It’s more cuts today I’m afraid.  Some deep cuts have happened very much under the radar in Buckinghamshire – cuts of a fifth in some of the largest libraries. Camden have announced the first phase of cutting its libraries budget by £800k, which is going to hurt. Meanwhile, in the world of mobiles, Dorset is going to lose 75 stops and it has become clear that 3 out of 4 mobiles have been withdrawn earlier this year in Worcestershire. This will all doubtless please the writer from Kirkbymoorside who welcomes library closures (apparently because she never needs one herself) but the comments on her articles, and the people I meet every day in libraries, show thankfully that others know better.




“Don’t know if you saw the piece on breakfast news on Thursday … but the piece at Armthorpe Library bloody annoyed me. It showed two members of staff running a childrens activity but made out they were volunteers! What were the volunteers doing?? Nothing. The article that came later said that they were better than staff as there were more of them and they were open more. I’m sorry but Armthorpe was open 45 hours, its now about 20 and although 6 volunteers may be on in one go rather than 2 professionals, I’m afraid they can’t answer the basic of questions or do anything. I was fuming to put it mildly.” Email received

  • Samuel West – “I’ve always loved libraries” – Voices for the Library. “I’ve always loved libraries, since I was an avid child reader – see this. Now we have a daughter and consequently space is at a premium I value my local for two new reasons: 1) When I’m preparing for a role or a production I can work there in complete silence, among others doing the same (ours has a reference section with a quiet room). 2) Our daughter is getting through picture books at an incredible rate. We couldn’t possibly afford to buy or have room to shelve new ones as fast as she wants them; borrowing them lets us try lots out (and then perhaps buy a few favourites to keep). Plus the libraries’ range of picture books is chosen by people who know their stuff, so we know we’re starting with a great selection.”


  • Mobile library fab lab brings new skills to rural areas – Open Source (Netherlands). “In the province of Fryslân, the northern part of the Netherlands, we’re using a mobile lab facility called FryskLab (a former library bus) to bring making and 21st century skills to primary and secondary education. We’re also hoping to find solutions for local socio-economic challenges. FryskLab is Europe’s first mobile Library-powered fab lab. We have a team with a very diverse background. FryskLab is initiated by a public library service organization (Bibliotheekservice Fryslân, the place where I work), in close collaboration with team members with a scientific-, educational- and technological background. Two—including me—are on the board of the FabLab Benelux Foundation.”
  • Delving into backlists and deep backlists – Nielsen. “This month we have looked at the balance of front and backlist titles in the Nielsen LibScan Top 5,000 chart to see that in the last 3 years, year-to-date (YTD) for January to May (Periods 1 to Period 5 inclusive), individual loans from frontlist titles have increased by 1.0% for 2015 vs. 2014 and 55% between 2014 and 2013. This is a significant increase (interestingly, one not mirrored in the backlist) and this corresponds to an increase in the number of frontlist ISBNs from 337 in 2013 YTD, to 457 in 2014 YTD to 472 in 2015 YTD.”

Local news by authority

  • Anglesey – Anglesey town councils will be asked to take over services as local authority faces further £5m cuts – Daily Post. Libraries not explicitly mentioned.
  • Barnet – Barnet Childrens’ March for Libraries on 12/9/15 – A call out to all library campaigners/supporters.Stop the privatisation of public libraries. “This is a call out to all library campaigners and supporters in London and beyond. Bring your banners, placards and voices and show your solidarity with Save Barnet Libraries, Barnet Unison and the children of Barnet on Saturday 12/9/15. We need to unite and fight”
  • Buckinghamshire – What Should Buckingham’s Library Be Like? – Mix 96. “How do you think Buckingham’s library should be set out? £100,000 is being spent on it, creating a new computer area, better children’s library and meeting spaces. The plans are on show at the library from 10 til 2”
  • Camden – Have your say on £800,000 cuts threatening Camden libraries with closureHam and High. £800k cut. “Libraries could close, see opening hours slashed, be privatised, or become self-service under cost-saving options to be presented to residents in a 12-week consultation this week” … “Residents will be given four or five options for ways to make cuts to the libraries service. It will consult on the potential closure of any one of its libraries, including Highgate, Swiss Cottage, Kentish Town, West Hampstead, Queen’s Crescent and Camden Town libraries. But Cllr Hai stressed that there is little risk that one of its largest, Swiss Cottage, would close. The council could also save about £200,000 by outsourcing the running of libraries to a private company, an option thought to be unpopular with residents” … “Another option is to base all libraries on the cost-saving model at Highgate Library in Chester Road, where volunteers run the service in partnership with one council staff member.”
  • Camden – Is West Hampstead library at risk? – West Hampstead Life. “West Hampstead Library is a vital community asset, sitting in the heart of West Hampstead. It is about so much more than books. As well as lending books, it serves as a space for community groups, hosts IT facilities for those who do not have them at home, and has various other classes and activities for people of all ages. During elections it serves as a polling station. It is also an attractive building with a good presence on the West End Lane high street. Public libraries are among the last indoor spaces in West Hampstead – or indeed anywhere – where you can sit for free. However, its future may be in jeopardy …”
  • Dorset – Mobile libraries for the axe as dwindling numbers of residents use them – Dorset Echo. “a decline of 35 per cent in usage over the last seven years.”.  May lose 75 stops. “Less than four people are using the service in some areas and on average less than 10 items are issued per visit. One of the vehicles needs replacing- at a cost of £100,000- and the council says it can’t afford this.” … “The council currently provides a mobile library service to rural and outlying areas of the county, visiting over 250 locations by four mobile libraries. The service fills a gap left after nine libraries were axed in 2011-some were taken over by community groups-in a bid to save £800,000.” To be implemented April 2016. see also Dorset residents to have their say on mobile libraries future – Western Gazette.
  • Dorset – Don’t begrudge time for toddlers in libraries – Blackmore Vale Magazine. Notes that toddler time is only one hour per week and so the prior complaining letter may be a little bit over the top. See also Visit libraries at another time if you find children annoying – Blackmore Vale Magazine and Ferndown councillor defends multi-use of libraries – Blackmore Vale Magazine. “Libraries have changed and are now social hubs”.
  • Gloucestershire – CILIP CEO Nick Poole this a.m. talking about volunteer & community-managed libraries – BBC Radio Gloucester. starts 1:07:30.
  • Haringey – Libraries to Take Burden of Dispensing Council Services Harringay Online. “In a sign of the cash-strapped times in which we live, two of Haringey’s biggest libraries are to become key customer service centres for the Council. With council staff being cut-back and offices closing, Haringey Council took the decision earlier this year to use two of its biggest libraries to offer servives such as parking permits and benefits claims.”
  • Lancashire – Lancashire libraries in the running for national awards – Lancashire County Council. “The Get it Loud in Libraries initiative has made it to the finals of the National Lottery Awards 2015. This innovative project, the original idea of libraries cultural youth lead Stewart Parsons, was developed by Lancashire County Council’s Library Service.  It has been shortlisted with six other schemes in the Best Arts Project category. “

