The changes in Devon appear to be becoming more clear.  It looks like the changes will be more like Suffolk: with volunteers fund-raising and assisting the libraries in keeping them open rather than other authorities like Lincolnshire where the plans are for staff to be made redundant with volunteers directly replacing them.  There are also suggestions that Devon libraries will be going down a non-profit non-council route to deliver services.  More details are expected this week.  Renfrewshire are also also considering a non-profit trust route, although they’re looking at combining libraries with leisure and cultural services too.



  • Book Bikes – Promote public libraries in the community, temporary tattoo users, blow bubbles when someone joins.


  • The average person is being priced out of bettering themselves and gaining an education – Left Foot Forward. “Museums, art galleries and libraries seem to be viewed as the ultimate ‘soft service’ at the moment and fair game. My wife works for the NHS – I know how terrible those cuts also are and they are costing lives, believe me. I don’t think what I do or the museum I work for is as vital as the hospital she works for. But I also think dismissing and undervaluing the vital role museums, galleries and libraries play in a community, especially those in the north which get so little investment as it is, is wrong and deeply unfair.”
  • Better Libraries: the focus on customer engagement in libraries operated by GLL – PanLibus. Article by libraries chief Diana Edmonds.
  • Public library reports – Leon’s Library Blog. New page on recent public library reports since 2010.
  • Reading Agency – PanLibus. Sue Wilkinson, Reading Agency chief, described their work with libraries.
  • Sun, sea, sand: but a summer without broadband – BBC. “according to the Office for National Statistics 16% of British households still have no internet access in 2014.” … “A visit to the local library to print out an essential form from the UK government website for an elderly relative took over an hour. I queued for a pass code to log on to a library PC. Then I queued to get my two-page print request “approved” by the busy librarian. Then I queued again to collect and pay for it.” [This is ridiculous: if true, which library service operates such a system? I’m half curious and half angry – Ed.]


  • Against Shiny – Free Range Librarian (USA). Another post in the backlash against the celebrity librarian culture boosted by the Movers and Shakers awards and the Emerging Leaders programme … and a recent lawsuit.
  • A Little Extra Help – Why Public Libraries Need Social Workers – Public Libraries Online (USA). ” despite our very best intentions, we can’t always work our magic. Homeless patrons sometimes need more immediate, skilled, or complex assistance than what we can provide during a single library visit. So kudos to DCPL for realizing it just makes sense to have a staff member on board who knows her stuff and wants to share it with colleagues.”
  • Bright Orange ‘Book Bikes’ Signify Changing Times for Libraries – Mediashift (USA). “On a sunny September day in Boulder, Colo., a group of librarians from the Boulder Public Library parked a bright orange, book-filled tricycle in front of Alfalfa’s Market and lofted a sturdy sun umbrella over it to shade the curious who approached to investigate. They offered free books and temporary tattoos (“I ♥ the Boulder Public Library”) and showed off a device that streams soap bubbles whenever a new patron signs up for a library card, a transaction they can complete from an iPad right on the book bike.” Lots of other ideas in article.
  • Go digital or die, Australia’s cultural institutions told – Government News (Australia). “Australia’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums (or GLAM industries) will become increasingly irrelevant unless they get with the digital program, says a CSIRO report released this week. The report, An Innovation Study: Challenges and Opportunities for Australia’s Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums, found that most organisations viewed their digital activities as more of an “add on”, rather than part of their core service delivery.”
  • Porcaro announces candidacy for 2016-17 ALA presidency – ALA (USA). “Porcaro was an ALA Emerging Leader in 2010 and was named as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2012.  He is a founding member of the ALA Think Tank, social media’s largest space for librarians. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the EveryLibrary political action committee, the Social Organizer for Urban Librarians Unite, and an administrator for the Librarian Wardrobe blog. “
  • Satisfaction with Public Libraries Has Increased Since 2008 – Financial (USA). “September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, and 66% of American adults are either extremely (24%) or very (42%) satisfied with their public library. This number represents a seven percentage-point increase from the 59% of Americans who indicated the same in 2008. An additional two in ten (20%) are “somewhat” satisfied, according to Harris Interactive Inc.”

