You know them.  The old chap who sits in the same spot each day, perhaps waiting by the door when you open.  The lady who sleeps, with a smell of alcohol around her.  The young gentleman who strides in and using your computers for as long as he can. They’re the users who come in but we do not invite in. The ones who do not talk or talk too much. They are the homeless and many libraries have them, some have a lot, but we have them like we have air: it’s a given, not a strategy. Well, one Canadian library has changed that by officially welcoming them. OK, so they do it on their website (which is not where I would start with this group) but it’s the spirit of the thing. Well done to them.  Can you say your library has done so much?




  • e-Petition: Stop the Wholesale Hiving off of Public Libraries to the Voluntary Sector – National Assembly for Wales. “We call on the Deputy Minister for Culture to accept, with immediate effect, recommendation III of the Expert Library Review of Public Libraries in Wales 2014 (Proposed changes to public library services should only be progressed following the production of costed options). Furthermore, he should now advise all local authorities in Wales that this requirement will be effective for proposed changes announced after the date of publication of the Expert Review (22 October 2014) as well as proposals announced before that date, but where a period of public consultation ends after 22 October 2014. This action is required to halt the flood of proposals by the Vale of Glamorgan and other local authorities in Wales to hive off our Public Libraries to the voluntary sector, without giving due consideration to alternative options.


  • The Giant has stirred – public libraries could dominate Ebook reading – Library Technology Guides / Tim Coates. “Figures from Overdrive just released show that they handled 105 million e-book downloads in 2014 through libraries and schools. While this approach in libraries prevails the potential cannot be tapped – and it explains why the growth of e-books in libraries has been so slow. The same has happened to other print book based book companies – they have found it hard to strike the right balance – not losing their heritage while striving to offer the new technical digital services effectively to their customers.”
  • In 20 Minutes, This Brilliant Kit Creates A Full-Size Library For Refugee Camps – Fast Coexist (Global). ” typical library can take years to build. But a new library kit, designed to travel to remote refugee camps or disaster zones, can come together in less than 20 minutes. The Ideas Box, the brainchild of the nonprofit Libraries Without Borders, fits the equivalent of a small-town library on two standard shipping pallets. It comes with books and e-readers, tablets, laptops, cameras and other creative tools, and a range of digital tools like Khan Academy. Since camps might not have internet access or power, it comes with its own. The boxes that hold all of the devices convert into tables and chairs.”

  • In from the cold: Halifax Public Libraries remind city’s homeless their doors are open – Metro News (Canada). “Opening the doors of Halifax’s public libraries to anyone who is homeless, street-involved or otherwise are what those buildings are all about, says the public libraries CEO. Asa Kachan said since the city experienced its first real cold snap several weeks ago, library staff from across the city’s 14 branches have been discussing how to better support those who are most in need of getting out of the cold on the bitterest of days. Come in and take a seat was the answer Kachan explained staff came up with, which is nothing new, but an important reminder nonetheless.” see also Welcome out of the cold – Halifax Libraries.

“By posting that message on the public libraries’ website, staff are for the first time making a point of inviting those who are caught out on a street into a safe, warm environment”

  • The new libraries of Europe – Designing Libraries / IFLA (EU). Review of Umeå, in central Sweden and ” lso features a profile of France’s only depository library and examines the management of its storage capacity. There is an extensive article on the National Library of Latvia, and some interesting reports on visits to library buildings in the Mediterranean region as well as to the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.”
  • Norfolk’s new Slover Library opens downtown – Hampton Roads (USA). “The $65 million library at 235 E. Plume St. includes a 3-D printer, 130 computers, a digital media lab, free Wi-Fi, video gaming lounge and large touch-screens that can be used to search historic photos. It also houses the Sargeant Memorial Collection, documents and photographs used for historical and genealogical research. There’s a bistro and meeting space, comfy chairs and nooks for studying. And, of course, there are books – more than 160,000 of them”
  • Public libraries turn the page on e-books – Government News (Australia). “However, the phenomenal growth in e-books has slowed over the last 12 months and publishers are talking about e-books as another format, like paperback, hardcover, audio, rather than as something that will remove print books from the landscape altogether. Even in the bigger Australian public libraries, e-book loans represent less than five per cent of all books borrowed and there are significant differences between genre.”

