Malorie Blackman has been an excellent children’s laureate and it’s been a pleasure to follow her work over the last two years.  I’m saddened therefore that her tenure has come to an end but also really pleased that Chris Riddell is the next laureate, especially as he is so clearly (like Malorie) pro library.

Interlending has continued to be a hot topic on Lis-pub-libs and I have reported snippets on PLN.  This is due to a suggestion from one authority looking to end interlending in order to cut costs.  I know that some authorites have already de facto ceased interlending already so it is good to get this out into the open.  As budgets get tighter, public libraries are forced to re-evaluate their costs and what they can charge for.  Rather than making such decisions alone, such debates help better inform. Which is good because public libraries are supposed to be good at information but all too often councils appear to do things in vacuum.

Ed Vaizey makes some prominent appearances on this post. He seems to be reconnecting with public libraries, which is fantastic, despite the cynicism that this may raise in many quarters.  Sieghart and the Libraries Task Force can take at least partial credit for this, even though Mr Vaizey still has clear difficulty (as to be fair any politician raised in our dysfunctional political system would) facing up to the impact of cuts to the service and the reasons for it.


National news

  • Chris Riddell crowned children’s laureate – BookSeller. “Riddell was crowned at a ceremony at BAFTA headquarters in London today (9th June) and is the ninth UK children’s laureate. He takes over from Malorie Blackman, who spent two years in the role. In the new role Riddell will champion creativity and the importance of visual literacy, and will call upon everyone to enjoy the “joy of doodling” by drawing every day. He will also, like other laureates before him, champion the role of libraries, particularly in schools. He said it is “bizarre” that it is not a statutory requirement for all schools to be equipped with a library as they are “the very places where children will learn how to read, draw, think and create”.” … “possible initiatives in the pipeline include live drawing events – something he said was inspired by a conversation with Waterstones, and an illustration resource for libraries and schools.”
  • E-Lending: Results of Pilot Scheme – Society of Authors. Notes the results of the survey. “On top of these indications, there remains a problem with the way authors are to be remunerated for e-lending. Many publishers do not differentiate between ebook sales and library licensing in their accounting and fail to remunerate authors for the lending aspect of the transaction. PLR is not available for ebook lending. The new Conservative government has committed to e-lending in its manifesto, stating it will work with libraries to ‘ensure remote access to e-books, without charge and with appropriate compensation for authors that enhances the Public Lending Right scheme’ (our italics). The SoA will continue to work alongside all interested parties to try to develop fair models which benefit the public and ensure that authors are properly remunerated.”

“… We know only too well the budget pressures which are forcing colleagues to make unpalatable choices.   We realise as well that the volume of interlending has decreased in recent years, partly no doubt as a result of digital developments.  But it is also true that many public libraries are not promoting the service, or may have introduced charges aimed at full cost recovery and which place the service out of reach for many users. The purpose of this posting is not to pass judgement, but to alert colleagues to a research project which TCR has commissioned from the University of Sheffield.  The purpose of the project is to review the state of interlending in England and Wales, to understand the rationale for the policy decisions which local authorities are making, and hopefully to draw some lessons from this and from a limited number of international comparisons.  The project is nearing a conclusion and the results will be widely disseminated.  We hope that they will be helpful in bringing some additional light to the debate.” Rob Froud and Rob Gent – Reply about Interlending – Lis Pub Libs.

  • Libraries (Harrow) – Hansard/Westminster Hall debate. Bob Blackman MP (Conservative) raised the cuts to libraries in Harrow, blaming it on the Labour administration.  Ed Vaizey MP (Conservative) responds by agreeing and stressing that closures to libraries have been overstated and that Labour are closing more. Suggests looking at alternative models of delivery.

“Coming back after the election, I have engaged once more with the Society of Chief Librarians, an excellent organisation, and talked to library services that are enthusiastic and ambitious. Perhaps my vigour has been further renewed—spurred on by the excellent task and finish group that William Sieghart prompted us to establish, led by chief executive Kathy Settle—for banging the drum again about the importance of libraries, and for encouraging local authorities to see libraries for what they actually are. They are neither a burden nor something at the front of the queue for cutting, but an enormous asset for councils, through which they can engage with communities and provide citizens with a huge range of opportunities. My hon. Friend is a hard-working MP who represents an extraordinarily diverse constituency. In a diverse community, there can be no more important place than a library; when people come into a community and want to put down roots, there can be no better thing for them to do than walk through the doors of a library to find a warm welcome and a map to navigate their new life. I will certainly look at Harrow’s proposals, and we will come to a decision as soon as possible.” Ed Vaizey

