A quiet few days as, I suspect, the nation held its breath over the referendum. Good to see more Summer Reading Challenge references (I always love this time of year) and also nice to see good news from Birmingham, although it’s only an expansion of what we already knew. What I did not already know was that there’s an independent charitable trust in Hull with loads of money and a strong interest in libraries which wants to make itself known nationally. It will be interesting to see how that develops.



National news

  • Bringing people together in memories – CILIP. “Victoria Treadway et al report on an NHS/public library partnership project between Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral Council to support the wellbeing of people living with dementia, creating reminiscence boxes which are available in public libraries and in the local acute hospital.
  • Marketing Excellence Awards winners 2016 – CILIP PPRG. “Our second Gold Award goes to Oldham Council Libraries for live@thelibrary, a programme of literature and arts events delivered from the newly refurbished Performance Space in Oldham Library. The project has significantly increased library membership and has demonstrated an adaptive, reflective approach to marketing strategy throughout its first year.” … “Our Bronze Award goes to Leeds Library and Information Service for #whatsyourstory, which used human-interest storytelling to demonstrate how their libraries had played a significant part in the achievements of local people.  Not only did it engage the local community, but the generic appeal of the campaign created a worldwide reach. “
Chris Riddell loves libraries

Chris Riddell loves libraries

  • Mills & Boon launches #LoveAtTheLibrary campaign – BookSeller. “Romantic fiction publisher Mills & Boon is partnering with The Reading Agency to work with libraries across the UK to help readers “fall in love” at their library. The #LoveAtTheLibrary campaign aims to remind adults of the “joys of reading” and inspire them to visit their local library and “rekindle their love affair with books”. Running until 31st July, participating libraries will create “eye-catching” Mills & Boon displays, with those deemed most creative winning books and other prizes. Libraries will share their displays on social media using the hashtag #LoveAtTheLibrary, and many will host exclusive readings and author events. More than 80 libraries across the UK are taking part in the initiative.”
  • Missing Million: in Search of the Loneliest in our Communities – Campaign To End Loneliness. “Not all foundation services are principally defined according to a specific driver of loneliness (such as bereavement or a health issue). Libraries are a key hub in many communities and often familiar and important resources for older people, particularly in areas that have seen the loss of other facilities such as day centres, neighbourhood pubs, and local churches or other faith based establishments.” … “Those working in libraries have become increasingly aware of older people experiencing loneliness. While mobile libraries have been in operation in various areas for some years, Hackney Community Library Service, for example, has responded by establishing a Telephone Reading Group in partnership with RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme). This allows housebound people to participate in a traditional book club that would otherwise be unreachable”
  • Nielsen LibScan Public Library borrowing data Period 4 (to 23 April 2016) with a special Children’s focus – Nielsen. “Library loans for Period 4 of 2016 (ending 23 April) were down year-on-year by 4.9% falling from last year’s 5.9m to 5.7m this year.” … “which is one of our Nielsen BookScan TCM Evergreens. This means that it has appeared in every weekly Top 5,000 Nielsen BookScan TCM sales chart.  If we compare the books that are in the Top 10 for Period 4 2016 with Period 4 2015 then we can see that Peppa Pig takes up 3 of the Top 10 positions. “
  • Speak Up for Libraries update – Speak Up For Libraries. “CILIP’s new Action Plan 2016-2020 sets the objective of securing the interests of all libraries in national policy through a series of campaigns beginning in 2015 with My Library By Right. In delivering this policy objective, CILIP has decided to work in parallel with the SUFL coalition to pursue their respective interests rather than as a partner. This will enable both CILIP and SUFL to work independently, able to harness effectively our differing perspectives and approaches to campaigning to the benefit of users. CILIP acknowledges the great contribution that the other partners in the coalition have and are making to ensuring the future of our public library service.” see also CILIP to work alongside Speak Up for Libraries group as independent supporter – CILIP.

