A few times recently people have been surprised when I have mentioned that they can see the major changes in any UK library authority in the UK since 2010 via the Public Libraries News website. I suspect this information could be very handy for anyone looking for a job, or business, or a better understanding of any library service so here’s all the relevant links below. Normally, you’d need to click on the By Authority tab at the top of the webpages, then Changes then choose the relevant link.

I’ve worked hard to ensure it’s all accurate but if there’s anything that needs changing then please contact me, as always, on ianlibrarian@live.co.uk.



National news

  • Axiell Announces Its Digital-First Library Services Platform – Business Wire. “Axiell Quria, a cloud-based, digital-first Library Services Platform, designed to facilitate the transformation of the modern public library. “
  • Free speech, librarianship and the chilling effect of surveillance – Infoism. “it’s clear that we have an obligation to ensure equal access to “information, ideas and works of the imagination”. Furthermore, it is clear that in an environment of mass surveillance, where the populace are aware that their online activities are observed and processed, individuals cannot exercise this freedom to access information because the “chilling effects” impedes them. The consequence of this is not only a reluctance to seek out critical ideas, but also a reluctance to communicate them. You cannot, ultimately, have free speech when you exist in conditions of mass surveillance.”
  • How do I join the Summer Reading Challenge 2016? – Guardian. “If you’re aged between 4 and 11, here’s a summer adventure at your very own local library – join this year’s Roald Dahl-themed Summer Reading Challenge” … “And because good news has to be shared, why don’t you invite your local librarian to talk about the Challenge in class? If you don’t already have a library contact, you can get your Summer Reading Challenge Coordinator’s contact details by emailing summerreadingchallenge@readingagency.org.uk.”
  • Insight into an independent library – Libraries Taskforce. “This guest post was written by the team at Edda Community Arts and Library about their venture to transform the former Ainsdale library into a community venue incorporating a community library” in Sefton. “Edda Community Arts and Library is an independent library and arts venue. Originally Ainsdale Library, a Sefton Council facility, it closed in November 2013 due to council cuts. Edda is part of Bridge Inn Community Farm Ltd, a company providing day services for adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues.” … “From the initial bid to Sefton Council it took 7 months and then a further 13 months once the bid was successful for the lease to get through Sefton’s legal department.” … “We have a 10 year lease for which we pay rent and are also responsible for all repairs and maintenance. The council stipulated that there was to be no financial burden on the Council, so it has been a significant personal investment.” … “Throughout there is an atmosphere of cultural activity, so as you choose your book you may be entertained by a ukulele class or poetry reading or even a drumming workshop. It is different, it’s not quiet, nobody will shush you, indeed you will be encouraged to become involved.”

“Libraries and Arts go hand in hand. The library is a part of what we do and, as such, relies on our other services financially. The overheads of the building are met by our day service provision.”

  • Libraries Deliver…Social Justice? – Leon’s Library Blog. “The following is an extract from the response by The Network to Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021, with thanks to John Vincent:” … “A key issue for us in looking at Libraries Deliver is how far it considers the context in which people are living in 2016 – and what we can forecast for the years 2017-2021. “

International news

  • Eire – The ugly truth: libraries full of wimpy kids – Times.A series of novels about a young schoolboy topped the list of the most borrowed books from Irish libraries last year. Books from the best-selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, a US author, about the adventures of Greg Heffley, made up seven of the top ten most borrowed books. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth was the most popular title followed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck.”
  • USA – 7 Habits of Highly Impactful Librarians – Scholastic. “These seven habits represent effective and proven strategies that are rooted in research and evidence-based practice. They are designed to help librarians revise and improve how they impact learners, and they ensure that school libraries are woven into the instructional fabric of schools.”: Build strong and trusting relationships; Speak the language of school leadership; Be the gatekeeper and curator of all digital content; Be the champion and CEO of independent reading; Adopt an evidence-based practice in everything you do; Be a teacher-librarian with a constructivist approach based on inquiry; Be the orchestrator of your school or district’s makerspace initiative .
  • USA – 12 One Sentence Library Stories We Love – NYPL. “Right now, New York City leaders are trying to decide how much funding to give libraries next year. To meet rising demands, libraries are hoping to have their budgets restored to 2008 levels. City leaders will make this decision based on hearing from folks like you. That’s why we’ve been asked New Yorkers to tell us in one sentence why they love the library or how it has impacted their life—and 2,000 New Yorkers have already written sentences! Some have been funny, some have been heartwarming, but all have shown the many ways public libraries serve an important role in communities all over New York City.”

