Well, I’ve been away for a week (camping in beautiful Essex) so there’s a lot of new to report on.  The big news stories for me are:

  • The absence of definitive data on public library usage and numbers.  As you can imagine, I’ve noticed this for years as this my humble blog has been seized upon by national media, politicians and anyone interested to fill in some of the gaps in knowledge. The official data from CIPFA is inadequate for a number of reasons (variances in interpreting the data, the voluntary nature of its collection and the fact that you have to pay hundreds of pounds for it being just three) for years. However, having the government claim that there was an increase in public libraries (clearly not true) and a decrease in children’s usage (arguably not true) has put this woeful lack of information into the spotlight like never before. It is therefore opportune that on to this stage strolls Becky Cole who has come up with the dangerously innovative idea of seeing how much decision making is actually based on evidence.  Help her if you can.
  • The decision in the Lincolnshire court case in favour of the council.  This has been a hard-fought campaign and for the council – who lost, let us remember, the initial case – to argue that it wasted money is for them to simply not understand the need for adequate oversight and, even more basically, in some aspects the rule of law itself.  Things now bode ill for libraries in the county but one doubts that anyone but the councillors involved would argue with a straight face that the money lost in court would have been spent on libraries. The decision also shows the limits of the courts in these matters: they can see if something is legally alright only.  What makes sense for the people and library users of a borough depends, quite rightly, on the politicians and so when those same politicians need correcting it is only another higher up politico that can intervene – and the minister in charge of libraries has made sure he won’t intervene in any circumstances.
  • Perhaps it took a week to show it but, my goodness, what a lot of new libraries there is out there. Of course, this depends largely on co-locations and the willingness of developers to stump up cash, which may well cause inequalities nationwide – it’s easy to find a developer in London, less so in Liverpool – but it’s something positive and for that let us be truly grateful.
  • Herefordshire – they tried to close all but one library there a few years ago and, my goodness, they’re trying again this year. Whoopee doo. The aim is for there to be Hereford Central and everything else to be volunteers. Expect to see more protest there … unless that is the repeated attempts to cut the service is wearing down opposition there.



National news

  • Blantern promises library data improvement – BookSeller. “The chair of the Leadership for Libraries task force has promised to look into how better data can be provided on library numbers and usage, following arguments on whether the number of children using libraries has gone up or down.  Paul Blantern, chief executive of the Northamptonshire county council and chair of the task force, told The Bookseller that currently “the information is not good enough” and he is hiring a data analyst to look into where the gaps are in library information provision.”

“We need more accurate information on usage and how many libraries we have. The fact that we are debating the data shows that no-one knows the truth,” he said. “People are drawing conclusions when the evidence is not there.” Paul Blantern

“Extensive data on the cost and usage (adult and junior) of Devon Libraries was made publicly available during the county council’s consultation last year into the future of Devon Libraries. Our problem as a community support group is not lack of data but that the management of the library services refuses to engage in discussion about – or analysis of – the data.” Support for Axminster Library

“.., the problem we have is that the Sieghart team appears not to have looked at any quantified data at all in arriving at its conclusions – and as a consequence the Task Force has been set the wrong priorities and may not have the right people on it. As Desmond [Clarke] says there is plenty of data and it does reveal a great deal. Its production and presentation need improvement. But the big issue – and it is urgent – is for the Task Force to identify the right priorities and the actions that are needed and how they can be taken … The figures for this year and next are going to be very poor  – that has to be addressed quickly.” Tim Coates

“The picture of the public library service nationally is limited and open to misinterpretation. We would like to see a stronger and more comprehensive evidence base around public libraries. The official figures published by CIPFA are a tremendous help in building a picture of the key figures and trends over time, but with the evolution of services and greater complexity in delivery and staffing, it is more important than ever that the facts are understood and that we have a relevant, accurate and robust evidence base to inform key decisions.” Nick Poole, CILIP Chief

Public Librarians: what does EBLIP mean to you? Evidence-based library and information practice (EBLIP) or evidence-based librarianship (EBL) originated from an interdisciplinary approach known as evidence-based practice (EBP), and began to appear in LIS literature around the turn of the 21st century. Now widely used and discussed in health and academic librarianship, EBLIP is perhaps not as well known amongst public librarians, who are less likely to be active researchers, or to use research in the development of their daily practice.

