What appears to be the first post office run by a public library has opened in Stradbroke in Suffolk.  Writtle Library in Essex already has a post office inside it but it is run separately by post office staff. Stradbroke post office, on the other hand, will have its own library staff providing the post office, as an income generation exercise, service to the community and as a way of increasing footfall … and you thought having to do badges for disabled parking was a stretch.




“.. Part of “information literacy” must be, whatever your view, an understanding of the actuality and implications of digital monitoring by government and corporates, about “free” access restricted by technocrats and for political expediency.  All this reinforces the matter of ethics in our profession. We say these are at the heart of our work; they underpin our policies and views; encompass our career plans.In a time when public librarians are challenged daily to make cuts, when libraries are deposited on the backs of volunteers with no choice, when book funds, training budgets and outreach capacity are slashed, the opportunities to remember our fundamental purpose are rare beacons – Get Online programmes, health information campaign, reading programmes, CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base.  Just how easily we could forget our ethical values. Let’s not do that; and let’s ensure that those who make facile decisions about libraries know of such special things.” part of email by John Dolan to PLN regarding post on social justice and surveillance.

  • SCL publishes 3 invitations to tender – Society of Chief Librarians. “SCL published three invitations to tender for projects that will further develop the Universal Offers. Please see the attached documents for more information and details on how to respond to the tenders. Deadline for receipt of tender proposals: 4th November 2014 @ 5pm Universal Learning Offer ITT Learning Offer Universal Information Offer ITT_workforce_development_evaluation Digital Leadership Skills Workforce Development Programme ITT_Digital_Leadership_Skills
  • Young readers in Carshalton win visit from top children’s author – Reading Agency. “Reading for pleasure brings children many rewards, but young readers at one lucky  library in Carshalton (London Borough of Sutton) are in for a real treat, after winning a UK-wide competition celebrating the first-ever Chatterbooks Week (11-18 October),via national charity The Reading Agency’s ever-growing network of Chatterbooks reading groups for children.”


  • 15 vintage photos of libraries on wheels – Ebook Friendly (USA). Photos of some very old mobile libraries.
  • Two libraries in the Netherlands are using quick response codes in a project to encourage reading – Mobile Commerce News (Netherlands). “The program works by giving kids the ability to be able to record themselves on video as they tell other children why they should read a certain book – particularly their very favorite book. Unique QR codes are then attached to the published books so that children visiting the library can scan them using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Once the barcode has been scanned, it displays the video that helps to promote a certain book and that will, hopefully, get other readers excited about reading it.”
  • The Aspen Institute Releases New Report: “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” – Library Journal (USA). “explores how public libraries can respond as the digital age increases the demand for high-speed information access, changes in our education systems, innovative job training models and additional community services to help people and communities compete in the new economy. The report is part of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The multiyear dialogue brings library professionals, policymakers, technology experts, philanthropists, educators and civic leaders together to explore the future of public libraries.” see also D.C. public library system highlighted in Aspen Institute’s national report – Washington Post. “DCPL’s MapStory program is showcased as an example of how libraries can succeed as 21st-century curators”
  • Unsung Heroes: Stories from the Library – Research for Life (Global). “From information literacy training to building infrastructure and outreach, librarians are critical to building a healthy research culture in the developing world and they are often the “unsung heroes” in the research ecosystem. For this reason, Research4Life has commissioned a special booklet, “Unsung Heroes, Stories from the Library” – narratives from individuals around the world who have in reality become the unsung heroes of research in their institutions.”

