National news

  • ‘Escalating’ care costs will mean cuts to libraries, museums and road management services, warn councils – ITV. “Councils will have to cut money from services such as libraries, museums and fixing potholes because of the “escalating” cost of caring for the elderly, a new report warns. The Local Government Association (LGA) said £1.1 billion would be needed to be diverted from other areas in 2015/16 to meet the rising cost and demand for adult social care.”
  • General Election 2015: What are the plans for digital? – CILIP. A look at each of the main party’s views on digital – as a sign of changing times, this includes the Greens and UKIP too.
  • Lee Child dominates library borrowing again in 2014, with loan levels up on 2013 – Nielsen. “Looking at the library market in 2014, the most borrowed title for the year was once again by Lee Child: Never Go Back another Jack Reacher adventure with 26,359 loans between 29 Dec 2013 and 27 Dec 2014. The Crime, Thriller & Adventure (CTA) genre dominated the top titles and the first non CTA title was at number 7, Be careful what you wish for by Jeffry Archer with 16,841 loans. The graph below shows how library loan levels vary throughout the year and how 2014 compares to 2013. In general 2014 loans were ahead of the year before, apart from in Period 11 (4 weeks ending 1 November 2014) and Period 12 (4 weeks ending 29 November 2014) demonstrating the popularity of library lending in 2014.”
  • Libraries newsletter BBC.  A list of BBC campaigns and promotions of interest to public librarians.
  • Rallying call from John Lydon ahead of National Libraries Day – CILIP. “In a specially recorded message singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, implores the UK to value its libraries and urges everyone to show their support on National Libraries Day, Saturday 7 February.  Crediting libraries and librarians for his recovery from memory loss after contracting meningitis as an eight year old, the audio message was recorded to mark the annual national celebration of libraries and library staff and follows the recent publication of Lydon’s autobiography, Anger is an Energy.  The recording will be available to listen to on Saturday 7 February via the National Libraries Day website.” The full 54 second audio clip will be published on the National Libraries Day website on Saturday 7 February.

Saturday 7 February is National Libraries Day. Be there. Libraries are the most important essential part of our culture and civilisation…” John Lydon

  • SCL ASCEL Response to Prevent duty guidance: A consultation – SCL/ASCEL.
  • Visiting Libraries – Writers and Artists. “My publisher and I gain as we get to promote the book (they pay the travel expenses which, hopefully, they will earn back); the library gains because local school children are reminded that the library is a great place to go, even if they’re not interested in books (just yet); the schools gain as the children are engaged in an inactive session about books and stories, (and teachers and TAs get a mid-morning break). Everyone is set to gain. However, a visit to the library for a children’s author event should not be about selling the book directly. Some families can’t afford five pounds, when actually the book can be read for free – lest we forget.”

“It’s fine to tweet about the dreadful cutbacks and threatened closures, or write “Love Letters to Libraries”, but authors can go a step further: they can be physically present to help turn the much needed footfall into a steady march – they can help give councils, all over the land, less and less reason to close libraries. “

International news

  • From nurses to social workers, see how public libraries are serving the homeless – PBS (USA). “Public Libraries have become more than just a makeshift day shelter for the homeless, they are actively reaching out to them to provide services. Below are some examples of what libraries across the nation are doing … Twice a year CTC staff head out to an area women’s shelter to show residents how they can use a computer to search for a job and to sign them up for a library card … Twice a month here homeless patrons and staff members get together for “Coffee and Conversation.”

“community means more than “just the people who look and act like you.” Jasmine Africawala

UK local news by authority

  • East Sussex – Date set for new library opening in Newhaven – Sussex Express. “Newhaven’s new library is set to open its doors to the public in March, East Sussex County Council has announced.  The new facility, which occupies the ground floor of the former M&Co premises at 36 High Street, will open to the public on March 14. The new facility, being created with £1.6 million investment from East Sussex County Council, is currently being fitted out with IT systems, shelving and other bespoke furniture. The old library, also in High Street, will close on February 21, to allow staff to pack up and move to their new home nearby.”
  • Gwynedd – Singer Bryn Fon joins campaign to save Gwynedd libraries from closure – Daily Post. “C’Mon Midffild star Bryn Fôn has urged cash-strapped Gwynedd council “not to steal libraries” in the county. Llanllyfni born entertainer, who also sang hits such as Rebel Wicend and Ceidwad y Goleudy, made the comments following a protest in Penygroes last Thursday.”

“Every civilised society needs a library. Do not steal ours.”