UK local news by authority

“Campaigner Madhu Khanna-Davies said: “It is my belief that our council has a moral and social responsibility to provide services and spaces that nurture and foster a binding sense of community between people who are essentially neighbours but are often strangers to each other.”

  • Coventry – Save Allesley Park Library from Government forced cuts – Epetitions Coventry Council. ““We, the undersigned, urge Coventry City Council to keep the Allesley Park library open in the face of government led cuts. We recognise the difficult decisions that the city council has to make, especially as funding from the Coalition government cuts spending power by nearly 50% in real terms since 2010. However, we believe the shared service model that the Allesley Park library can support, can also help the council keep sufficient library services open in the west of the city during these tough times.””
  • Devon / Torbay – Shared library service future across Devon and Torbay unlikely to happen before 2016/17 – Torquay Herald Express. “Discusssions between Torbay Council and Devon County Council around progressing to a South West Peninsula Library Plan are unlikely to come to fruition before 2016/17. As part of the plan to maintain an ‘efficient and comprehensive’ library service, discussions between the councils have begun to take place, but Sue Cheriton, Executive Head of Residents and Visitors Services said that Devon had told them it was unlikely to happen in the short term”.” … “”Devon is currently assessing alternative delivery models with community and the emerging entity may wish to grow its business once set up and deliver services for Torbay and Somerset.””
  • Kent – Libraries, Registration and Archive Service Consultation – Kent County Council. “Library, Registration and Archive (LRA) services are valued by communities, which is why we have given a lot of consideration to how we deliver them for the future. From many options we have looked to find the most sustainable that will deliver customer-focused services and contribute to the savings KCC has to make. KCC’s preferred option is that we set up a Charitable Trust to deliver the LRA service. KCC encourages you to consider the proposal and feedback your thoughts. No formal decision has been taken and we want to hear everyone’s views.”
  • Kirklees – Campaign meeting for library – Telegraph and Argus. “The Friends of Heckmondwike Library has started a petition against the move, and is holding the public meeting in the library at 6pm today. Then next Tuesday, a working party will meet at the library at 11am to discuss further plans of action.”
  • Lincolnshire – Campaigners vow to keep fighting for Lincolnshire libraries – Lincolnite. “Julie Harrison, spokesperson for SLL, said: “Save Lincolnshire Libraries’ aim remains the same as it was when it started in June 2013 – to keep libraries open across Lincolnshire run by professional and paid staff, supported by volunteers. “SLL will continue to campaign and work to ensure that this objective is achieved”
  • North Yorkshire – MP says library plans are ‘unacceptable’ – Ripon Gazette. “Ripon MP Julian Smith has written to the Chief Executive of the county council expressing his concerns over proposed cuts to Ripon Library. In his letter to North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) boss Richard Flinton sent last week, Mr Smith describes the local authority’s plans to reduce its commitment down to covering premises costs and the salary of just one member of staff as “wholly disproportionate and unacceptable”.” … “It would appear that the three-tier model being proposed, with Ripon being suggested as a ‘hybrid’ library, takes no account of the varying levels of usage or significance of libraries.”
  • Nottinghamshire – South Scarle given 300 books for its new small library depository – Newark Advertiser. “A village with a population of around 200 is the venue for Nottinghamshire’s first small library depository. Around half of South Scarle’s population attended the opening of a library access point in the village’s community centre which is part of St Helena’s Church and the meeting hub in the heart of the village. Library access points are deposits of small collections of books. The county council’s library’s service has given 300 books to South Scarle, half of which will be exchanged at agreed times throughout the year, and volunteers can refresh the collection at Collingham and Newark libraries.”
  • Stockton – Billingham library and customer service centre opens – Designing Libraries. “The building is a one-stop-shop bringing together customer services for Stockton Council and Thirteen housing group, a cash office and Billingham Town Council headquarters.”