Nunsthorpe, Grant Thorold and the Willows – Grimsby Telegraph. “Specifically, expressions of interest to run a service in Humberston, Laceby, Scartho, Nunsthorpe, Grant Thorold and the Willows are being sought, with the deadline being Monday, October 13. Successful applications will be supported by a small grant of £5,000 provided by the council.” … “a social enterprise has submitted plans to take over the running of Humberston library and the award-winning Grant Thorold library. The businessman behind the venture, who does not wish to be named, said he hopes he can also give new life to Scartho library.”
  • Powys – Protest held outside threatened library – Cambrian News. “A group of Machynlleth library users gathered outside the facility on Wednesday to protest over plans to axe funding. Dozens of men, women and children descended on the library to hold a picnic in support of the facility, after Powys County Council launched a consultation to slash services in an attempt to save a total of £554,000 of its current £1.9 million library budget.”
  • Sheffield – If the council can do what it wants why not fight for libraries at the start? – Sheffield Telegraph / Letters. “Clearly, all of a sudden the council has decided that it is above Central Government! What a shame that Dore, Iqbal and company didn’t reach this remarkable conclusion earlier on and, if they can just do whatever they want anyway, instead use that power to challenge the cuts meted down from the coalition government. As a frequent user of the libraries I will continue to watch developments with grim fascination. No doubt there will be further political point-scoring, but ultimately the only people to suffer will be the people of Sheffield …”
  • Sheffield – Start of a new chapter for library as volunteers take over its running – Sheffield Telegraph. “More than 100 people have volunteered to staff Totley Library from next weekend. Totley is one of 10 ‘associate libraries’ being passed to volunteers by the council, which says it can no longer afford to keep them going on its own.”
  • Staffordshire – Workshop event in Stafford for ‘community librarians’ – Stoke Sentinel. “A workshop for people interested in running ‘community libraries’ is being held at the council headquarters in Staffordshire Place, Stafford, tomorrow, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.”
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Plaid force debate on future of Vale libraries – Penarth Times. “Councillor for Barry town centre Ian Johnson, which includes Barry library, has said that he is concerned that cuts to opening hours and creating volunteer library services would undermine the future of libraries in the Vale. Members of the public who are concerned about the future of the library service can attend the debate live at the Civic Offices, Holton Road Barry at 6pm on Monday, September 29.”
  • Wandsworth – Councillor Quits Tories to ‘Save’ Southfield Library – Putney SW. “Cllr Malcolm Grimston, who has represented West Hill ward for 20 years, has announced that he has left the Conservative party and will be standing as an independent councillor at the next election. The decision was prompted by his view that the Council is formulating plans to close Southfields Library. The Council have categorically denied that there are any such plans.” … “Roehampton resident Adam Gray believes that the council is looking at closing all branch libraries including Roehampton, not just Southfields.” see also Council categorically denies there is any threat of closure – Putney SW.