Big news today is the continuing fall out from the drastic cuts to Lancashire libraries and other council services. People – including in this instance two Conservative MPs – are not happy. Other news includes cuts to the East Riding of Yorkshire (remember, it’s an amalgamation, not a closure), although to be fair to them there does appear to have been an actual genuine consultation there – and a co-location in Enfield. Some more details on big refurbishments to libraries (yes, they do happen, but thy too often don’t grab the headlines) already reported here and a few good ideas for libraries, including the too-cool-for-school (well, unless, you’re doing it anonymously, naturally) Crypto Party. Finally, the Taskforce have done a very useful summary of the Taking Part figures on trends in library use, and promise changes to the way the DCMS gathers the information in future.



National news

  • Changing patterns of library use – Libraries Taskforce. A clear and understandable summary of the recent DCMS research on the changing usage of public libraries in Taking Part. “Editors note: The Libraries Taskforce Team have recently been working with the team who run the DCMS Taking Part Survey to make some changes to the standard question set used in the Taking Part surveys. The intention is to make the outputs more helpful to library services and reflects feedback the Taskforce have received on which data sets library services would find most helpful. These changes came into effect for surveys carried out from the beginning of April 2016.”
  • Crypto Party…in a public library…in the UK – Infoism. ” Newcastle libraries are working with the Open Rights Group (North East) to run a Crypto Party later this month – the first public library service I am aware of to officially run and deliver one in the UK (if you know of an official library organised event that is comparable, please let me know!). According to the details on cryptoparty.in, they intend on covering: Safe browsing;Tor Browser & TAILS; Signal; Full Disk Encryption; PGP”

“CILIP Information Services Group (London & South East) and CILIP Information Literacy Group are looking at organizing an event on 30 November at CILIP HQ to look at the topic of how public libraries, school libraries and FE libraries are promoting information literacy to young adults to encourage good research skills and prepare students or going on to further / higher education … I’m particularly interested to know if any public libraries have found ways to support young people with developing information research skills, perhaps targeting training at young people with using library online information resources or running events to promote good internet searching and evaluating skills. This seems to be an important topic now that some people regard public libraries as increasingly irrelevant for research in the age of the internet, and the need to encourage young people to use their local libraries.” Anne Hayward hayward.anne@gmail.com


  • Londoner’s Diary: Corbyn’s cabal has no need for libraries – Evening Standard. House of Commons Library, that is. “An attack has been launched on Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour top team from an unusual source: the House of Commons library. Or at least through one librarian, who complained to QC and media commentator Jolyon Maugham. Today he recounted a conversation he’d had with one of the custodians of the library, where MPs go to source information for their debates and papers. It holds 350,000 items on history, politics and policy. “Chatted to Labour-friendly House of Commons librarian over the weekend,” Maugham tweeted this morning, “who said requests from Labour MPs had gone down by about 90 per cent.”
  • World Book Night 2016 – World Book Night. A look at the tweets nationwide, including lots of pictures of happy people with their new books.