The veracity of this supposition is partly dependent on what we understand EBLIP to be, and this can vary dramatically. From a formal, structured ‘approach to information practice that promotes the collection, interpretation and integration of valid, important and applicable user-reported, practitioner-observed and research derived evidence’ (Booth, 2004), to a more open and inclusive notion of evidence as ‘a diverse range of legitimate sources including “soft” sources such as accumulated knowledge, opinion, instinct and relationships’ (http://eblip8.info/about/).

If you are a public librarian with a view on the definition and use – or otherwise – of EBLIP in your sector, Becky Cole and Pam Ryan want to hear from you! Have you ever heard the term EBLIP and would you use it to describe what you do? Do you seek out and use research and evidence in your practice, or do you feel that you don’t have time? Do you write up your projects for publication, and if so, does your organisation support and encourage this? Get in touch at: bex.a.cole@gmail.com and pryan@epl.ca. All comments and musings, case studies and examples welcome!” Becky Cole

  • Children’s library attendance drops – BookSeller. “The number of children visiting libraries in the UK has fallen to 70%, driven by a decrease in girls’ visitor numbers, according to a Department for Culture, Media and Sport report. The Taking Part 2014/15 Annual Child Report said 70.3% of children aged 5-15 visited a library in the last 12 months, a similar percentage to 2013/14 but a “significant decrease” (-7%) from 75.3% in 2008/09. The decline is due to a drop in the number of older girls who have visited in the last 12 months, said the DCMS. In the 11-15 age bracket, 74.7% of girls said they had gone to a library in the last year, compared to 82% in 2008/09 – a decrease of 8.9%.”
  • CILIP calls for robust and transparent public library evidence base – CILIP. “Poole continued: “Our members would like to see an open and serious public and political debate about the decline in professionally staffed public libraries in the UK and what the changes in library governance and service delivery means for the UK public. To do this, we need a consistent approach to defining and measuring not only the number of libraries, but the impact of the services they provide.””
  • Just Listed: 8 Cutting-Edge Libraries of the Late C20 – Heritage Calling. In “the 1960s there was a lifting of government controls on building which saw an unprecedented spate of library building with 350 being built across the UK. Scandinavian building styles dominated and for small libraries, circular or polygonal buildings were popular.” Includes The British Library, Bebington Central Library (Wirral), Milton Keynes Central, Chandler’s Ford (Hampshire), Chichester, Bourne Hall (Epsom), Lillington (Leamington Spa), Suffolk Record Office (Bury St Edmunds). see also The British Library: loathed but listed – Telegraph and British Library becomes Grade I listed building – BBC.
  • Librarians dispute children’s attendance ‘fall’ – BookSeller. “Two library associations – the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) – have taken issue with reports of the decline in numbers of children visiting libraries, following publication of a Department for Culture, Media and Sport report. The DCMS Taking Part 2014/15 Annual Child Report said the number of children aged 5-15 who visit libraries had fallen to 70% from 75% between 2010 and 2015.   However, the associations said that the Taking Part annual reports also showed that the number of children aged 5-10 who visit libraries actually increased between 2012 and 2014.  SCL advocacy manager Elizabeth Elford told The Bookseller that attendance for that age group dropped after a high point in 2010 but then started to grow again in 2012.”
  • Libraries are not to be written off just yet – Scotsman. “Surely in this digital age we can just Google whatever we need? The simple response is, actually, no we can’t. This isn’t a criticism of Google or any other search tool. Neither is it an anti-technology stance from a book-loving librarian: been there, done that but got over it! I’m now more than happy to admit to using Wikipedia on a regular basis and am a confirmed Twitter addict. The simple fact is that if you search for something on the internet you’ll only be able to find it if it has an online presence, ie if it’s on the internet, and therein lies the problem.”
  • Library heresy – Now Appearing. “Yet there comes a point with any technology and distribution method where there’s a danger of clinging onto the past because it’s what we grew up with, even if it’s not right for the future. And I’m seriously wondering if the time has come to take the same attitude to libraries. Are we like the people who tried to cling on to gas lighting when it was obvious electricity was the way forward?” … “I really think we ought to start from scratch. To say what we want libraries to do, and how they can best address those needs. It’s highly likely that the current library structure is not the answer to addressing those needs. I am not saying we just get rid of libraries, but rather we see if a structure that was designed for a Victorian need could not be re-worked for the twenty-first century.”