“I was lucky enough to have a public library stocked with books on the craft of comics; had I not discovered those books, I never would’ve had the knowledge of how to pursue a career in cartooning.” – Jeff Kinney, Author, Diary of A Wimpy Kid [The first film alone grossed $75m worldwide – Ed]

Local news by authority

  • Bradford – Vital public services now under one roof as new community hub opens in town’s library – Telegraph and Argus. The existing library services have now had services from the old One Stop Centre at Pudsey Town Hall added to what is on offer, including housing, benefits and registrars. Local councillors Josie Jarosz, Richard Lewis and Mick Coulson hope to have their advice surgeries there every first and third Thursday of the month from 5pm to 6pm. Pudsey Town Hall will now be used by integrated Health and Social Care teams, providing an essential local base for council staff and their working partners”
  • Dorset – Dorset residents borrowing books from a library in Bristol? No problem – Dorset Echo. Dorset now part of the LibrariesWest Consortium.
  • East Riding of Yorkshire – Dozens of villages face losing mobile library under plans to make £1.2m savings – Yorkshire Post. “Dozens of villages in the East Riding face losing their mobile library service while opening hours at some libraries could be drastically cut back under proposals to save £1.2m.” … “when asked whether they would prefer some branches to close and maintain the same opening hours at the ones left, the vast majority opted for keeping all branches open but with reduced opening hours.”
  • Enfield – ‘Patient’ tech types called on to volunteer at cash-strapped libraries – North London Today. Enfield council wants 20 volunteers to come forward and take a test before committing their time to help others. The Good Samaritans don’t need to be computer whizzes but they do need to have a “good working knowledge of computers” and be “patient” teachers. Organisers claim the pay back for volunteers is the feel good factor of “making new friends and helping people”.
  • Lancashire – ‘Our library is not just about books, it is a social necessity’ – Visiter. “Sylvia Lambert, of Mill Lane in Burscough, has penned an emotional letter calling for the library to be saved. She says: “Once again Burscough is to lose out. This time the proposals is to close our much needed library. “We have half a dozen schools in Burscough, the pupils of which make good use of the available facilities. “It is a joy in the summer holidays to see the little ones collecting and returning the books they have read. “Will they be so keen during the winter when Mum and Dad have to make a trip to Ormskirk either by car or public transport?”
  • Lewisham – Lewisham “March for Libraries” – Stop the privatisation of public libraries. “…  Unison members in Lewisham Libraries who will be on strike this coming Saturday (21/5/16) in defence of the library service. They will be joining other library supporters on a march;”
  • Lewisham – Poet to petition Sadiq Khan over library closures – BookSeller. “South London poet Chrissie Gittins is to petition London Mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured) about the future of Lewisham’s library services. Gittins, who is Lewisham’s first honorary writer in residence, is calling on the mayor to pledge his support to campaigners fighting to keep Forest Hill, Manor House, Catford and Torridon libraries from being turned into community-run centres. She intends to hand Khan a copy of her latest book – Between Here And Knitwear – at City Hall next week as it contains a passage which highlights the importance of libraries.”
  • Northern Ireland – Libraries NI: Opening hours could be cut at 14 premises under plans – BBC. “under plans revealed by Libraries NI. Under the proposals, some libraries will close for an extra day every week. Libraries NI said the move was needed to make savings due to reductions in their budget. Their budget has been reduced from £29.4m in 2015-16 to £27.7m in 2016-17, but Libraries NI said that is a cut of over £2m in real terms. All of the libraries affected would have their opening hours reduced to 45 hours per week.”
