National news

  • @LibraryOutlets – Twitter. If you’re not sure how important having enough power sockets for public use in libraries is, follow for a while.
  • Moran condemns ‘weepingly few books’ in local library – BookSeller. “In her latest column, she counters the argument that “we have no need for reference books any more, now that we have the internet”, highlighting that not everyone has access to the internet and claiming that “a search engine will just show you what is most popular, rather than what is best”, leading to “a mono-knowledge”. She also states that filling a library with only popular books “takes out its intelligence and knowledge”, meaning that no one will fight for it not to close in the next round of austerity cuts. Moran finishes with a call to arms, writing: “This is a tactic we must all grow furious about. That when something cannot be axed straight away – because it is important, because it is loved, because people protest – that thing is then starved or bled until it is a weak, mutant ghost. Until no one wishes to defend it. Until no one can defend it, because all the words they could have learnt and used are now heaped up by the door, for sale.”
  • Reading Agency And BBC Radio 2 Announce A New Non-fiction Book Club – Reading Agency / “Following the success of the hugely popular Radio 2 Book Club on Simon Mayo’s show and the children’ writing competition,500 Words on Chris Evans’ show, national charityThe Reading Agency is extending its partnership with Radio 2 to launch a new non-fiction strand called Radio 2 Book Club: Fact not Fiction on The Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman, 10pm-midnight every Friday.”


  • 14 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Librarians – BuzzFeed (USA/Global). “We recently asked librarians amongst the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the most frustrating misconception people have about their job. Here are the enlightening results”
  • East Lansing library gets anonymous $1.5M gift – Lansing State Journal (USA). “An anonymous donor’s gift of $1.5 million is expected to spur several capital improvement projects at the East Lansing Public Library. Library Director Kristin Shelly said in a news release a separate capital campaign is being launched to build on the donation. The goal is to raise an additional $1.6 million to $2 million by May 2016.”
  • For Libraries, It’s Their Time – Parallel Parliament (USA). “Public libraries are now more popular than at any other time in their existence, which is saying something, considering that they were some of the first physical structures to appear in our communities. In a world changing every day through dramatic technological innovations, libraries have kept themselves relevant by keeping pace with such developments.”
  • Literary notes: World Book Day, great libraries and Pakistan – Dawn (Pakistan). “at least in Pakistan, printed books are not going to be replaced by e-books any time soon. The sale of printed books is on the rise in Pakistan and book fairs organised in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad draw ever-increasing number of book lovers … Titled Dunya ke azeem kutub khane, the book surveys some 100 great libraries situated in 65 countries around the world. Most of the libraries included in the book have a history behind them. Most of them are over 100 years old and some are centuries old. Each library’s brief introduction and history is given along with a photograph.”
  • Open Call: Prize Searches for World’s Best Public Library – Arch Daily (Global). “Considered libraries must “take digital developments and local culture into consideration” and “welcome a diversity of population groups with an open and functional architectural expression in balance with its surroundings and a creative use of IT to improve user experiences.” Learn more about the prize (here) and submit a library, here. Candidates for the “” have until June 15, 2015 to apply.”
  • Reading in Kabul: The state of Afghan libraries – Afghanistan Analysts Network (Afghanistan). “With Afghanistan’s educated class growing rapidly over the past decade while education resources remain scarce, there is an increasing need for a functioning public library system, AAN’s Qayoom Suroush argues. However, the only public library of Afghanistan’s capital – at the same time standing in for a non-existent national library – is not even close to functioning. The Kabul Public Library has a random collection of donated, often outdated books, no development budget and un-trained staff.”
  • Why Public Libraries Are a Fantastic Language Learning Resource – Languages around the Globe (USA/Global). “when it comes to language learning, it’s important for us not to forget the benefits that libraries still hold and for learners such as ourselves to take advantage of the services they have to offer. Besides simply checking out language books there are a number of other reasons why your local library could be an invaluable resource to you as a pursuant of foreign tongues.” … reasons are because they are relaxing learning environments, language learning programs, it’s free, you can order titles, you meet cool people and support libraries,


  • Fab Futures: Public Libraries In The Digital Age – Fab Lab Devon. 15th May, Exeter. Prices start from £120 plus VAT. “This one day conference will explore how digital developments are influencing the way local, national and international public libraries are changing. It will examine the story behind the setting up of Fab Lab Devon and the ways in which libraries can work with Fab Labs and maker spaces to support innovation, creativity, business and economy in their communities.”