  • Leicestershire – Groups express interest in running libraries – Loughborough Echo. Volunteer groups “have registered an interest in running 29 of Leicestershire County Council’s 36 libraries – which were at threat of closure if volunteers were not found. Leicestershire County Council says it will continue to look at how it can encourage the remaining seven.”
  • Leicestershire – Measham library still at risk of closure – Burton Mail. “Measham library is still at risk of closure after it did not appear on a list of 29 libraries where communities had offered to run their local service.”
  • Lincolnshire – County Council is a “disgrace” says Mair – Horncastle News. “Hopes Coningsby and Tattershall Library could be run by volunteers appear to have fallen through as local town and parish council councils aren’t prepared to offer funding. Both councils are concerned about the burden on taxpayers and there are doubts about the future of the current library building at the Barnes Wallis Academy. UKIP’s Colin Mair, who represents Tattershall Castle ward at County Hall, said: “The behaviour of the County Council has been a disgrace.”
  • Lincolnshire – Fiasco has so far cost the public £250k – Spalding Today. “a second judicial review could be in the offing with the county council’s ruling executive expected to rubber stamp controversial changes to Lincolnshire’s library service. Deeping St James Labour county councillor Phil Dilks, who has fought hard to keep Market Deeping Library in council control, said he “hopes against hope” that council taxpayers aren’t left picking up the bill for further legal action. “So far it’s cost over a quarter of a million pounds, this exercise,” he said. “It’s time the council listened.””
  • Lincolnshire – Phil Dilks: “Truth finally exposed on The Great Tory Library Betrayal” – Save Lincolnshire Libraries. “Column for Lincolnshire Echo From Phil Dilks, Labour’s Shadow Executive Member for Libraries at Lincolnshire County Council” … “It turns out the Tories had been plotting to close libraries since 2007. They’d given officers ‘a strong political steer’ and saw handing libraries to volunteers as their vision of Cameron’s ‘Big Society’. The report tells us that in 2012, the Conservative group of councillors were given a briefing on the vision. But concerns around ‘the need for careful timing’ led to a deliberate decision to delay public consultation until after the May 2013 elections.” see also Correspondence from Campaigner Maurice Nauta To David Cameron PM – Save Lincolnshire Libraries and Library Scrutiny Meeting – Record of Votes & Opinions – Save Lincolnshire Libraries.
  • Northamptonshire – New cancer service in Northamptonshire libraries will help teens be themselves – Northampton Chronicle. “The C Word, run by Macmillan Cancer Support, will offer activities from 36 libraries and aims to let 13 to 24-year-olds with a friend, parent, brother or sister with the disease -or who have it themself – to be themselves. They will be offered a range of free activities from film-making to occupational therapy, with people on hand to answer any question they may have about cancer. Part of the reason for the need is that NHS cancer care is firmly split into adult and child care, with nothing in between.”
  • North Yorkshire – Appeal for volunteers in bid to save Ryedale’s libraries – Gazette Herald. ““The county council has estimated that Pickering library will need about 50 volunteers, along with library staff. “We think it would be extremely difficult to recruit even more volunteers considering we are a much smaller town than Pickering.”
  • North Yorkshire – South Craven councillors rally around Cross Hills Library – Craven Herald. “South Craven county councillor Philip Barrett (Ind) said: “Crippling budget cuts have placed the county council in an extremely difficult position. However, having examined the consultation proposals in detail I don’t believe they would provide the best library service possible from the available £4.2 million reduced budget. “Alternative proposals need to be considered which could also reduce the unrealistic reliance on volunteer-run community libraries throughout Craven.””
  • Renfrewshire – Renfrewshire libraries, museums and town halls move to new trust – Evening Times. “James Harte, convener of the council’s sports, leisure and culture policy board, said transferring the libraries, museums and town halls to Renfrewshire Leisure would retain them in public ownership but they would be run by a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. He added: “There are strong economic reasons for creating an expanded trust. At a time when the council is facing a funding shortfall of between £20m-£30m over the next three years, it makes sense to take advantage of the £600,000 savings from business rates which trust status would deliver every year.”
  • Southampton – Burgess Road Buddies – Facebook. “Protest against plans to close Burgess Road Library, Southampton, because this is a genuine community library, really needed by the diverse community in this area – the children, the older people, those who need help, advice and the means to find work. Join in our protest day on 7 February by reading out loud. If you can’t be there, do a selfie video of you reading outloud. Post it to us here. If you are on Twitter – tweet it. We are on ‪#‎BurgRdLibBuds‬. We need our library – help us save it.”
  • Suffolk – Suffolk Libraries launches new book festival – Ipswich Spy. “Alison Wheeler, General Manager of Suffolk Libraries, said, “We wanted to organise a book festival which was a bit different – something accessible and enjoyable for everyone. The aim is to invite a mix of popular, local and up and coming authors to our libraries and run a series of events around Suffolk. I’m delighted with the programme we’ve been able to put together and am looking forward to welcoming some top authors to our libraries.””
  • Swindon – Stark warning over council’s £70m shortfall – Swindon Advertiser. ““Some councils are already talking about not being able to meet their statutory requirements. “It’s going to be a case of looking at every area and making savings where we can with the minimum impact. “We could do with some clarification in some areas. If you take libraries for example, we are obliged to provide a town-wide service but some authorities have been taken to court and lost because it was decided their proposals didn’t meet this requirement.”
  • Thurrock – Evie, 6, tells Prime Minister: ‘Please help save our libraries’ – Thurrock Gazette. “Evie, who reads a book every night and has won two reading medals, can’t afford to buy books – and neither can her family. She says her library must stay. The family currently go to Blackshots Library every night on the way home from school. The schoolgirl says she made her local librarian cry when she read out her letter. Evie said: “I would just be really, really sad if they closed it down.” Evie’s mother, Elizabeth Redgrove, who is a teaching assistant at Evie’s school, said: “It would be really upsetting for us if the library closed because she wouldn’t be able to have all the books that she needs.”
  • Thurrock – Taxpayers have every right to question why an eye-watering £40 million was spent on agency staff – and why their libraries are under threat – Thurrock Gazette.  Compared £500k library budget with amount spent on agencies.
  • Walsall – Walsall Council chief: We’ve listened to the public – Express and Star. “The council is still ploughing ahead with plans to close eight libraries – despite thousands of users signing petitions against the move. The closure date of five libraries – Pheasey, Beechdale, Walsall Wood, Walsall South and Streetly – has been deferred by three months, Councillor Coughlan said. They will now close on July 1. Three others in Rushall, New Invention and Blakenall will close after that. Councillor Coughlan added: “Most people do not want the council to close libraries.”