National news

  • CILIP urges libraries to welcome refugees – BookSeller. “Libraries have a “major” role to play in welcoming refugees following the government’s announcement that 20,000  will be arrive in the country over the next five years. In a blog post, CILIP outlined that libraries are an “important” source of information and “key” to signposting refugees to other local services. It also emphasised that school libraries play a “major role in supporting refugee children as they find their way around their new country.””
  • Libraries receive funding for innovative digital inclusion activity – Tinder Foundation. “Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve awarded funding to sixteen libraries, as part of our latest funding round. The sixteen libraries will run innovative pilots that will support people to improve their digital skills. The funding is part of an action research pilot, running from 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2016, with selected libraries funded to engage with people who are socially excluded, supporting them to develop basic digital skills. All 16 libraries will investigate models of support that work for their communities, through new partnerships, new technologies and innovative models of support, leading to the creation of new resources to support the sector as a whole.” see also Libraries funded to run innovative digital inclusion activityLocalGov

International news

  • USA – Demco, Inc. Announces the Acquisition of Boopsie Inc – Boopsie. “Mobile apps are more critical than ever with research showing that 69% of library patrons use them to access information. In addition, mobile device users tend to spend 5 times more time using apps than mobile browsers. Boopsie customers have seen that library apps have increased their digital resource usage by over 30% indicating that Boopsie library-branded apps can increase both access and usage of online materials and services.”

Local news by authority

“An asbestos scare at Hereford library underlines the risks of Herefordshire council’s plans to abandon all its other proper public libraries.  The town centre library and museum are to be shut for at least 12 weeks “in the interest of public and staff safety” after trace amounts of asbestos were found in older parts of the building.  Had the closure scheme already gone ahead, the whole county would have been without a library for three months (and thus, surely, in breach of the council’s legal obligation to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service).  The closure plans, announced in August and still under discussion, would see the county keeping just the Hereford library as a properly staffed service.  Libraries in Leominster, Ross-on-Wye and Belmont would shut, while Bromyard, Ledbury and Kington would become “self-service” book-borrowing points supported by volunteers.  Campaigners thought they had fought off one set of closure plans in 2013, but the current scheme is even more drastic.” Herefordshire – Library News – Private Eye Issue No 1402

  • Leicestershire – Community groups on course to take over libraries – ITV. “Community groups are on course to take over the running of more than 30 county council libraries in Leicestershire within the next six months. “
  • Leicestershire – Uncertainty remains over future of four closure-threatened Leicestershire libraries – Leicester Mercury. “The libraries in Braunstone Town, Mountsorrel, Narborough and Kirby Muxloe may shut as part of cost cutting plans by Leicestershire County Council. Bosses at County Hall say they have been able to reach agreements that will see 32 smaller county libraries managed by volunteers leaving just four at risk of closure. They are looking at replacing the four libraries with a mobile service.” … “Braunstone Town Council says it is ready and willing to run the library. Town council leader Nick Brown said: “Before the deadline we submitted a proposal which we think did meet their criteria. “Either through a complete miscommunication or intransigence nothing happened.” see also Cabinet 7 October 2015 Future strategy for the delivery of library services: report of the director of adults and communities.
  • Lincolnshire – New era for libraries – Lincolnshire Council. “Volunteers are now at the heart of Lincolnshire’s library service, giving communities the chance to do things their own way. County libraries have entered an exciting era as plans for a new-look service become reality.”.  30 libraries have lost paid staffing and volunteers have taking them over to avoid them closing: “All the groups receive ongoing professional support and over £5,000 a year towards running costs. One-off grants of up to £15,000 are also available for changes to buildings or equipment” … “Although the council continues to run some “core” library services at the moment, that could change following an approach by a third-sector organisation. That has required us to put those services – including supporting the hubs – out to competitive procurement, meaning an external organisation could take them over.”
  • Lincolnshire – Proposal to save Deeping Library is rejected – Rutland and Stamford Mercury. “An alternative proposal to keep Deepings Library open with paid council staff has failed, leaving its future in the hands of volunteers. Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council spent the summer discussing a plan backed by Deepings MP John Hayes (Con) to save the library in Market Deeping from closure.” … “The proposal was to move the two district council staff from the Deepings Community Centre to the library, with the county taking on one of the salaries. This would have allowed the library to stay open with paid staff in a similar operation to the community access point at Bourne Corn Exchange. The proposal was put forward after the county council pulled the funding from two thirds of its libraries, including Deepings.
    But after months of talks it was revealed on Wednesday that the proposal would not go forward.”
  • Reading – Libraries in Reading: cuts of £600,000 to be made – Get Reading. “Every branch library in Reading – apart from Central Library- will come under scrutiny as the council searches for £600,000 worth of cuts. Reading Borough Council is expected to launching a six-week public consultation from October 12 to November 23 asking people how they use the libraries and what they want from them. Leader of the council Councillor Jo Lovelock was at pains to point out today, Wednesday, September 30, there was “no blueprint hidden away in the council” and there were no concrete proposals for any of the libraries yet.” see also Reading Council plans £600k cut to library service – BBC.

“Out of 12,660 where 1 is the least deprived:
Battle RG30 1EE:  IMD Ranking 10823 out of 12,660 (where 1 is least deprived)
Caversham RG4 8AU: IMD Ranking 6649 out of 12,660
Palmer Park RG1 3QB: IMD Ranking 6294 ouf of 12,660
Southcote RG30 3BA: IMD Ranking 8861 out of 12,660
Tilehurst RG31 5AS: IMD Ranking 8814 out of 12,660
Whitley RG2 7PX: IMD Ranking 9865 out of 12,660″ Reading – Church Urban Fund Poverty Rankings for Reading Borough Council Libraries – With thanks to Shirley Burnham

  • Sheffield – Sheffield libraries branch out a year on from handover – Star. ““While volunteers cannot ever fully replace the work done by professional, qualified librarians, libraries remain important local, social spaces,” said Bob, of the Stannington and District Library Group.” … “A year has now passed since community groups in the affected areas – including Broomhill, Totley, Upperthorpe and Walkley, as well as Stannington – first picked up the keys to their libraries. Thanks to their efforts, and no doubt with some relief, the city council is able to report that no facilities have closed, despite needing to save £1.6m from its library services budget by next year”

“We have the flexibility to do things that would not have been possible under local authority management. We ran a murder-mystery evening in May that was great fun and helped us raise money. Local residents have donated books. Stannington Story Festival, our anniversary event, achieved enough this year to guarantee there will be another one in 2016. It could become a permanent part of the local social calendar.”