UK national news

  • A trio of public library standards – Alyson’s Welsh Libraries blog. A look at the varying library standards occurring in the UK (Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) and beyond.
  • Books on the house as libraries move into pubs and cafes – Guardian. A look at the alternatives happening to traditional public libraries because of budget cuts, including small collections of borrowable books in one or two pubs. “John Longden, chief executive of Pub is the Hub, understands people’s concerns, but he says the pub is preferable to no library at all. “Not everybody goes to the pub, but if it’s the only building left in the community prepared to host the library, we find people will accept that rather than lose it altogether.”” … “Campaigners who had fought to take the library over have mixed feelings. “In every area of Sheffield people will regret that libraries are having to change from what they are. But there’s certainly a great deal of relief that a library will remain in operation,” says Chris Reece, chair of Walkley Community Library Futures Group.”
  • CIPFA stats show drops in library numbers and usage – BookSeller. “The number of people borrowing books from libraries in England has halved since 1997, according to the annual library statistics prepared by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). CIPFA plans to publish its annual statistics later this week, but early leaks have seen sections of the data widely circulated this weekend. The available data shows that the past 12 months have seen yet more library closures, and lower levels of visiting and borrowing. It shows local authorities reported that a total of 3,450 libraries in England were open for 10 hours or more in March 2014, down from 3,491 open at the same point last year. Overall, it is a decline of 9.8% from 1997, when there were 3,862 libraries open for at least 10 hours a week …”
  • For the sake of justice, this attack on judicial review must be resisted – BookSeller. “The Tory peer Lord Deben (John Gummer as was): ‘Judicial review is there to make ministers annoyed enough to do the right thing … it made me a better and fairer minister.’ ” … “The criminal justice and courts bill restricts access to judicial review, making it prohibitively expensive for individuals, along with the charities and NGOs supporting them, to challenge government legislation.” … “The House of Lords, led by the crossbencher Lord Pannick QC and other distinguished lawyers, added three amendments to the bill in an attempt to secure the future of judicial review. But in the Commons the Tory and Lib Dem combined vote threw out the Lords amendments, so this bill now goes into ping pong between the two houses until one side relents. Tomorrow the bill is back in the Lords, and the peers need to stand their ground: this is the kind of profound constitutional issue on which the Lords should prove their mettle. The fear is that Lib Dem peers, who occasionally rebel on such matters first time round, always fold in the crunch.”
  • I Love the Smell of Paper in the morning, it smells of victory…or history or science fiction or… I Love Books – Robin Ince’s Blog. “See the children engrossed in the corner of a public library before you declare them archaic and worthy of extinction. How many worlds for many interpretations are shelved and ready to be opened..?”
  • See trainee librarians totally freak out when fake knights attack – Radio Times. Publicity stunt for new “Librarians” TV show has sword-fighting and flaming arrows happening in a London library.  Those poor new library staff ….


  • Buffalo students able to access work from libraries – WGRZ (USA). “The schools district announced a partnership with Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries Monday that enables students to access the same programs and resources they have at school on any library computer. The computers also have digital copies of textbooks.” … “Students must have a library card to access the resources, but they will now able to apply for a card at school.”
  • The Librarians – TNT.  New TV series based on the films.  Basically Warehouse 13 or Indiana Jones meets Doctor Who.  And why not? One can’t help but feel sorry for the trainee librarians facing sword-fighting and flaming arrows in this video though – See trainee librarians totally freak out when fake knights attack – Radio Times.
  • Library gets loud about funding cuts – Inverell Times (Australia). ““We need the state government to realise how serious this is. Nearly 50 per cent of the population are library members, and a lot of them vote, and a lot of library lovers vote too, enough of them to change the government.””
  • Magoon’s ‘How It Went Down’ chosen as St. Paul Public Library 2015 Read Brave book – Star Tribune (USA). “Read Brave is the library’s annual citywide program encouraging young people and adults to read a young adult novel and discuss it.”
  • You could check out books & enjoy ice cream treats – Manteca Bulletin (USA). “Back in 1918, you could drop by the Manteca Public Library and browse through the collection or else order an ice cream sundae. The library, at the time, was housed inside the Vandevort Ice Cream Parlor.”