“The worst possibility, though, is what we have at the moment – trying to prop up the Victorian system as funds reduce and not looking at ways to genuinely transform the library concept.”

  • No more islands – Arts Council England / Brian Ashley. “In Shetland, it was the libraries that offered instant access with no log-in, no limits and rapid bandwidth. Imagine that were replicated everywhere so that you could walk into the local library knowing that free WiFi would be available. At the moment, that’s not true for about one in three libraries. I’m pretty sure there’s a law that says it’s always when you need WiFi most that  you find yourself inside one of those libraries – and every available PC will be in use. “
  • Unpopular opinion – New Age Conservative. Poster says libraries are unnecessary because everyone [that is, presumably, everyone they know – Ed.] can afford books, computers and the internet, gets argued against, and then argues some more for the end of public libraries on the basis that the majority (“50%+1) should not decide what their tax is spent on.
  • Why set Electric Dreams in a library? – Dumbshow. “One of the questions that we often ask in Dumbshow is ‘who is telling this story?’ The answer for Electric Dreams has become: a group of redundant library staff in a recently-closed library. A library struck us as the perfect repository for this story. For a start, The Shock Doctrine is a non-fiction book making a polemical argument which spans history, geography, psychiatry, politics, economics, culture, ethics and more. We’d need the resources of a whole library to tell it, and the telling could bring the library to life. The library roots us in the here-and-now. We wanted our response to The Shock Doctrine to take account of the political landscape since the financial crash. Klein’s book was published in 2007, but our play needed to respond to life post-2008 and examine the austerity agenda. Libraries have been one of the many victims of public spending cuts. Hundreds of libraries have closed in the UK since 2010, with thousands of library staff losing their jobs.”
  • Wifi in Public Libraries in England – Arts Council England. “Applications will only be accepted from Tier 1 local authorities based in England (individually or as a part of a consortium) The authority may apply for funding for WiFi in static libraries that they run wholly or in partnership with other bodies. This includes organisations that have been commissioned to deliver the whole library service on behalf of local authorities such as staff-led public service mutual, community mutual, CICs, trusts and commissioned organisations. Local authorities may also apply for funding for WiFi on behalf of an individual/group of community/volunteer-led libraries that are outside of their usual provision. It will be the responsibility of the LA to agree the necessary arrangements with the relevant body.”