UK local news by authority

  • Birmingham – RIBA Stirling Prize: Why the Library of Birmingham deserves to win top architecture award – Birmingham Mail. “We’ve put together this gallery of photos which highlight its spectacular architecture and show why we think the Library of Birmingham deserves this year’s RIBA prize.
  • Brent – Shut-down library in Brent could be reopened after campaigners strike a deal with council – Get West London. ““Before the election, there was an offer from the council for something like this to happen, and now it is at a much more formal stage and Councillor James Denslow who we have been dealing with is really enthusiastic.” The campaigners now need to present a business case to the council to formally showcase their plans and prove that they could run it in a viable fashion. It is understood that the only condition for the council in giving the Friends group the building rent free would be that it may be required in the future for usage as a temporary classroom, however it is hoped that that will not be necessary.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Job losses and service cuts warning as council considers slashing budget – Hunts Post. “Job losses and massive cuts to frontline services are on the horizon as county councillors prepare to look at proposals to slash £32.6million from the budget over the next three years … 1.6m over three years by reducing the cost of larger libraries”
  • Cornwall – Bodmin library set for a new chapter? – Cornish Guardian. 44% cut in budget. “The local authority says savings can be made by devolving the running of libraries to town and parish councils, and community groups, and increasing the use of volunteers to supervise the book lending service in their areas. Libraries are now being offered to town councils, and Bodmin is one of the first to express an interest in taking over the building and managing the facility in the town.” … “Bodmin town councillor Ann Kerridge, who is also vice-chairman of Cornwall Council, said Bodmin would need to see exactly what was on offer before it commits to managing the library.”
  • Devon – Cuts ‘start to bite’ in Ilfracombe as Jobcentre phone line is withdrawn – North Devon Journal. “Ilfracombe town councillor Mike Edmunds said it was the latest in a line of cuts which threatened libraries, youth services and community hospitals”
  • Devon – More self-service facilities could be the future for Devon libraries – Mid Devon Gazette. “Among the ideas was that the council could implement self-service facilities at many of libraries by using computer technology to allow people to take out and return books, a system already popular in Denmark.”
  • Devon – Proposed changes to Devon library services given cautious welcome – Express and Echo. “proposed changes to library services in Devon have been given a cautious welcome by Exeter councillors. At last week’s cabinet meeting, Roger Croad, Devon’s cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, went out of his way to say that there were no plans to close any of the county’s 50 libraries.”
  • Dorset – Workforce planning courses available for local cultural organisations – Blackmore Vale. “The course is for representatives from voluntary and community organisations that provide cultural activities and services including museums, libraries, visual and performing arts, places of heritage and galleries.”
  • East Lothian – New permanent artwork for Musselburgh Library – East Lothian Courier. The “Library has been selected as one of five libraries in Scotland to benefit from a new permanent artwork as part of Book Week Scotland 2014. The artwork will be created by Glasgow-based artist Emma Ewan and will be inspired by Dear Library, a poem written by best-selling Scottish author and playwright Jackie Kay as part of Book Week Scotland’s Love Your Library! campaign.”
  • Greenwich – Librarians on strike over staff cuts, reduction of service and pay – Union Solidarity International. “Library assistants in Greenwich are today taking strike action over staff cuts, reduction of service and pay. The strike by 84 Unite members will be followed by a work-to-rule from tomorrow. The dispute revolves around Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) – the social enterprise company awarded the contract in 2012 to run the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s library service – saying that it will not replicate any pay rises that are awarded to local government workers, which was previously the case until a change in the law. Unite believe that reductions in front-line staff numbers will have a negative impact on the service provided to Greenwich residents. Unite estimate 12 staff have been lost since GLL took over in 2012.”

GLL Reactive statement regarding proposed Unite Strike 14th October 2014 We can confirm that there have been no redundancies of front line staff employed since we began operating libraries in Greenwich from May 2012, and there are still several posts being actively recruited for. The number of casual workers within Greenwich libraries has in fact decreased by 5% since GLL took over the contract. We are committed to offering more, better-paid jobs to front line workers and over the period, we have up-skilled the service and improved career paths for our staff. We have also increased library opening hours. Ferrier Library was closed prior to the handover to GLL, and the mobile service continues to operate as normal. GLL are awaiting the outcome of national pay negotiations prior to setting its localised pay rate” [Quoted added on 16th October at GLL’s request – Ed.]


“I was surprised to read this editorial comment on the Hertfordshire consultation in Public Libraries News on 12 October. [“Reports are being received of very little publicity within branches of these cuts, including unstaffing 17 out of 46 of them – Ed”] We have ‘Have Your Say’ displays in all our libraries stating the proposed tier for that library, promoting the strategy document and the questionnaire (available in hard copy, large print and easy read versions as well as online), and advertising the 53 drop-in sessions in libraries and mobile stops around the County, where library users can discuss the proposals with senior managers and County Councillors.” Hertforshire – part of email from Andrew Bignell, head of Libraries and Heritage Services.