International News

  • Canada / UK / USA – Trouble with Twee – Open Shelf. “Do you really just want to share your old books and meet your neighbours? That’s fine – start a book exchange, but please don’t call it a library. Are you a teacher and want to use it as a class project? Fabulous idea, but please ensure advocacy for the public library is part of that learning module. Do you really want to ensure that there is equitable access to reading material and support literacy in your neighbourhood? Maybe your energy is best directed supporting the local public library or grassroots advocacy for universal daycare.”
  • EU – Celebrating Europe Day 2016 – Naple Sister Libraries, “Libraries takes part in the Europe Day event making several activities.”
  • Japan – Aichi town residents setting up mini libraries to get locals reading, chatting – Japan Times. “
  • Higashiura Town Central Library in Aichi Prefecture is working with local residents to build mini libraries in the town so that residents have more opportunities to read books. Through it, the effort aims to nurture a stronger community. Known as the Guruguru Toshokan (Library on the Move) project, books will be stocked by willing participants in various locations, such as stores, offices, old houses and grape farms. The books will be those owned by the volunteers as well as volumes that the library lacks space for.”
  • USA – AIA announces seven winners of library design awards – De Zeen. “A library that spans a river and a 1970s building wrapped in terracotta panels are among the seven winning projects in the 2016 Library Building Awards from the American Institute of Architects (+ slideshow). Presented annually by the AIA in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Library Building Awards recognise exemplary facilities around the world that are designed by US-licensed architects. This year’s winning projects, which are located in both small towns and major cities, were selected by a jury of industry professionals.”
  • USA – The Giant Mistake Most Libraries Marketers Make… And How To Fix It – Content Marketing for Libraries. Giant mistake is not knowing enough about users: customer database (e.g. library membership data) does not give enough information and, even then, is often not used. “When we just guess at what our cardholders want and need, we are doing them a disservice. So without the money to do what the big brands do, how we find out what our customers are worried about? Here are some tips for getting to know your cardholders better, for free.”

Local news by authority

  • East Riding of Yorkshire – Library hours to be cut – Hull Daily Mail. “Plans have been revealed to cut library opening hours in the East Riding and reduce the frequency of the mobile library service across the region. The council says it is also considering merging two libraries in Bridlington as part of moves to save £1.2m a year. If given the go-ahead, weekly visits by the mobile library in 17 larger villages would change to fortnightly stops. In addition, nearly 100 smaller places where the mobile service currently visits every two weeks would see a change to a four-weekly cycle. Under the proposals, the library service at the current North Bridlington library in Martongate would be transferred to the King Street branch in the town centre.”
  • East Riding of Yorkshire – Proposal to Amalgamate Bridlington Libraries – Yorkshire Coast Radio. “The proposal has been developed following detailed analysis of nearly 8000 responses to a public consultation on the library service, which concluded last December” … “Subject to approval by Cabinet on 17 May, the second phase of the public consultation, on the new proposals, will run from 25 May to 3 August 2016, and will be available online at www.eastriding.gov.uk
  • Enfield – Enfield libraries closed for refurbishment in preparation to share space with local groups – This is Local London. “Ponders End Library is being remodelled to allow Age UK Enfield to have its headquarters in part of the College Court building in High Street, Ponders End. The building will be closed until May 23 while work to upgrade facilities for the charity take place. Enfield Highway Library will be also be closed until at least August 1, while a public health services department is put in. The changes are part of plans by the council to raise money by allowing other businesses and organisations to share library space and pay part of the leases, after facing government cuts.” … “The four biggest libraries – Enfield Town, Edmonton Green, Palmers Green and Ordnance Unity Library – will continue to provide regular library services along with community events. The other 13 Enfield libraries will be run by the council, but facilities will be shared with other organisations to help save money.”
  • Enfield – Palmers Green Library, Enfield – Designing Libraries. “After a year-long closure, the library opened its doors to a multitude of new features installed over the library’s two floors.” … “The library now includes interactive tables, a gadget bar with internet access, electronic noticeboards and digital end-panels as well as a children’s section, teenage area and a community room.”
  • Greenwich – Greenwich Centre Library – Designing Libraries. “Thedesignconcept introduced stimulating and inspirational furniture, gadget bars and digital technology to this exciting library space … A bank of PC’s are readily available for public use to access the internet, a gadget bar provides charging facilities for phones and laptops in the ‘quiet’ study area in the library. Teenagers can enjoy an area fitted with games consoles, large screens and innovative furniture for ultimate comfort. ” … “Following a maritime theme, to incorporate the rich history of Greenwich, the children’s area of the library has been fitted with boat shaped browsers and the shelving includes waves, anchors and port-holes for children to enjoy. The children’s library also has PC’s and tablets available for the younger visitors. “