  • $30M Amazon-NYC school deal: Privacy issues & others? A public library threat, ultimately? – TeleRead (USA). “Bogged down by a Not Invented Here syndrome, many public librarians so far have resisted a call for a national digital library endowment and the creation of two separate but intertwined digital library systems for the U.S.—one public, one private. Perhaps it’s time for them to reconsider if they want to stay in business. Already certain commentators have called for Amazon to replace public libraries as book providers.”
  • Everything is awesome when Lego and literacy unite – British Columbia News (Canada). Literacy and lego combined.  “The sounds of creativity echoed through the Greater Victoria Public Library’s Central Branch today as Minister of Education Peter Fassbender was joined by young learners for a morning of reading and Lego building, celebrating the BC Summer Reading Club. This year’s club theme, “Build It!” encourages kids to use technology, crafts, architecture and imagination to explore books and get a head-start to hands-on learning. Offered at public libraries throughout the province, the Summer Reading Club builds literacy skills and encourages creative discovery.” … “The Summer Reading Club reaches over 85,000 young learners during July and August. All public libraries in B.C. take part in the program. Each year the Ministry of Education provides $50,000 in Funding to the BC Library Association to co-ordinate the Summer Reading Club and provide materials to libraries.” [BC has 4 million population – Ed.]
  • Save your public library Diane Ravitch’s blog (USA). “Even LSSI’s basic sales pitch that they can operate libraries for less than the public is suspect. When the town of Dartmouth, MA, evaluated a proposal to privatize their libraries, they found there was no evidence that privatization saved communities money. San Juan, TX, remunicipalized their libraries after contracting with LSSI for five years due to frustrations with the company’s refusal to divulge its profit margin. After bringing their libraries back under local control, town leaders were able to extend branch hours, giving residents better flexibility and access. The California town of Calabasas canceled its contract with LSSI and saved $68,000 in their first year back with public library service.
  • Tor Project to use US public libraries to boost network speed – International Business Times (USA). “Public libraries in the US are to help support the anonymous web browser Tor as part of a new initiative. Through a collaboration between the Tor Project and the Library Freedom Project, libraries will host Tor exit relays in order to improve Tor browsing speeds and overcome scalability issues of the network.”

“”This is an idea whose time has come,” a blogpost on the Tor Project website reads. “Libraries are our most democratic public spaces, protecting our intellectual freedom, privacy, and unfettered access to information, and Tor Project creates software that allows all people to have these rights on the internet.”

  • Whitby library hosts first-ever ‘storymob’ Aug. 5 – Durham Region (Canada). “A storymob is where great children’s books meet flashmobs, allowing children and their families to engage with books in a new and exciting way, using costumes and props, music, simple choreography and reading out loud. Participants are encouraged to dress up as characters from a specific book, take props to use in the telling of the story, and to read along as the story is shared. Families also have an opportunity to make props and costume items to use at the StoryMobs at a pre-event craft session.”