  • Liverpool – Councillor comes under fire at Liverpool libraries public meeting Liverpool Echo. “tensions rose as campaign group Old Swan Against the Cuts challenged Old Swan ward councillor Gary Millar to reveal whether he would vote to close Old Swan library. One member angrily asked Cllr Millar: “Will you vote to close Old Swan library? Will you vote to take the books out of my child’s hands? Will you vote to rip the heart out of this community?” Cllr Millar responded that the meeting was not meant to be a political meeting”
  • Northeast Lincolnshire – Can library-saving group prove a real page-turner? – Grimsby Telegraph. “Grant Thorold and Humberston Libraries could soon be run by a community interest group called “Your Community Hub”. Until now the not-for-profit group has remained anonymous. But as the deadline for expressions of interest to take over council libraries came yesterday, the organisers of the group said they were passionate about keeping libraries going for their respective communities. Your Community Hub is run by husband and wife team Nathan and Melissa Taylor and friend Emma Harper.”
  • Northumberland – Northumberland County Council will close Seahouses library – Chronicle. “A library will close its doors due to fears extreme weather could cause the roof to collapse. Seahouses library will be closed by Northumberland County Council after its health and safety team reported serious defects. The library shares the same site as Seahouses First School and talks are now under way with the school regarding the demolition of the library building and action to make the site safe.” … “The Seahouses Development Trust has now offered to host a library within its community centre which is nearby and has parking and disabled access. It will provide a limited supply of books and public computer access computers.”
  • Oxfordshire – Mobile library visits facing the chop due to lack of interest – Henley Standard. “The county council is planning to scrap stops where its library vehicles have very few or no visitors, including 28 in the Henley area.  These include four stops in Henley, three in Goring and two in Shiplake.  In a statement, the council said: “Oxfordshire County Council is committed to delivering a comprehensive, high quality and efficient library service and bringing mobile library services to people who may struggle to get to a library building, such as young people and their parents or carers, older people and those with disabilities. “We have recently reviewed our mobile library service and found that, while the service is clearly valued, many of the current stops are not very well used.”
  • Powys – ‘Town of Books’ library to be hit by cuts – Hereford Times. “plan to cut the Town of Books’ library’s opening hours by 20 per cent, has come under fire from Hay-on-Wye’s county councillor. ” .. “The other option that had been considered would have seen smaller branches closing their doors for good, as the council look to take £350,000 out of the library budget ahead of April. ” … “Cllr Ratcliffe added that an asset transfer which would see the running of Hay Library by another organisation, such as the town council, may also be considered. The library is currently used as a base for several community groups, and also the location for Cllr Ratcliffe’s monthly surgery. It is also one of the few places where broadband internet is accessible for free in the town.”
  • Reading – Struggling Reading Borough Council leisure IT system to be replaced – Get Reading. Softward has been “driving staff mad” but “somebody at the borough council – and the committee did not find out who it was – decided the system could be extended for use in the borough’s leisure centres and libraries.”
  • Sandwell – Library consultation gets underway – Sandwell Council. “”Libraries provide a great service and are popular with local people. In recent years, we have opened new libraries in Blackheath and Oldbury and invested in West Bromwich Central Library. “However, we have to be realistic – we need to save a further £700,000 from the library budget over the next two years and must look at every option. “The major costs of the service are staff and buildings, but the closure of any library is an absolute last resort and I am hopeful we can find another way. “There are three main suggestions, including working with volunteers and community partners, moving libraries to shared premises or bringing other services into libraries to reduce running costs, and providing multi-use centres for for local people.”
  • Staffordshire – Fears for libraries’ future in ‘cash-driven’ changes – Express and Star. “Cannock Chase council leader George Adamson said there were many holes in the county council’s proposed ‘re-shaping’ of library services. And he claimed the cuts were financially driven after a decision made in December last year that £1million savings would have to be made in library services by 2016-17.”
  • Suffolk – Stradbroke Library Post Office opens this week – Suffolk Libraries. “Suffolk’s newest post office will open in Stradbroke Library this week. The post office will open when the library opens at 2.30pm on Tuesday 14 October. The opening follows several weeks of work to install the new post office counter and other fittings to accommodate the post office in the library which is based at Stradbroke Court House. Library staff have also had specialist post office training during the closure. Post Office Ltd approved Suffolk Libraries’ application to run the post office in February and it is believed to be the only post office in the country which will be run by a library service.”

“Stradbroke has been without a post office for around two years and Stradbroke Courthouse and Library Trust also have further plans to develop the building by opening a café and providing studio space for a community radio station, storage for a village archive and new toilets. Local artist Christine Cooper has also created a painting to celebrate the library, post office and café opening which features Ann Kerr and Mike Readman, both strong supporters of the library and courthouse community hub project, who have sadly passed away in the past two years.”

  • Swindon – Don’t move library – Swindon Advertiser. ” write to express my deep concerns regarding the current proposed situation of the West Swindon Library, i.e. to be removed from its prime visible location on the ground floor to the floor above where it would be not be visible to the community, and is not easily accessible for prams, pushchairs, mobility scooters and all who are physically handicapped. To dismiss the vital importance of this library because it is more commercially viable is totally void of respect, understanding and consideration towards the dire needs of the community.”
  • Vale of Glamorgan – New chapter in fight against controversial plans to slash Welsh county’s library service – Wales Online. “Various charges at libraries have been increased, while the amount of money spent on new books is to be reduced from £220,000 to £195,000. Opening hours are also likely to be changed, with libraries opening later and closing earlier.”. Volunteers being considered. “In recent years the Vale’s library service has seen a decline in both visitor numbers and book issues. This reflects a national trend as reading habits change and more people access books and library services online”
  • Wandsworth – Campaign launched after leaked Wandsworth Conservative Party document reveals possible cuts – Guardian series. ” “The residents I met were furious that Conservative councillors have considered closing Northcote and Battersea Park Road libraries, as well as the local leisure centre. “They even considered stopping graffiti cleaning and dog foul patrols. One resident asked me, ‘is anything safe’?”
  • York – Library set to open up its ‘gold box’ archive – York Press. “York Explore Library Learning Centre on Museum Street will reopen on Monday, January 5, after a seven month £1.5 million refurbishment project” including “world-class archive and local history centre”.