UK local news by authority

  • Barnet – Libraries in Barnet could be the next ‘casualty’ of spending cuts – Times series. “Barnet Borough Council’s Labour councillors claim Conservatives are planning to cut the libraries budget by up to £2.85m, or 60 per cent. Councillor Anne Hutton, Labour libraries spokesman, said that the potential cuts meant library closures were “likely”.”
  • Brent – Final decision on Kensal Rise Library on hold while Department for Communites considers planning application – Wembley Matters. State so far and text of official letter.
  • Buckinghamshire – Pop in and say goodbye to retiring library manager – Buckingham Today. “Buckingham Library is holding an open day on Friday for manager Steph Gassor who is leaving at the beginning of October. Pop in between 11am and 3pm to bid her farewell. Mrs Gassor has worked for the library service since 1996, starting as a Saturday assistant at Buckingham.” … With recent staff reorganisation, Mrs Gassor has taken the opportunity for early retirement.
  • Croydon/Lambeth – Crystal Palace library celebrates record reading figures – Inside Croydon. Upper Norwood Library reports good improvement in summer reading challenge figures.
  • Devon – Library users find inventive ways to save the under-threat facilities – North Devon Journal. “A group which formed in Braunton to save the village’s small but popular library has proposed setting up a cinema to attract new users.”
  • Devon – Pioneering new vision for Devon libraries – Devon County Council. “Ten communities across Devon could now pioneer new partnerships to support their local libraries and expand the services they provide. Local people have told Devon County Council they are prepared to offer more community support to maintain and improve their library. But they say they want to maintain professional expertise and support in their library in return.” … “And next month the council’s Cabinet will consider plans for a new operating model for the entire library service. This could include converting to a mutual society or trust as a way of saving money and generating more income. This could save enough to cover the costs of professional staff in 25 rural libraries” … “The changes were proposed in part to make the £1.5 million savings required of the library service by 2016/17 due to cuts in Government funding.”

“I have never envisaged closing libraries. “But we have to find new ways of working – with increased community support – to safeguard the future of our community libraries.” Devon’s Cabinet Member for libraries, Roger Croad.

  • Hampshire – Group is told to find more cuts to library services – The News. Further £300,000 cut announced. “Cllr Chegwyn, who represents Hardway in Gosport at the county council, said there is no plan to close any libraries in the area and the group is at an early stage in its work. But he added more cuts would be coming to the mobile library service, which has already seen 115 stops axed across the county. He added: ‘My natural inclination is to fight to keep them. ‘People have to fight for the service if they want it.’” … “the group is trying to find a different approach including asking people in the community to run libraries.”
  • 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.” see also Have your say’ plea as Stevenage and Hitchin libraries given top tier rating in 10-year strategy – Comet. ““The idea is to increase community involvement and make every library the heart of its community, as our libraries are not used to the full at the moment,” said Councillor Button.”
  • Lincolnshire – Alternative Labour plans to save libraries rejected at Lincolnshire County Council meeting – Lincolnshire Echo. “Labour county councillors had put forward a motion asking for the libraries to be returned to the way they had worked prior to Council’s decision to axe 30 of them.  Labour argued that by putting £24.4 million of the under-spend from last year into reserves, rather than £24.7 million as planned, an extra £294,000 would be available to restore library open hours.” … “But council leader Martin Hill remained defiant over the executive committee’s decision to turn 30 libraries into volunteer-run community hubs, citing that savings of almost £100m had to be made every year.”
  • Lincolnshire – UKIP bid to oust Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill is rejectedLincolnshire Echo. “Mrs Ayling said: “You ignored the advice of your scrutiny committee and you spent £100,000 on a consultation and an estimated £60,000-£65,000 on legal costs, now another £100,000 looks set to be spent on a further consultation. “There is anger from the people of Lincolnshire over this issue. Fall on your sword Mr Hill.” UKIP’s motion failed to gather any support from councillors who mainly viewed their action as being politically motivated.”
  • Liverpool – Campaigners fighting Liverpool’s library closures plan city centre demonstration – Liverpool Echo. “Campaigners fighting the possible closure of 11 of Liverpool’s libraries are to hold a city centre demonstration on Saturday … [Alan] Gibbons said: “We don’t see any change from the council. We’re not hearing anything to meet the concerns of library users and communities. “We’ve got to keep stepping up the pressure to let them know there may be electoral fall-out from this.” … “Liverpool council says it is in discussions with “a number of interested parties” about running some of the at-risk libraries, which are: Breck Road, Dovecot, Fazakerley, Kensington, Lee Valley, Old Swan, Sefton Park, Spellow, Walton, Wavertree and West Derby.”. Includes map of threatened branches.