Local news by authority

  • Barnet – Libraries consultation “a wake up call” as readers reject council plans – Barnet and Whetstone Press. “The council said there was an unprecedented number of replies to its four month consultation as people gave their views on plans which range from reducing the number of libraries to using more volunteers. It has just published the 249 page report by Swansea based Opinion Research Services on Friday afternoon.” … “The report said there was little support for closing six libraries and only limited backing for reducing the size of the libraries, unstaffed opening or using automated libraries to replace staff.” … “A children’s march on libraries is planned on Saturday September 12 from Church End to North Finchley in advance of the committee meeting.”
  • Birmingham – Google scheme saves Birmingham Library from restricting opening hours over budget cuts – Independent. “When Birmingham’s multimillion-pound new library announced it was being forced to slash its opening hours due to budget cuts less than two years after opening, the humiliation looked like it might turn the architectural landmark into an expensive white elephant. But soon the city’s residents will once more be able to access the building far more often thanks to Google and a local language classes scheme. The internet giant has backed a pop-up “Digital Garages” business programme – which nurtures digital talent – and which will move into the Library of Birmingham, in conjunction with the city’s Brasshouse Language Service.”
  • Birmingham – Why Birmingham library needs Google and language classes to keep doors open – Guardian. “Here at Birmingham city council, we’re wrestling with how to maintain essential services while taking £850m out of our annual budget, and cutting our workforce by about two-thirds. In that context, any argument that starts from the premise that things should stay the same is never going to stack up, no matter how much we might wish it could” … “Local government isn’t going to get any easier over the next few years, and local politicians have no choice but to rise to the transformation challenge. If we want to hang onto the services we all value, things are going to have to change.”
  • Brent – Inside the New Willesden Library Centre – James Powney’s Blog. Pictures of the new library.
  • Buckinghamshire – Library opening hours slashed to make £270k saving – Buckingham Today. “Library-goers will have less time to enjoy their favourite books after plans to cut library hours were pushed through – despite 65 per cent of people not supporting the move.” … “the opening hour reductions were based on ‘reducing opening hours at periods of lowest usage’, and ‘complimentary patterns for libraries that are close to one another’.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Milton Road Library to become a ‘community hub’ with flats on top – Cambridge News. “A Cambridge library faces being torn down and rebuilt as a new community hub with flats on top. The Milton Road library in Ascham Road will be subject to a completely fresh approach as one of the county council’s fledgling ‘community hub’ libraries. A scheme is well developed that would have the building replaced with a three-storey facility including nine flats on its top floor.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Review planned over Cambridge Central Library enterprise centre – but no independent inquiryCambridge News. “A probe into failed plans for an enterprise centre at Cambridge Central Library will be carried out in-house despite calls for an independent inquiry.” … “”The CLEC proposals brought out a level of public opposition that is unprecedented in all my years involved with the libraries,” said Cllr Barbara Ashwood. “We need to be seen to investigate what happened there very, very thoroughly. It also needs to be seen to be impartial and that can only happen if the review is carried out by an independent body.” … “But council leader Cllr Steve Count called it “a bizarre amendment” by the Lib Dems. “This is about who to blame from the officers and who to blame democratic society,” he said. “That’s not about learning from your mistakes and going forward – that is very much about a blame culture.”
  • Camden – West Hampstead Library ‘could move to controversial housing development’ -Ham and High. “Several members of the community have backed the idea of the library moving from its current home in West End Lane further down the road to the site of Travis Perkins building merchants, where a developer plans to build 200 homes. The idea was put forward at a bustling public meeting on Tuesday, where residents and councillors discussed the £800,000 worth of cuts that Camden Council is making to the libraries service. It was mooted as an alternative cost-saving measure to the closure of the library, which this financial year will cost the council £216,759 to run.”
  • Croydon – More redundancies announced at Croydon’s libraries – Your Local Guardian. “Carillion, which runs 13 of the borough’s 14 libraries, announced further cuts this month after making 11 redundancies early last year. ” … “Croydon library staff received notices earlier this month informing them the equivalent of 2.5 full-time posts were to go as part of a restructure. “. Campaigner Elizabeth Ash says “”I do not know how the staff keep delivering what they are delivering with so little support. The stock is being run down, people say they can’t get anything, they have cut the DVDs, and there are just no staff anywhere.” “
