• 23 Librarians: England and N. Ireland – 23 Librarians. England and Northern Ireland now join Wales and Scotland in producing 23 Librarians: a series of descriptions of their jobs by librarians of all fields.
  • Coalition Minister is ‘Minded to’ Duck Out of Library Inquiry – Public Interest Lawyers. “PIL is disappointed that at this stage the Minister is minded not to intervene in this issue. The provision of library services is a hugely important function of local councils, and it is disappointing that the absence of a local library service in a quarter of Sheffield is still considered ‘comprehensive and efficient. PIL therefore calls on those who are equally troubled by this trend of neglect, whether in Sheffield or any other part of England & Wales, to contact the Minister to ask him to intervene in these proposals and to take a more active role in ensuring that local authorities are complying with their duty to provide an effective library service.”

“Public libraries are the universities of the working class. They are an essential community service and offer a refuge to children, young adults and older people in particular. They offer an essential community service. It is scandalous that the Coalition government has not intervened and held inquiries. This is particularly outrageous given that in Sheffield and indeed up and down the country libraries are facing cuts, closures and an uncertain future.” Paul Heron

  • Digital inclusion briefing – Alyson’s Welsh Libraries Blog. “A new briefing from CILIP on digital inclusion brings together some key headline figures about digital exclusion such as the fact that 11 million people in the UK are offline and are considered to have no digital skills, and of whom, 60% have no qualifications. Alongside the facts the briefing outlines how libraries and library staff contribute towards improving digital inclusion. If you’re looking for a handy summary on digital inclusion, digital literacy and library skills this briefing fits the bill. “
  • Kev Johns blog: Libraries still need support: so use them – South Wales Evening Post. “It was a panto reading session so a dame’s costume was required for the session at the library and what a great community event it turned out to be … Like everyone I understand that tough decisions have to be made but I don’t know of one library that isn’t the heart of a community and well used by the public.”
  • The library business is booming … but public libraries are losing market share – Ken Chad. Argues that the total library sector is increasing inside but competitors e.g. Google are gaining market share at the expense of public libraries.  Looks at the reasons why and suggests options. [Look at #WMFevents on Twitter for various and numerous tweets on the recent Westminster Forum day on libraries and books – Ed.]
  • Tackle low literacy levels by keeping libraries open – Telegraph / Letters. “SIR – Cross-party commitment to tackling low literacy levels in Britain is laudable, but to argue that this might be achieved while ignoring the closure of public libraries and the widespread axing of school library services illustrates a glaring inconsistency in critical thinking. It is to be hoped that Nick Gibb at the Department for Education will discuss that issue with his colleagues in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Public and school libraries give the young a trusted starting point for inculcating a love of reading for pleasure, thus ensuring that no one misses out on the opportunity to be literate. These institutions are key to our long-term investment in learning and young people. Shirley Burnham.”
  • UK museums and libraries protest outdated copyright laws – Torrent Freak. “This year marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, but the general public in the UK still doesn’t have access to original unpublished works such as diaries and letters from the Great War. Current UK copyright laws prevent many British institutions from showing such important historical works. Libraries and museums now hope to change these outdated laws through a newly launched campaign. Currently, the duration of copyright protection for published works in the UK is life of the author plus 70 years, but for unpublished works the situation is different. ­­”


  • Everything you always wanted to know about information literacy but were afraid to google – Universal of Michigan School of Information. Some useful chapters here, although my favourite is the dedication page which is to all those who want the book to be called  “What the CTRL+F is Information Literacy”.
  • Libraries add economic value – Tallahassee Democrat. “For every $1 Floridians invest into Florida public libraries, they receive $10.18 in economic return. This means that with nearly $500 million of public money invested into Florida public libraries during fiscal year 2012, over $5.55 billion was returned to Floridians in economic value. Public libraries have historically been places where families can learn, students can do research and job seekers can find opportunities, and the money invested into these respected institutions is returned over ten-fold.”

UK local news by library authority

  • Barnsley – Mobile library service under threat – Barnsley Chronicle. “… we need to save £100,000 from our library service and we are suggesting we do this by stopping the mobile library. “We appreciate the mobile library service is well liked by those who use it. However, we are faced with some very difficult choices as a council and on balance we believe we must try to maximise the benefit of all our library resources to the wider community.””
  • Bristol – Reader’s letter: Use libraries otherwise we will lose them – Bristol Post. Two letters: “Closing libraries is yet another step toward widening the gap by giving access to learning, jobs and services to only those who can either afford to buy them, or are able to travel to receive them. It is time for local people to take a stand against the constant, underhand devaluing of community services which is yet another attempt to make cuts by hurting the most vulnerable people in our society.” .. “Perhaps the decline in use is due to the services offered – this should be investigated by the council and our councillors. A good library should offer (for example) groups to cater for local interests, reading groups for pre-school children, talks by authorities on various subjects. We need libraries. Another way of saving money must be found.”
  • Cornwall – Is Newquay library set for a new chapter? – Cornish Guardian. “Newquay Town Council will consider taking over the local library on Marcus Hill to safeguard its future. Cornwall Council is drawing up its budget options and is looking to slash services, with libraries among those in the firing line.”

“I know Cornwall Council is under immense pressure, so personally I would be willing to work with them to see if we can keep the library service,” he said. “If there is scope where we can amalgamate the One Stop Shop, the library, the BID offices and the town council offices and put them in one place, then that is something that I am sure we would consider as part of a localism deal.”