“The most successful volunteer library in the UK is Little Chalfont in Buckinghamshire, run by Jim Brooks. He has about 25 people working there at any one time. He got an OBE for his efforts but said he would have preferred to have kept it a council-run library. I don’t think we’re going to have that structural base of retired professionals like they had to run a library.” Alan Gibbons

  • Liverpool – Future of Liverpool’s libraries discussed – ITV News. “The council say under the proposals, 95% of people will still live within two miles of a library and the Home Library Service and the RNIB Talking Book Service will not be affected. The city council would continue to run Central Library – which is used by 45 percent of service users – and seven community libraries: Croxteth, Norris Green, Toxteth, Childwall, Allerton, Garston and Parklands.”
  • Norfolk – Young bookworm Laurie’s 125 reasons for loving literature – EDP. “Laurie Shaw, six, of The Heywood, Diss will read “anything and everything,” his mother Shona, 38 said and this summer he completed a staggering 125 books as part of a summer reading challenge organised by Diss library.”
  • Northern Ireland – Libraries NI laying off temporary workers to save money – BBC. “The public service has to save £1.4m or 4.4% of its budget by March next year and needs to make cuts across all its services in 96 branch libraries. The largest share of the budget is staffing, with more than 800 people employed in the sector. Chief executive of Libraries NI Irene Knox said they were focussing, at the present time, on agency staff.” … “So far, we have identified 21 who will be leaving this week, but I can’t rule out the fact that there may well be more, in fact there will be more” see also Reduction in library opening hours could follow job cuts – News Letter.”Libraries NI also said: “Further measures will regrettably have to include a review of branch opening hours. This process will take place during October and it is anticipated that planned temporary changes will be implemented from November 1 onwards. “In the interim there may be temporary ad hoc reductions in opening hours in many areas.”
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff – “When a public library is threatened with closure, a community in the Welsh town of Pontypridd rise up to fight for what is theirs. Saving Rhydyfelin Library chronicles the story of how a community can join hands to fight for what they believe in.”
  • Sheffield – If the council can do what it wants why not fight for libraries at the start? – Sheffield Telegraph. “Throughout the ‘review’ process, in the face of massive public protest, the stance from the council on the withdrawal of a paid, professional, consistent service from branch libraries and their replacement with volunteers has been “Nothing to do with us… all the Government’s fault… our hands are forced…. we have to do as we’re told”. And now we have a sudden and dramatic change in stance – the council is refusing to comply with Mr Vaizey’s request to keep the library service as it is until October 31 to give him time to mull over the matter. Clearly, all of a sudden the council has decided that it is above Central Government”
  • Wandsworth / GLL – Council confirms future is safe for Southfields library – Wandsworth Council. ““We have recently entered into a long term contract with a charitable social enterprise to manage our libraries on a day-to-day basis. This change has allowed us to make the necessary level of savings we needed to ensure the financial future of our library service, without requiring any closures. “We have also been keen to explore other ways of running services at our libraries to ensure they remain vibrant. In the case of York Gardens in Battersea we have worked closely alongside volunteers from the local neighbourhood and supported their efforts in running a variety of community-led initiatives and activities at the library, like homework clubs, and this has proved to be a great success. “This is a good demonstration of our commitment to libraries and how we look for intelligent and workable solutions for keeping them open at a time when other boroughs are slashing their library services and closing branches on an almost industrial scale.”
  • Wiltshire – Libraries need quiet – Gazette and Herald. “Who designed and approved a library with no doors and placed beside a noisy cafeteria and a climbing wall just outside the library entrance? This is the location of the new library in the Corsham community campus still under construction. A library requires the time and quiet to browse the literature, and in the case of information gathering, to read carefully and in peace, the detail available. This will be impossible when the wall is in use (not their fault) and the catering under way.” see Corsham’s new library open for business – Wiltshire Council. “Wiltshire Council is celebrating another important milestone as the first community campus in the county opens its library and cafe to the families on Thursday. Springfield Community Campus has already welcomed Corsham’s sports clubs, community groups and gym users when the sports hall, squash court, flexible community rooms and temporary fitness suite were opened last month.”