  • Croydon – Union concerned about ‘unclear’ plans to restructure Croydon library staffCroydon Advertiser. “Unison branch secretary Laurie Pocock said meetings with staff about the changes are against the union’s advice because he believes Carillion managers “are unclear as to what the company’s proposals are”. … “There is the equivalent to 74.36 full time jobs in Croydon libraries but Carillion will not say which job title are at risk at this stage”
  • East Sussex – Thousands pour through the door at new library site – Sussex Express. “More than 13,000 people have crossed the threshold of Newhaven’s new library since it opened earlier this year. With the library fast becoming a popular community hub, the county council’s lead member for community services, Cllr Chris Dowling, visited the facility this week to perform the official opening.”
  • Fife – Kinghorn steps up campaign against Cultural Trust plans to axe library – Fife Today. “Residents in Kinghorn have issued a resounding “no” to proposals to close the town’s library following a busy public meeting last week. Kinghorn Community Council hosted the meeting in the church halls last Thursday to discuss the threatened facility, and it soon became clear that the unanimous message was that everyone was totally opposed to any closure or erosion of the current services provided through Fife Cultural Trust”
  • Herefordshire – “Community hub” dream fades for the Master’s House? – Ledbury Reporter. “Cracks are already appearing in the role of the Master’s House as a community hub for Ledbury, with the town’s new library facing possible closure and a local charity serving notice it is moving out. ” … “In the case of Ledbury Library, its survival could come down to volunteers. ” … “Ledbury people can have their say at consultation days on August 4 and September 22, in the High Street. Former Ledbury mayor, Cllr Bob Barnes said: “Ledbury has always been good at volunteering; but is it sustainable? “If volunteering is taking up 50 per cent of your own time, you might start to question it.””
  • Herefordshire – Income and savings proposals – Herefordshire Council. “It is proposed to keep Hereford Library and The Hereford Centre (customer services), as they are the most used facilities, whilst the centres covering both customer services and libraries in Belmont (Hereford), Leominster and Ross-on-Wye would be withdrawn, along with access to public computers. Customer services in Bromyard, Kington and Ledbury would also be withdrawn but a self-service library facility would remain at these locations, as the buildings are also used by other organisations.The library delivery service for house bound residents would be retained whilst the school library service would also continue but become self-financing. The back office support for community libraries would need to be funded by the community.
    Kirklees – Councillors debate threat to libraries in Kirklees – Examiner. “Councillors have debated how to slash £1.85m from Kirklees’ libraries budget. The long running threat to libraries has been looming since government cuts began to impact council coffers in 2011 with volunteers sought to take over.” … “Two options have been outlined to help maintain the network of libraries in towns and villages allowing volunteers to support a professional librarian or asking volunteers to run a facility on their own. A third option is to axe the majority of libraries and leave only the main libraries in Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Batley with a healthy level of professional staff.”
  • Kirklees – Friends group aims to save town’s library – Mirfield Reporter. “A bid to safeguard the future of Batley’s central library is to be made next week when a meeting will be held with the aim of forming a friends of the library group. It follows the presentation of a petition containing more than 11,000 signatures urging Kirklees Council to safeguard the library for the thousands of people who use it in many ways during the year.”
  • Leeds – New chapter in campaign by libraries – Morley Observer. “A total of 36 learning hubs across Leeds – including Morley Library – hope the #Whatsyourstory campaign will get more people using their free services and workshops.” … “The campaign is also urging people to come forward if library services have helped change their life. Ms Rice said inspirational case studies helped raise awareness of the work libraries do and the services that they run.”
  • Leicestershire – First Leicestershire volunteer-run library opens – BBC. “The authority said 27 libraries would follow Barrow-upon-Soar’s lead in a move that will save £800,000. It said it was waiting on registrations of interest to run the remaining nine. The plan to hand over the libraries to volunteers is part of efforts to cut £86m from the council’s budget by 2019.”
  • Lincolnshire – Council leader Martin Hill launches scathing attack on Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaigners – Lincolnshire Echo. “In an open letter, he said: “I am very pleased to hear the good news that the county council’s decision to modernise the library service, encourage volunteering and save money has been vindicated in the High Court. “The unnecessary and politically-inspired legal challenge has been dismissed on all grounds. “What is disappointing is that over £350k of taxpayers’ money has been wasted, voluntary groups frustrated and at least one library lost as a result of this action. “The only obstacle has been the ironically-named Save Lincolnshire Libraries group and the Labour Party – not that anyone can tell the difference between the two. “Their actions have been a costly political exercise in making matters worse for library users, volunteers and staff.”