International news

  • Canada – #JacksLibraryTour sees father, son on mission to visit all Toronto public libraries – CBC. “For five-year-old Jackson Ryan Bennett and his father, Lanrick Bennett Jr., they’re places of pilgrimage as they’ve embarked on a mission to visit all 100 of the city’s libraries. Dubbing the quest #JacksLibraryTour on Twitter, the idea first sprung up through a book they owned that included illustrations of Toronto’s libraries by Daniel Rotsztain.”
  • USA – All Librarianship is Political: Educate Accordingly – Political Librarian. “libraries as institutions and many of the actions of library professionals are inherently political, yet LIS education has not traditionally prepared students for them. Confronting this aspect of LIS education and the profession in general and creating curriculum that emphasizes the politics of librarianship will better prepare students to serve their patrons, their communities, and their institutions. Such an educational approach would emphasize preparing future library professionals in areas such as leadership, education, activism and advocacy, community service and engagement, policy and law, rights and justice, and marketing and evaluation, resulting in the politically-savvy librarians ready to be activists for their institutions and communities.”
  • USA – Are Small Public Libraries the Way of the Future? – Public Libraries Online. “My staff knows most of our regular patrons by name, and many out-of-town visitors tell us they like our library because of its cozy environment. ” … “Barker notes that few patrons are willing to drive upwards of twenty miles to visit their library. He then argues that local governments should focus on developing/maintaining more numerous, smaller libraries; these libraries and their staff can, in turn, better target their collections and offerings to their specific constituents. Additionally, he suggests incorporating small libraries into larger community centers to strive for a one-stop experience for residents. This type of merger can also save a governing body some of the costs associated with maintaining multiple municipal buildings”
  • USA – From both sides now: mentoring the next generation of librarians – American Libraries. “There is a golden period when someone new to the library can see everything that might be strange, confusing, or problematic. In time, we all become accustomed to our surroundings, and those problems become the barely visible flotsam and jetsam of our everyday work. We should make the most of that magical newcomer vision. I always make a point of asking new colleagues to keep track of problems they see because those fresh insights can push us out of our comfort zones and create positive change for our patrons. We want to encourage these audacious ideas, even if they’re not all feasible.”
  • USA – Judge denies injunction for woman who openly carried gun into library – Review Journal. “attorney Dennis Kennedy, counsel for the district, argued that Flores was banned from libraries within the district not for carrying her pistol but for disruptive conduct. As Flores was leaving the library with her three children, Kennedy said, she was told by the security guard that she was not able to bring her firearm into the library upon return visits. “She then wanted to debate with the security officer the validity of the policy,” Kennedy said. “The plaintiff and her three children sit down in the doorway at this point, for reasons that are unknown.”
  • USA – Knight News Challenge Winners 2016: Libraries – Knight Foundation. See also Knight News Challenge awards $1.6 million for ideas that help libraries serve 21st century information needs – Knight Foundation.
  • USA – Video calls in Brooklyn libraries will put inmates in touch with their families – Verge. “The Brooklyn Public Library has been awarded a grant for nearly $400,000 to place inmate video calling services in a dozen libraries, giving inmates’ friends and family members a new way to stay in contact.” … “The program has a focus on children, and the planned rooms will be decorated with them in mind. “Children ages 0 to 10 can participate in family ‘video visits’ in one of several library rooms that staff fill with stuffed animals, books, crayons and paper to create warm and welcoming spaces—€”in sharp contrast to those used at Rikers Island,” “