  • Library of Things: Bringing borrowing shops to the UK | #LoT – KickStarter. “Library of Things is a local space where people can borrow useful items whenever they need them – a power drill, a barbecue or a suitcase for example. This saves people money and brings people together in a friendly place close to where they live. We want to bring a Library of Things to every community in the UK, to make the sharing economy a reality for ordinary people. The organisation has been recognised by Ben and Jerry’s ‘Join Our Core’ 2015 as one of Europe’s top 25 social enterprises, and has already attracted press attention from across the world:”
  • Make a Noise in Libraries (MANIL) fortnight – RNIB. “This annual campaign brings public libraries and blind and partially sighted people together in an effort to improve access to books and information. “
  • Overdrive Responds to the UK Library e-book Study – Good E Reader. “Overdrive is proclaiming that the demand for eBook lending had  no negative impact on publishers’, authors’ and booksellers’ businesses. This is a stark contrast to what Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association recently said. “There are serious ramifications that we believe e-book lending will have on our bookshops, not to mention the potential reduction of people visiting libraries.””
  • Second Meeting of the Leadership for Libraries Task Force – Gov.uk. Minutes of 19th May. Ed Vaizey was present who sees his main role as “to help co-ordinate other Government Departments – already spoken with Department for Communities and Local Government.”.  E-lending key principles are “lending should be free of charge; library members should be able to borrow digital books remotely; only one user should be able to access one copy at any time; each digital copy would have a lifespan similar to that which exists for physical books”. Library closures seen as a local issue. Response to volunteers: “Emphasise importance of professionally trained workforce”.

“Taskforce’s priorities:

  •  Digital enablement including the provision of universal WiFi access, e-lending, digital shared network and quality content
  • Libraries adding value – Making stronger, strategic links between libraries and other policies such as health & wellbeing and business & economic growth
  • Best Practice – Helping Local Authorities and library services through sharing and linking to existing/new best practice. Building sustainable long-term models for libraries/community hubs
  • Workforce – skills needed to help the library workforce deliver these priorities and to take on new roles as part of wider service provision
  • Communications -promoting recognition and support for libraries”

Supporter’s News

  • Nielsen Libscan – “Nielsen LibScan collects and measures public library print book borrowing data from participating library authorities providing a valuable insight into library loans in the UK. Participation is free of charge and contributing authorities have access to an online reporting tool to compare borrowing at authority level and see national trends. For more information click here or email libraries.book@nielsen.com


  • Every Office Needs A Kitty Kondo: Check Out A Cat At The Cat Library – Cat Time (USA). “The Animal Care Center of Mesilla Valley and Dona Ana County, New Mexico have worked together to create the Cat Library also known as the Kitty Kondo. The Cat Library is home to many felines searching for their forever home. It is located inside a government building where over 800 employees are allowed to ‘check-out’ a cat or kitten and take him or her to their desk for up to an hour a day. This offers exposure that homeless cats would not otherwise get.”
  • 2015 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Ferguson Municipal Public Library, MO, Courage in Crisis – Library Journal (USA). “The Ferguson Municipal Public Library (FMPL), MO, became a model for all libraries in the way it reacted to the crisis and the aftermath of riots brought on by the shooting of Michael Brown, a young African American man, by local police. The little FMPL, with its part-time staff, a growing cadre of volunteers and partners, and its director and sole full-time employee, was the one agency in town that stayed open to serve and support all the people of Ferguson. The library quickly became a safe haven and expressed a peaceful resolve, becoming a critical community anchor. Proud of FMPL, librarians nationwide reacted, as did media large and small, and all who heard of the library’s calm leadership.”


  • Beyond the Horizon – CILIP North East – Newcastle Upon Tyne, 9th September – Call for speakers: Beyond the Horizon – CILIP North East half-day conference. The conference aims to showcase ongoing or recent projects undertaken by library and information services in the region. If anyone is doing something new to their sector or service, something exciting that colleagues can learn from, they are welcome to propose a session by 12th June. The sessions will be brief to make them engaging snapshots of what is happening in the North-East and beyond: there will be short papers (20 minutes) and lightening talks (5 min).  Full details.

Local news by authority

  • Newport – Library fate to be decided by Newport councillors – South Wales Argus. “Maindee and Carnegie libraries are to find out their fate as a final decision is made next week on Newport’s library service cuts. Newport City Council’s cabinet will make their decision on proposals to close both Maindee and Carnegie libraries and reduce services at Central Library with the loss of nine full time jobs at a meeting on Monday, June 8.”
  • North Yorkshire – Cash to get libraries up and running – Malton Mercury.
  • Stoke on Trent – New library rules set to see bans lifted – Stoke Sentinel. “Stoke-on-Trent City Council is looking to update the by-laws governing behaviour at its libraries so they better reflect how people use the facilities n the 21st century. And the changes are set to bring an end to the traditional image of libraries as bastions of silent reading and study. Under the current by-laws, visitors are barred from engaging in ‘audible conversation’ in reference sections or areas set side for reading and study, if told not to do so by a member of staff.”
  • Trafford – Lostock Library – Trafford Council. “Lostock Library will be transferring to Lostock College to be retained as a school library with community access. To support this community access Open+ technology will be installed in the library. Lostock Library will close on Tuesday 23 June for the installation of Open+ technology. The library will re-open on Monday 29 June and will be run and maintained by Lostock College staff.”