  • Shropshire – Spotlight to fall on Shrewsbury’s threatened services – Shropshire Star. “The future of under-threat public services in Shrewsbury such as museums, leisure centres and libraries, will be the focus of Shrewsbury’s annual town meeting.” … “The county authority is in discussions with Shrewsbury Town Council about the possibility of taking on the management and of the services, which include Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Shrewsbury Library, Coleham Pumping Station, Shrewsbury Sports Village, The Quarry Fitness and Swimming Centre, Meole Brace Golf Course, the Grange Youth Centre, and more,”
  • St Helens –  Libraries run out of dog bags amid plans to install self-serve stations – St Helens Star. “authorities are hoping to have a number of self-serve stations supplying free bags for dog mess placed at key locations to help keep the borough’s parks and green spaces clean. Stocks of the dog mess disposal bags at libraries, where they have been supplied free until now, are “running low” according to a St Helens Council spokesperson. Dog walker Julie Ward contacted The Star after being unable to get dog bags from Peter Street Library.” Stockton – Two libraries facing closure – Northern Echo. “Stockton Borough Council is consulting on plans to close Egglescliffe Library, in Eaglescliffe, and Fairfield Library, in Stockton. Under the proposals, Egglescliffe would close once the refurbishment of Yarm Library is complete and Fairfield would close if a partner organisation, or alternative place to house the library, cannot be found.”
  • Suffolk – Suffolk Libraries relaunches Mental Health and Wellbeing Service – Suffolk Libraries. “Suffolk Libraries are getting behind Mental Health Awareness Week next week with full force, hosting several different events across the county and celebrating a relaunch of their Mental Health and Wellbeing Information Service. The newly named ‘New Chapters’ service can help residents of Suffolk find out about mental health and wellbeing organisations, services, local projects, events and specialist books to help support a whole range of mental health and wellbeing issues.” …. “Suffolk Libraries are also supporting Dementia Awareness Week, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, with dedicated displays and an event at Broomhill Library in Ipswich on Thursday 19 May at 2pm. “
  • Sunderland – Lets Talk About Dementia – NE Connected. “Ian Donaghy’s book ‘Dear Dementia: The Laughter and the Tears’ is recognised by mental health practitioners as one of the best ever written on the subject. The author will be talking about his book at the City Library and Arts Centre …”
  • Walsall – Lib Dems and Labour on the verge of deal to take over Walsall Council – Express and Star. “The coalition would mean the seven libraries in the borough facing the axe will be saved, while the Citizens Advice Bureau in Walsall could also get a reprieve. An agreement has been struck between Labour leader Councillor Sean Coughlan and Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Ian Shires, with the Walsall Labour party set to sign off on the coalition tonight. A formal announcement will be made tomorrow morning. Despite the reprieve for the libraries, council tax will still rise by 3.99 per cent and £29 million of savings still need to be found this financial year.”
  • Worcestershire – Concern grows over cuts to opening hours at 17 Worcestershire libraries – Worcester News. “Concerns are growing about cuts to library opening hours across Worcestershire – with council chiefs urged to scrap the move. As the Worcester News revealed in April, opening hours at 17 different libraries face the chop as part of a county council proposal to save £1 million. Bosses want to lose a total of 78.5 opening hours a week as well as axe jobs, introduce “unstaffed periods” inside the buildings and increase library fees. The authority insists no decisions have been made, and has now announced a series of consultation events so people can have a say.” … “”St John’s is an area with one of the lowest computer ownerships in the county – we should be expanding library hours, not reducing them.” “