  • Lancashire – Campaigners disappointed at plans to close 29 Lancashire libraries – Lancashire Headline News
    Lancashire – County Council boss accused of ‘dirty tricks’ after building closure plans announced – Lancashire Telegraph. ” Council leader Jenny Mein has defended the timing, consultation and content of her announcement of a shortlist of 108 council buildings due to close, including 54 in East Lancashire. Critics have accused her of ‘dirty tricks’ by revealing the proposals on the day local election results were being counted.” … “Cllr Mein said: “We announced the list at the first opportunity after the local elections were over. “This was a highly political decision that could not be revealed during the campaign. “We do not want to close these premises but we are having to because of savage Tory government cuts”
  • Lancashire – County Council staff wait for jobs news as cuts row grows – LEP. “Public services union UNISON predicts that on Wednesday and Thursday some 50 library and museums staff will be told they are in line for redundancy, with another 200 plus jobs set to go from the county council’s Children’s Centres next year. Lancashire branch Secretary Elaine Cotterell, whose union represents 10,000 county council members said council workers are devastated. With so many jobs hanging by a thread and the future of so many buildings and services uncertain, she said staff were likely to be “in shock”.”
  • Lancashire – Libraries and kids centres to close – Lancaster Guardian. “Bolton-le-Sands, Carnforth and Silverdale libraries, and Lancaster and Morecambe’s Registration Offices, are also on a list of properties likely to be sold off under new proposals. “
  • Lancashire – Libraries under threat in West Lancashire are named – Champion. “The proposals for libraries are to reduce the number of fixed locations where people can access libraries from 73 to 44. It is proposed that 37 of these will offer a fully staffed service and seven will be ‘satellite’ libraries which are not staffed, but where people can use self-service counters to collect books which they have reserved and return books. This will be supported by the county council’s mobile library service (six vehicles operating 68 routes and 792 stops), home library service (which currently delivers books to 1,000 people at home) and virtual library services, which allows people to access e-books, e-audiobooks and online reference service.”
  • Lancashire – Library campaigners worry for the future of local services – 2BR. “”We found out that we’re going to be part of a new scheme called a ‘Satellite System’ and we’re not really sure how it’s going to work. We’re obviously really pleased that the campaign has made such a difference but we’re not quite sure how much money will have to be spent making the building fit for purpose.”
  • Lancashire – MP’s anger at extent of cuts in South Fylde – Lytham St Anne’s Express. “Fylde MP Mark Menzies [Conservative] has hit out at Labour-led Lancashire County Council’s plans to close libraries across Fylde…. Mr Menzies, who has attended a number of recent events in support of libraries and has written repeatedly to county hall to appeal for a reasoned approach, said: “I have tried to do all I can to make it clear to the county council how important libraries are to the people of Fylde. “I have also encouraged local people to speak up for their libraries and take part in the consultation process so the county council can make a decision knowing the strength of feeling in support of Fylde’s libraries.”
  • Lancashire – MP’s campaign against Lancashire library closures – BookSeller. “In a Facebook post, local Wyre MP Paul Maynard [Conservative] urged the council to look at converting the libraries into not-for-profit social enterprise companies which are often run by existing staff to invest back into their facilities and the wider community. Maynard said other councils – including those in York and Devon – have done this with “great success”,
  • Lancashire – ‘Shameful legacy of closures’ – LEP / Letters. “What time is it best to bury bad news? Is it any wonder that the public-at-large have no respect for politicians of any side? They are completely devoid of vertebrae and deserve no respect whatsoever. I notice that the list consists of library, children’s centre, youth, library, children’s centre, youth, library, et cetera, et cetera.”
  • Lancashire – Shock as closure hit list is revealed – Chorley Guardian. “Stuart Clewlow, who has been campaigning to save Adlington Library, said: “Generally speaking, I am pleased for the borough that we are looking at the threat of closure to only one of our libraries. “However, it is concerning that Adlington has been identified as surplus to requirement when it serves an ever growing population and continually evolves to meet the ever varying needs of the community.”
