Scotland is the latest country to give English public librarians an inferiority complex by publishing a national library strategy. As it says, this is necessary to give an idea of destination and direction of travel over the next five years.  We have nothing like it in England, although the Public Libraries Task Force is saying similar things about wifi for all libraries and the need to look at alternative methods of provision.

North Yorkshire is continuing its bid to lead the field in the latter, due mainly one suspects to having one of the most cut library service in the country, with the recent proposals being represented as an improvement on the original proposals, even though they include a reduction of £4.23m.  Even the biggest libraries will have a cut in staff of 40%, with most being expected to get by almost entirely on volunteers.  It’s worth noting that the success of the first wave of volunteer libraries is being touted by this council: while that’s great, I wonder how those volunteer libraries already in existence feel about their example being directly used as a way of softening the news impact of the loss of large numbers of paid staff.  I also wonder (though one suspects one knows) about how those paid staff feel.  However, of course, there’s no saying that the two are causally linked and it’s fair to say that the cuts would have come anyway, considering the depth of the austere budget imposed.

It’s also probably fair to say that, further south, the decision to let out the third floor of Cambridge Central Library to a private company as an “enterprise centre” was not well received.  Problems don’t just include the loss of space for a busy library but also questions over proper political process (with not one of the meetings deciding the issue before it went public involving a councillor) and even tax avoidance. Readers of Public Libraries News will be very familiar with councils approving unpopular decisions and this one has proved no different but it’s notable that it only squeaked through by one vote.  Far from being a role model for other libraries, therefore, Cambridge may become more of a lesson on what to avoid.



  • Ambition and opportunity: a strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015-2020 – Scottish Government.
  • CILIP publishes new guide to Professional Registration – CILIP. Free sample chapter. “Thoroughly updated to reflect the new requirements of CILIP’s Professional Registration, the third edition of Building Your Portfolio by Kath Owen and Margaret Watson is the essential ‘how to’ guide to producing a successful portfolio …”
  • Dear Ms Morgan: this isn’t education, it’s testing, testing, testing – Guardian / Michael Rosen. “I can’t stop myself from imagining how a government could divert the time, effort and money being devoted to testing four-, five- and six-year-olds into the support of their reading through school libraries, local libraries and paid, trained librarians.”
  • National Strategy – Scottish Library and Information Council “SLIC was asked by the CoSLA Arts and Culture Working Group to lead the development of a National Strategy for public libraries in Scotland. To support the development of the Strategy, SLIC convened a strategic group, the National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland Strategic Group. The Strategy has been informed by a process of engagement including independent deliberative research, a questionnaire to gather views and a series of visits to public libraries.”
  • New Vision Set out for Scotland’s Public Libraries – Carnegie UK Trust. “‘Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020’ was delivered today to an audience of library stakeholders at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS) annual conference (1-2 June 2015). The strategy has been developed to re-invigorate the role and perception of libraries and in particular sets out how libraries can address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. It builds on the strengths of public libraries as a network of over 600 library service points, visited over 28 million times a year and increasingly online, with a further 13.8 million virtual visits.”

“The 18 recommendations include: Ensure wifi is available and accessible in all public libraries; Develop Scotland-wide digital access resources, such as one library card for the whole of Scotland, 24/7 access to virtual libraries and increase access to national and local digital library collections; Develop partnerships with advice services, job centres and enterprise groups; Create a model for the provision of co-working spaces in libraries for small businesses; Support librarians to become effective voices for freedom of information and expression; Explore alternative approaches for generating financial investment.”


  • Can I Bring My Gun? A Fifty State Survey of Firearm Laws Impacting Policies Prohibiting Handguns in Public Libraries – Social Science Research Network (USA). [just … wow. Ed.]
  • EveryLibrary Announces VoteLibraries.org – EveryLibrary (USA). ” EveryLibrary, the first national political action committee for libraries, is pleased to announce the launch of VoteLibraries, a new campaign to give libraries the resources needed to advocate for themselves in their communities. Created through a partnership with the Creative Action Network (CAN) and funded by partners including Mango Languages, this campaign will provide libraries with a new, dedicated set of advocacy and outreach tools online for campaign success.
  • Interview with Alison Macrina (@flexlibris) – HLS. “As we enter the “information sciences,” LIS students cannot help but be on the front lines of recent important debates in digital privacy. While digital privacy issues have simmered below the surface long since the explosion of the internet, it has most recently become a hotly contested issue surrounding the NSA spying program and the whistleblowing efforts of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. For today’s post, I reached out to Alison Macrina director of the Library Freedom Project. Alison, a 2015 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, was featured in a front page article in The Nation two weeks ago. I asked Alison some questions about the project and what LIS students can do to stay informed and safe.”
  • Public library of 10,000 vinyl records opens in S. Korea – Korea Times. “Members of the public will be able to browse the library and play the music using the record players installed in the building”
  • Slogans, social media and competition drive students into libraries for innovative winners of 2014 E-Resource Promotion grants – Practising Development (Kenya and Tanzania). Library staff “arranged camel rides to highlight the disparity in resource accessibility between USUI and North-Eastern Kenya, where people’s only access to books is from ‘camel libraries’, which caused much “excitement”. Trivia quizzes and competitions were focused on use of e-resources. In the library, staff wore newly branded t-shirts”
  • US e-book sales down 6% in 2014 – BookSeller. “Information presented at BookExpo America and derived from PubTrack Digital, which collects e-book sales data from more than 30 of the largest publishers in the US, showed that in 2014 just under 223 million e-books were sold in America, down from almost 240 million units in 2013. E-books made up 26% of all book sales in 2014, down from 28% in 2013. Adult fiction had the highest percentage of e-book sales, with 51% of sales purchased in the category bought in digital format … Sales of e-books in juvenile fiction grew 10% in 2014, but e-books still only account for 15% of all sales in the category.” see also Nielsen Says eBook Sales Dipped 6% in 2014, But Their Numbers Smell Funny – Ink, Bits and Pixels. “I have revenue stats from the American Association of Publishers in front of me, and they paint a different picture. The AAP collects revenue data from 1,209 publishers, and its data showed that publishers’ ebook revenues were up 4.7% in 2014, to $1.6 billion.”
  • What’s Next For Design Thinking – Designing better libraries. “Design thinking has never really caught on in the library community the way that user experience has, though I’ve always thought of these two as being connected. Done well, a user experience should be the result of a design process. Design thinking might help get it right. The IDEO Design Thinking toolkit for libraries might change that though. “