  • Croydon / Lambeth – Upper Norwood library to open for five days a week after £50k council pledge – Croydon Advertiser. “The library, in Westow Hill, has had to reduce its service to three days a week in recent years.”
  • Greenwich / GLL – Strike action called off by Greenwich’s library staff as pay demands met – News Shopper. “All 12 of the borough’s libraries faced disruption on Thursday as Unite, the UK’s largest union, walked out during the school half term following a disagreement with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) – the social enterprise company awarded the contract to run the borough’s libraries in 2012. ” … “LL has offered 12.5 full time jobs and agreed there would be no cuts to Greenwich’s library service, unless instructed by the council. “
  • Hull – Spending squeeze may see library hours cut – Yorkshire Post. “In February, the Labour-run council said a 25 per cent cut in central government funding meant spending on libraries needed to be reduced by £415,000, by next March. The council is now predicting another five years of funding cuts to services of between £50m and £60m. “. Council says “libraries would get a new purpose as they are increasingly needed by people without IT at home to fill in government forms online. “We have some of the lowest uptakes in the country of people with internet connections,” he added. “My vision for libraries is like the Central Library in the city, which has a large computer facility for people not only to apply for jobs but to fill in forms that the Government requires online, and also through a new form of communication with the council, to get a swift response.””
Other library authorities were a bit Miffed

Other library authorities were a bit Miffed

  • Kirklees – History group brings back library petition – Dewsbury Reporter. “The popular petition aimed at persuading Kirklees councillors not to sell off Batley’s much lauded public library building has been re-launched by Batley History Group in the hope that the library – and its many services – stay intact. More than 7,000 people signed the petition when it was originally launched last year stressing that the iconic building, given to the town by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie more than 100 years ago, was an outstanding part of Batley town centre and provided services which were crucial to the wellbeing, enrichment and education of people of all ages.”
  • Kirklees – Kirklees Council’s estate is worth a staggering £1.2 billion: but they can’t afford to maintain it  Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “A Resources Scrutiny Panel report shows that, so far, two asset transfers have been completed, the Carlile Institute in Meltham and the library in Denby Dale. But in the future libraries are likely to be subject to community asset transfers as Kirklees looks to make major savings in the service.”
  • Lancashire – New opening hours for East Lancashire libraries – Citizen. “Extraopening hours are set to be approved by county councillors for no fewer than 15 libraries in East Lancashire and the Chorley area. Consultations have been taking place with users over several months over the increased availability of the county’s libraries, amid concerns that footfall is dropping.”
  • Liverpool – Love Letters to Libraries – Independent Liverpool. An interview with Cathy Cassidy. ““If you have ever used or loved a library, please take a minute or two to write a ‘love letter to Liverpool libraries’ and send it to Mayor Anderson. We understand that the cuts come from above, that the council are in a difficult situation; but we are pleading with them to reconsider, to find another way. Eleven libraries axed? Liverpool may never recover. We have a voice; let’s use it to speak up for Liverpool’s future.”
  • North Yorkshire – Council consulting over future of libraries – Press. “A three-month county-wide consultation will be on key points including proposals to retain a “core library” in Harrogate, Malton, Northallerton, Richmond/Catterick, Scarborough, Selby and Skipton, staffed by a combination of professional county library staff and volunteers. “Hybrid libraries”, for which the cost of the premises, and one member of staff, would be met by the County Council, will depend on volunteers working alongside the paid member of staff. They are proposed for Filey, Knaresborough, Pickering, Ripon, and Whitby.” see also Second wave of cutbacks could leave 20 more libraries volunteer-run – Darlington and Stockton Times. “Ian Pearce, chairman of Great Ayton Discovery Centre, said after initial opposition to the county’s withdrawal from the village’s library and a lengthy process setting up the community venture, there were no major problems and the experience was really rewarding. “
  • Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland library opening hours: Temporary changes begin – BBC. “Opening hours in a number of libraries will be reduced or operate with a different pattern from Monday. It is one of the measures implemented to make £1.4m of savings by March 2015, as a result of a 4.4% cut in the Libraries NI budget.”
  • Nottinghamshire – Nottinghamshire County Council budget: Millions of pounds in cuts and hundreds of job losses – Nottingham Post. “All county libraries could be run by trusts or not-for-profit organisations in the future, and highways upkeep could also be provided by a new company”.
  • Somerset – Survey on saving Somerset’s library service £500,000 – Yeovil Express. “YOU are being asked what you think of proposals to save Somerset’s library services nearly £500,000. The alterations could include phasing out CD loans, introducing criteria for mobile library visits, changes to the performing arts library service and tweaking the management of libraries. A county spokesman said other topics under discussion are free internet for library users and extending the outreach services, but he stressed there are no plans to close any library buildings.”
  • St Helens – Miffy: competition-winning visits to St Helens libraries (28-30 Oct) ‏ – Reading Agency. “Young library users in St Helens on Merseyside were treated to a host of special visits from worldwide favourite children’s book character Miffy the rabbit during the October school half term holidays. This followed a library staff member entering and winning a UK-wide competition organised by national charity The Reading Agency and Simon & Schuster, publishers of updated translations of the classic Miffy stories .. The winning entry came from Kathryn Boothroyd, community development manager for St Helens Council’s Library service.”
  • Walsall – Campaign group set up to fight Walsall library closure plan – Walsall Advertiser. “Pheasey Library could be one of eight axed as part of Walsall Council’s efforts to save a massive £86 million by 2019.” … “Now a Save Pheasey Library campaign has been launched by residents and Pheasey Park Farm councillors. A petition will be available in local shops and a Facebook page has been set up.”