  • Lancashire – Three Valley libraries set for axe and two saved under cuts plans – Rossendale Free Press. “Eight community buildings across the Valley – including three libraries – are facing closure within a year under county hall cost-saving plans.” … “Rawtenstall and Haslingden libraries have been spared under the plans, which were first touted last November. Greensclough councillor Peter Steen said the closure of Bacup Library – which had been refurbished by the county council only last year – would ‘shut out’ the elderly and vulnerable.”
  • Manchester – Arcadia gets the ‘Manchester Look’ – Designing Libraries. “The library, designed and furnished by Demco Interiors, is an integral part of the centre, with access to a wide range of library services and PCs with free Wifi, an exciting children’s library, comfy seating areas, study spaces and on and offline media, including books for all ages and interests. The library is managed by Manchester Libraries and will be staffed for 30 hours a week. Self-service lending will be available throughout the centre’s opening hours.
  • North Somerset – Petition launched to keep library open – Mercury. “Raye Green has created the Worle Library Defence Group to try to persuade the council to keep the Worle library, which is based in The Maltings, open in its current format. She said: “I have a particular interest in Worle Library, which is a key hub to the community, especially for the vulnerable. Our elderly population, young families and schools all rely upon this heart of the community facility.””.  Councillor says ““There are likely to be additional co-located libraries and children’s centres and more closer working with partners such as the police and health colleagues.”
  • Renfrewshire – Johnstone Public Library – Designing Libraries. “This building, with its combination of a striking glass façade, deep public atrium and high quality stone finishes, stands out from the surrounding buildings in Ludovic Square where it has been designed as a catalyst for a wider regeneration programme for the town. It creates a new model for the delivery of community services as the public library, theatre, marriage suite, conference room and café sit alongside staff from the council’s housing and social work departments, AdviceWorks, Police Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support.”
  • Somerset – Coming soon to Taunton Library: The Glass Box – Somerset County Council. “The Glass Box, so-called because it will be making its home in the window-walled former Tourist Information Centre in Paul Street, will be a free, community space designed to help business start-ups, innovators and digital makers come together.”
  • Somerset – Somerset libraries are Positive About Breastfeeding – County Gazette. “Somerset County Council has signed up to the scheme, which means mothers are welcome to breastfeed in any public area, with staff also being informed of breastfeeding policies to promote the rights of mothers to choose how and where to feed their babies. “
  • Staffordshire – Campaigners confident of forcing council to rethink plans for Lichfield Library – Lichfield Live. “…  petition organised by the Lichfield and Burntwood branch of the Green Party has called for a public consultation on the proposals. The 5,562 verified signatures means that the council will now need to debate the issue at a meeting on May 19 … Robert Pass, chair of Lichfield and Burntwood Green Party, said: “Quite simply, we believe that the council must agree to a new consultation on the future of Lichfield Library.”
  • Thurrock – Fibromyalgia awareness events in Thurrock – Your Thurrock. “Thurrock Council’s libraries have teamed up with charities and c2c to promote awareness of fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is on Thursday, 12 May and Fibromyalgia Action UK (FMA UK) and FMSupport South East Essex will be holding information stalls between 10am and 2pm at Grays library on the day.”
  • West Dunbartonshire – Plenty more in store for West Dunbartonshire Booked! festival – Dunbarton Reporter. “Councillor Michelle McGinty, the council’s Educational Services Convener, said: “It is fantastic to see Booked! 2016 get underway. Our libraries see hundreds of thousands of visits each year so we know they’re popular, but Booked! is an opportunity to really celebrate what they have to offer as well as getting people in who might not already be library members. “
  • West Sussex – West Sussex libraries offer mental health help to teenagers – News. “West Sussex County Council has launched Shelf Help – a collection of books, reviewed by clinicians, to help with a range of conditions”