  • Fringe events at the CILIP Conference – CILIP. To include Q+A with R David Lankes, Hillsborough and Unconference.
  • I3 – Aberdeen, 23-26 June. “Keynote speakers in 2015 Prof. David Bawden (Department of Library and Information Science, City University London); Dr. William Kilbride (Executive Director Digital Preservation Coalition); Prof. Olof Sundin (Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University); Prof. Dorothy Williams (Emeritus Professor of Information Science, Robert Gordon University;


Local news by authority

  • Brent – Open Day in the Library – Save Kensal Rise Library. “The Friends of Kensal Rise Library and the new owners of the library building, Uplift Properties Ltd,  invite everyone to an Open Day inside the Kensal Rise Library buildingI don’t need to tell you all how significant this event is – it will be the first time in nearly five years that our community will once again have access to the library building.  The Open Day will be an opportunity for the community to meet the new owners and hear about their plans for the building, as well as seeing exactly where the new library and community space will be situated.”

“the first time in nearly five years that our community will once again have access to the library building”

  • Bristol – Last month of Bristol’s library service consultation – Western Daily Press. “There is just one month left of the second phase of consultation into the future of Bristol’s library service and the council wants to make sure everyone has their say. Unlike the first informal phase of consultation, this second phase is focussing on a set of specific proposals for the whole service.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Enterprise centre at Cambridge Central Library is given the go-ahead – Cambridge News. “The £600,000 project was voted through by just seven votes to six in front of a packed public gallery that greeted the decision with anger.” … “councillors from the city joined residents in condemning the consultation around the proposals, as well as urging officers to consider other options to generate much-needed income to keep the library service. However, these appeals proved worthless as seven members of the council’s highways and community infrastructure committee – six Tories and UKIP vice chairman Cllr Peter Reeve – voted in favour.” … “The enterprise centre is budgeted to provide around £200,000 a year of additional income, although only £80,000 of this is guaranteed. Kora will pay the council an annual service charge, repay the council’s initial £300,000 investment and give it a share of any profit.”

“The crucial committee meeting that will determine the future of our library is tomorrow at 9.30am. … the Freedom of Information request made by campaigner Paul finally got a response after over 70 days. You can find the minutes of meetings between council officers and Kora here. The documents are heavily redacted, but we learned that there have been 37 meetings going back to January 2013 and that our elected representatives were present at none of them … These documents make it clear that from the very start of the project the democratic process was barely taken into account. We have several good reasons to object to the Kora/Regus scheme, but this alone, combined with the lack of transparency surrounding the project, is reason enough for it to be rejected by the councillors who represent us tomorrow. We know that even councillors who have had access to the financial details being kept secret for reasons for “commercial sensitivity” feel that the financial case for the scheme is far from rigorous and that an informed decision cannot be made without additional details. To approve the Enterprise Centre proposal tomorrow would be a complete perversion of democracy.  Thank you for your support,  Cambridge Library Campaign” Cambridgeshire – Cambridge Library Campaign via email

  • Edinburgh – The story of Edinburgh Libraries. Part 1 of 3 – Tales of One City. Traces history from 1890.
  • Newham – Improved Forest Gate community centre to open next month – Newham Recorder. “Residents can look forward to a range of new facilities which have been added to The Gate Library, on Woodgrange Road. This includes a coffee shop, free Wi-Fi, and more community space which could be used for events and displays. The refurbished centre, which will open on Wednesday 10 June, is part of the council’s drive to bring local communities together through activities and events.” … “Local business, Coffee 7, will run the new coffee shop, and new display screens will showcase information about local events and council services.”
  • 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.” … “The council hopes the proposals will save £232,815 in 2015/16 with a net benefit of £61,340 after £171,475 is spent on implementing its plans. “
  • North Yorkshire – Libraries to get help after thousands protest over cuts – Northern Echo. “… bosses are pressing ahead with plans to axe staff at 21 libraries across North Yorkshire but are offering crucial support to help volunteers keep them open. More than 17,000 people have protested about North Yorkshire County Council’s plans to cut over £1.6 million from the libraries budget.” … “the council says the consultation revealed most people felt that the new community managed libraries would need some dedicated staff if they were to succeed. So now eight including Catterick, Colburn, Easingwold, Stokesley and Thirsk would get between 12 and 15 hours of support; others such as Bedale, Leyburn, Boroughbridge, Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Norton will have between five and seven hours support. The larger town libraries including Northallerton and Richmond will lose 40 per cent of their staff, with smaller centres including Ripon, Pickering, Knaresborough and Whitby cut by 60 per cent. Volunteers will also be encouraged to help maintain these services”
  • Staffordshire – Stone and Eccleshall libraries’ future‏ – Stone Gazette. “Stone and Eccleshall’s libraries are both safe – for now. Neither of them will be affected by County Council plans to transfer the management and staffing of 20 of its 43 libraries to local communities later this year.” … “Assessment of the applications will begin in August, with recommendations made in September and the first groups taking charge of their libraries soon after.”