  • Lincolnshire – ‘County Council has squirreled away £17m of your money – but won’t put penny into libraries’ Lincolnshire Echo. “Days earlier [than the judicial review hearing], the council’s Tory-LibDem executive met to decide what to do with a surplus £17 million which it demanded from local council taxpayers last year, but failed to spend on services. A tenth of this cash bonus would keep libraries running for another year, and leave more than £15 million to invest in vital services. Instead, the executive chose to squirrel away the £17 million by putting it in “reserves”.”
  • Lincolnshire – Is privatisation the key to saving Lincolnshire’s libraries? – Lincolnite. “Can you picture a state-of-the-art building full of books, magazines and periodicals of all sizes, with free wifi zones? How about the provision of eReaders for users who prefer to hold something electronic in their hands? Conference rooms, lecture rooms, presentation suites, private venues for hire, cafés – maybe even a bar? Dare we suggest a bookstore too? Moreover, we could encourage noise – as much as you want – offset by the provision of dedicated quiet zones for those who still crave abject silence.” … “It is not beyond the wit of man to maintain the status quo on the provision of free library services; complemented and secured by the provision of enhanced fee-paying services to encourage investment.” Several useful comments.
  • Lincolnshire – County council defeats second High Court challenge to plans for libraries – Local Government Advertiser. “The claimant, backed by the Save Lincolnshire Libraries Group, argued that the revised plans – approved by the council’s executive in February this year – were fundamentally no different to a plan decided upon in December 2013. The first decision was quashed by the High Court because of flaws in decision making and consultation. Mrs Justice McGowan heard the latest proceedings in the High Court last week (21 July). The county council reported today [28 July] that the judge had ruled that its decision was taken in a lawful manner.” see also Lincolnshire County Council wins second library court battle – BBC and Lincolnshire library cuts challenge dismissed, and one Lincoln facility to close – Lincolnite.
  • Liverpool – Five Liverpool libraries to be handed over to volunteers and community groups – Liverpool Echo. “The council is also to announce that Jan Parry, president of the Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals (CILIP) will chair a task group to look at the future of the city’s library service. The libraries due to be transferred to new management will be Breck Road, Dovecot, Fazakerley, Kensington and Walton. Discussions are still underway over the future management of Sefton Park and West Derby libraries.”
  • Merton – Work underway on £1.2m new library ahead of open day – Your Local Guardian. Donald Hope Library: “Work has started on a £1.2m library face-lift leaving book lovers to contend with a much smaller temporary library for the next two years. The new six-storey development was initially met with objections from some residents due to the building’s height but, after approval from Merton Council in March, the building project is now underway.” … “A temporary facility about a quarter of the size of Donald Hope library in Colliers Wood will be available with a range of services for library users. “
  • Nottinghamshire – Save our libraries – plea to Notts council – Hucknall Dispatch. “Coun John Wilmott, of the Hucknall First Community Forum, challenged the chair of the culture committee to agree that ‘it is essential that we keep open all the libraries as a basic necessity for all our residents’. “
  • Stockton – Official opening for £2.7m library in Billingham – Northern Echo. “A new library and customer information centre held its official opening today (Thursday, July 30) following a £2.7 million refurbishment. The combined facility sits on the site of the former Art Gallery and council offices in Billingham and was opened by the chairman of Arts Council England, Sir Peter Bazalgette and Stockton Borough Council leader, Cllr Bob Cook.” … “The building brings together new and improved library services plus customer services for Stockton Borough Council and Thirteen Housing Group, a cash office and Billingham Town Centre Headquarters.”
  • Surrey – Cobham Library reopens as part of new ‘community hub’ – Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser. “The county council will operate the library but lease the rest of the building to Cobham Cedar Centre Limited, a social enterprise run “by the community, for the community”. Richard Walsh, cabinet member for localities and community wellbeing, said: “The way people use libraries is changing, which is why it’s so important we continue to adapt and improve our library service. The social enterprise is a great example of the community pulling together to help shape local services.” Among new amenities are computers, laptop plug-in points, free Wi-Fi and improved study and children’s areas.”
  • Swansea – Swansea nightclub site could become new council building – BBC. “The site which used to house Swansea’s biggest nightclub could become the new home for Swansea council and library. The former Oceana nightclub building will be demolished in October and replaced with a new office block.”