  • CILIP PPRG Marketing Excellence Awards 2015 – “The PPRG Awards are widely acknowledged as the showcase for initiatives that fly the flag for libraries of all sizes and in all sectors. They offer national exposure for your project and help communicate the value of what you’re doing among funders, partners, media, peers, managers and customers. You’ve done the hard work, delivering your project. Now win some extra recognition.” Deadline 1st May.

Local news by authority

  • Bromley – Bromley workers to strike again over council cuts – Bromley Times. ” “The previous two days of strike action led to libraries and day centres closing and the transport services for older people and people with learning disabilities not running. “While this was inconvenient to local people, the bigger picture is that if a stand is not made now against privatisation, there will be a gradual deterioration in what people have been used to expect from their council, leaving just a skeleton of services.””
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Images of cultural centre’s interior revealed – Re:New. “The latest interior visuals of the new cultural centre have been released, the images depict what visitors can expect when they enter the brand new building, currently being constructed in Chester city centre. Visitors entering the centre from Northgate Street will step into the world-class library, with a bistro and a new 100-seat cinema screen at the heart of the building.  To the west, a new extension will house the main 500/800-seat theatre and its support spaces, whilst a flexible studio theatre and its dedicated bar will sit on the roofline, with panoramic views over the city.”
  • Lambeth – Saving Lambeth’s Minet Library – last meeting tonight (20th April) – Brixton Buzz. “Campaigners have since been fighting hard to save the Minet Library, and tonight they are holding their final meeting. A big turn out is expected, with local writers and MP Kate Hoey speaking. Along with three Vassall Ward councillors, Hoey has voiced her opposition to the decision to close the library.”
  • Leicestershire – Library transfers are moving closer – Loughborough Echo.  “Sixteen communities are now in category one, which means they can develop their submissions into formal agreements to transfer libraries to them. These are Anstey, Bottesford, Desford, Fleckney, Glenhills, Groby, Hathern, Kegworth, Leicester Forest East, Market Bosworth, Newbold Verdon, Ratby, Rothley, Sileby, South Wigston and Stoney Stanton. A further three communities – Barrow-upon-Soar, Barwell and Markfield – can reach this stage if they meet minor conditions. Five communities – Castle Donington, Countesthorpe, Great Glen, Kirby Muxloe and Thurmaston – are in category two, which means further work is required to improve the outline business plan, before they can progress.”
  • Lincolnshire – Stop digging a hole over the libraries plea – Spalding Today. “Labour’s shadow executive county council member for libraries, Phil Dilks, says it’s nonsense to draw up an almost copycat plan to the one that saw the council humiliated in court.He said: “When you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. “But Nick Worth, Martin Hill and the rest of the Tories who run Lincolnshire County Council seem bent on taking us even deeper into the mire by pressing ahead regardless with their fag-packet scheme which will decimate more than 30 libraries.”

“Meantime, everyone who believes libraries are a vital public service can make their voice heard in the elections on May 7. When candidates knock on your door asking for your vote, ask what they are doing right now to save our council-run libraries.”

  • Liverpool – Man detained at library demo outside Liverpool Town Hall – Liverpool Echo. “Masked man holding anarchist flag stopped from entering public meeting by police … Protestors forced their way into Liverpool Town Hall this evening during a council meeting about library cuts. Police were called to the scene where a group of protestors tried to enter the building while the meeting was going on inside. Officers detained a masked man inside Liverpool Town Hall during the demonstration against library cuts but no arrests were made.” … “Before the council meeting members of Liverpool Against the Cuts held a peaceful protest against cuts made to library services. Down the road from the protest at the Town Hall, ‘Love Activists’ are still occupying the Old Bank of England building on Castle Street because they want to turn it into a homeless shelter.”