UK local news by authority

  • Birmingham – Kerslake Review: £188 Library of Birmingham contributing to council’s debt – Birmingham Mail. “Damning review into Birmingham City Council questions £10m annual costs to run facility while community libraries face closure” … ““The library cost £188 million to build and the majority of the costs were funded by adding to the council’s debt. It costs around £10 million per year to run the new library. “The entire existing community library service costs around £6 million per year and for [sic] community libraries have been earmarked for closure.””
  • Birmingham – Library of Birmingham is worth the money, say visitors – Birmingham Mail. “Visitors at the new Library of Birmingham today praised the building and its facilities after criticism by Sir Bob Kerslake. The former head of the Civil Service questioned the £187million spent by the city council on the library and the £10 million-per-year needed for for its upkeep, saying the cost was a factor in authority’s debt problems. In contrast, annual running costs for the city’s community library services are £6 million, and four regional libraries are set to close. But today many visitors praised the new facilities, saying they were more beneficial to the community than regional community libraries. The only criticism was that the library acted more like a tourist location than a place for students to study.”
  • Cardiff – Rock star joins fight to save suburban Cardiff library Wales Online. “Andy Fairweather Low, who scored a number one hit with Amen Corner in 1969 with the song (If Paradise is) Half as Nice, warned that the potential closure of Rhiwbina Library would be the latest blow for the Cardiff suburb. “I live in Rhiwbina and there are so many things being taken out of the village,” he said. “[The] post office’s gone, and most of the banks are gone. “A place like the library, for the kids, this is a normal day here. The elderly, the use of computers for people who can’t afford computers – its part of the village. We don’t need to be taking any more out, we need to put things in.”
  • Cardiff – What does Cardiff council have planned for the future of your library? -Wales Online. “Options for each of 20 city libraries include relocating services, closing branches, reducing funding or creating local “hubs” … “The option for Radyr, Whitchurch, Rhiwbina, Rhydypennau, Cathays and Roath libraries is to “cease council funding”.”.  Cafes seen as a solution.
  • Devon – Braunton and Torrington libraries to be run by their users – North Devon Journal. The two branches ” have been chosen for a pilot scheme to get communities to save their libraries from closure by running them on the council’s behalf.” … “Last month the council approved plans for a new operating model for the libraries, which could include creating a trust to run the libraries on the council’s behalf. The move is expected to save the council at least £400,000 a year.”
  • Gateshead – Petition to save Felling library is handed over to Gateshead Council – Chronicle. “A group of women who use the library at Felling in Gateshead have handed in a petition to Gateshead Council asking them to think again about their planned shake-up of services which could lead to their facility closing, or becoming volunteer run. The authority is currently investigating plans that might see Felling Library, and those at Chopwell, Crawcrook, Dunston, Felling, Pelaw, Rowlands Gill and Wrekenton handed over to the community.”
  • Hampshire – No decision on library move – Chichester Observer. “Nearly 450 residents responded to the council’s consultation, with more than 60 per cent opposing the move. Around a third were in favour or had no preference. A petition with more than 1,000 names was also handed in. Councillor Keith Chapman, who heads libraries, said: ‘We have worked with the 
Community Association on the details of the location and a plan of the proposed location of the library within the community centre building will be in the library for people to see. ‘A report will be coming to my next decision day meeting on January 19″
  • Harrow – Campaigner dismisses culture minister’s visit to threatened Harrow libraries as ‘political stunt’ – Get West London. “Kamal Shah, the chairman of North Harrow Community Partnership and the lead petitioner on a campaign to save North Harrow Library from the axe, dismissed Tory culture minister Sajid Javid’s argument that Labour-run Harrow Council can protect frontline despite cuts to central government funding”

“From a government point of view libraries are hugely important, not just the obvious things like books and reading material, they’re also a community hub …  We want to make sure the library service remains for people here.” … “I still prefer to redesign services where necessary to make sure savings are found by cutting away the fat, looking at ways of doing other things such as sharing services – other authorities have done that successfully and there’s no reason why Harrow can’t do that. The priorities should be non front-line cuts. If other councils do that then Harrow can do that.”Sajid Javid, Culure Secretary

  • Kirklees – Parish council leads the way to save Kirkburton Library – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Kirkburton Parish Council will “investigate the possibility of the Kirkburton Library building being transferred to the Parish Council in a Community Asset Transfer. Members agreed they don’t want to see the building lost and fear drastic cuts at Kirklees Council may put its future at risk.”
  • Newport – Newport council ‘doing best, not hell-bent on destruction’ – leader – South Wales Argus. “Cabinet members yesterday unanimously agreed to put more than 100 money-saving ideas in the 2015/16 budget proposals out to public consultation. The ideas, which look to save £10 million next year, include a possible closure of both the Newport Museum and Art Gallery, while retaining the service, and Central Library, as well as raising council tax by five per cent.”
  • Northamptonshire – Protection Of Front Line Services At Heart Of Northants County Budget – About my Area. “Investment is proposed in Adult and Children’s services to cope with the ever growing demand in these areas while front line services used by the public to increase their wellbeing such as libraries and country parks are protected from service reductions.” … ““Once again those services which are so treasured by our communities and help their wellbeing such as libraries and country parks are protected – which is not the case across the country.”
  • North East Lincolnshire – New Community Hub set to take control of Humberston Library appeals for support to make The Gingerbread House a roaring success – Grimsby Telegraph. Humberston – “Your Community Hub, a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC), will take over the Church Lane building on December 23 from North East Lincolnshire Council.” … “Your Community Hub has been left with a stock of around 7,000 books, but little else. There are currently no computers or catering facilities, but help is already at hand. Nathan said: “We’re now in the final hurdles for Humberston but the problem is that it doesn’t attract the grant funding that other areas do because of the post code and the belief that there is more money in this area. “We can’t get Big Lottery funding, so we’re reliant on private companies such as Howdens – which has offered us a kitchen – and LCS which will reinstate the computer area.”
  • North East Lincolnshire – What will happen to the borough’s libraries?vx – Grimsby Telegraph. “Under the scheme approved by North East Lincolnshire Council’s Cabinet committee, just four core centres – Grimsby Central Library, Cleethorpes seafront, Immingham and Waltham – will be retained, with extended opening hours. However, from October the council will no longer operate centres in Grant Thorold, Willows, Nunsthorpe, Humberston and Laceby, in the hope of saving £500,000.”
  • Somerset – Cheddar Library “needs your help” – Cheddar Valley Gazette. Consultation taking place. ““So far, there is no talk of closing libraries – but big savings are still required,” said Sue Purkiss, the chair of Friends of Cheddar library. “This is an opportunity to make our opinions count and show how important our library is to us.”
  • South Lanarkshire – Letter – Twitter. Katy Loudon’s letter against cuts to libraries in area pointing out the positive things they do for the economy.