“The Get it Loud concept of holding free gigs in libraries is the idea of my former libraries colleague Stewart Parsons. We embraced this model and developed it and it has now proved so popular that libraries nationally are now following our lead. “The winner will be decided by the public voting. There’s still time, and I hope people support us.”  People can vote by calling 08448 369 706 or by visiting either www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or www.getitloudinlibraries.com

  • North Yorkshire – Kirkbymoorside doesn’t need a library – Kirkbymoorside Blog. “When printing was invented, did scholars rejoice? No, they did not. Back in the fourteenth century, they feared that access to the printed word would stop rote learning, which was the only way really to know and understand a work. If you could just look it up, where was the learning in that? By analogy, we are here at another great tipping point in the availability of literature, information, and yes, dross. Older folk – I’m one – love the smell, feel, and reliability of the printed word, but it is in decline, and rightly so. Today’s children, brought up with computers, will consider print as out dated as parchment. So don’t be a Luddite, face the future, acknowledge change, and say good bye to the local library, which was wonderful in its day, but that day is now over.”

“If Ms Richards could see the children sitting on the floor absorbed in a book they have chosen, it might warm her heart. Some things are at the heart of our British life, and the price we pay to keep our community Libraries open is one, I believe, we cannot afford to lose.”

  • Peterborough – Peterborough’s landmarks celebrated through free walk and talk trail quiz competition to support literacy – Peterborough Literacy Campaign. “Families are being encouraged to visit Peterborough’s best known landmarks as part of a quiz which aims to improve children’s literacy. The Peterborough Literacy Campaign has teamed up with Peterborough’s cultural services, Vivacity to launch a fun literacy competition for families this summer called the Peterborough walk and talk trail quiz. Following on from the spectacular Peterborough Heritage Festival, the activity celebrates Peterborough’s rich heritage by quizzing families during a fun day out.” … “Museums and libraries are a vital part of children’s education and we hope that the quiz will encourage more families to visit the Peterborough Museum and join their local library. “
  • Poole – Council to consider axing mobile library to save £50k a year – Dorset Echo. “The library bus served almost 300 residents last year – including 125 who use the service provided to sheltered housing schemes, and 141 in areas where there are no branch libraries. It came under threat last year when a consultation saw 59 per cent of home stop respondents, and 56 per cent of public stop residents saying withdrawing the service would have a major effect on them. …”
  • Sheffield – Sheffield library disposal decision to go under further scrutiny – Sheffield Telegraph. “The library was the only one in the city where two rival business plans submitted, but both sides have united with a new plan of sharing the site as a restaurant or cafe as well as a library. “
  • Somerset – Success story continues – Somerset County Council Newsroom. “The Borough of Poole and Dorset County Council library authorities have become part of the consortium, alongside those of Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils. The new Consortium will deliver new and improved services and deliver value for money for all the Authorities. Having more authorities on board gives the consortium more buying power and access to increased collections.”
  • Worcestershire – Council accused of “ducking and diving” over mobile library reductions – Worcester News. “A fresh report has been published looking back on the last year within the library service during a time of unprecedented change. The report, which includes all the responsibilities under Councillor Lucy Hodgson, the cabinet member for localism and communities, makes no mention of February’s changes which saw 38 per cent of mobile library stops deleted.”