Local news by authority

  • Birmingham – Children’s libraries get a £250,000 makeover – Birmingham News Room / Council. “The funding boost – which enabled libraries in Balsall Heath, Druids Heath, Kings Norton, Kingstanding and Small Heath to make improvements and finance educational projects – was awarded by the Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in a wide range of fields, including education and the arts. These libraries are now equipped with the latest technology including plasma screens, digital cameras and the new Raspberry Pi system for ‘code clubs’, plus iPads enabling them to link up with community libraries across Birmingham.” see also Funding boost for Kings Norton Community Library – B31 Voices.
  • Cornwall – Launceston Town Council agree on proposal to take on library service – Cornish Guardian. “The town council recently commissioned Perfect Moment to find out if the library could be an asset or a liability. The company found taking on the library could cost up to £80,000 which would include a backlog of repairs. The document sent to Cornwall Council said: “The town council has approached this issue with an open mind, but our expression of interest has always been dependent on Cornwall Council giving substantial financial and in-kind support.” … “
  • The town council said it would want £52,000 to be transferred to them to deal with essential repairs and maintenance of the library building in the event of a deal.”
  • Hull – Soul of the City: a vision for the future of public libraries in Hull – Libraries Task Force. “Public libraries in Hull must be unique in having the support of a major philanthropic trust that allows it to continue to invest in new services, to experiment and to innovate.  The James Reckitt Library Trust manages an endowment established in 1892 by Sir James Reckitt, the pioneer industrialist and Quaker philanthropist, one of Hull’s greatest citizens.” … “In recent months, the Trust has begun work to develop a highly progressive, future-looking vision of the future of public libraries, both in Hull and nationally. As well as having an impact locally, we want to position Hull as a leading progressive voice in the national debate about the future of this country’s public library system.” … “We now want to move from vision to blueprint. We want to engage with as many people and organisations as possible – locally, nationally and internationally. We very much welcome the work of the Libraries Taskforce in trying to develop a positive agenda for public libraries, and we recognise that solutions to the crisis facing public libraries cannot be solved purely at a local level.”
  • Lambeth – Carnegie Library campaigners host community pop-up library in response to Lambeth’s book-ish gyms exhibition – in photos – Brixton Buzz.  “While Lambeth and their business partners Greenwich Leisure Ltd hosted what was billed as a ‘Public Exhibition On The Future Of Carnegie,’ campaigners put on a ‘Pop Up Library’ event directly opposite the venue in Ruskin Park.” … “The council ‘exhibition’ turned out to be little more than a collection of leaflets blown up to poster size, with a gathering of officials wandering about.” … “We asked questions asked what kind of market research had been undertaken to establish the actual need for a gym, and if it could be posted online (“You’ll have to ask Lambeth”) and why GLL were directly handed the contract without any community consultation  (“You’ll have to ask Lambeth”) etc “
  • Lancashire – Anger at ‘snub’ over libraries – Blackpool Gazette. “The leader of a group campaigning to keep open a Fylde library has expressed her anger at being unable to arrange a meeting over the issue with the County Council’s cabinet member for culture. Louise McLaren, chairman of the Friends of Ansdell Library, requested a meeting with County Coun Marcus Johnstone to discuss ideas for the future of Fylde’s libraries, of which four of the current five could be axed in their present form under proposals to close more than half of the libraries across the county”
  • Lancashire – Councillor aims to save Earby Library – Craven Herald. “West Craven county councillor David Whipp has stepped up his campaign to save local libraries. And now he is asking Lancashire County Council (LCC) to consider alternative ways of providing facilities across the county. Cllr Whipp led a debate on the library service at LCC’s annual meeting. “I plead with the county council’s administration to be more open to alternative models of service delivery,” said Cllr Whipp”
  • Leicestershire – New chapter as Burbage Library is handed to volunteers – Hinckley Times. “Having gained CIO – charity incorporated organisation – status in February the group is nine-strong with a team of enthusiastic helpers determined to keep the centre open for the benefit of the village. Ray Watkins, chairman of the volunteers, said: “Some helpers just want to do decorating or maintenance work while others are keen to work in the library itself. A number of people have gone through training with the county council because we wanted ‘super-users’ – people who could do everything – and we were lucky enough to find six. These six will cascade the training down to others.””
  • North Somerset – North Somerset Council reveals plan for libraries and children’s centres – North Somerset Times. “North Somerset Council could close libraries as soon as next year in a bid to save about £500,000 per year, a new report has revealed” … “Congresbury Library could close under the raft of proposals agreed by the council’s executive, however it is not the authority’s preference. Worle’s library is similarly threatened” … “Cllr Felicity Baker, executive member for libraries, said: “The council is committed to delivering community-based library and children’s centre services. The excellent new libraries in Weston and Portishead are proof of that. “However, as a mindful authority faced with continuing financial pressures and changing customer needs and demographics, we should be undertaking regular service reviews to ensure value for money.” … “Since 2004-5, visitor numbers at Portishead Library have dropped 17 per cent and 14 per cent since the new venue opened in Harbour Road five years ago. Similarly Congresbury’s library has seen attendances drop by almost a third, Pill’s by more than half, Nailsea’s by 44 per cent and Clevedon’s by 41 per cent – with the council now contemplating moving the latter to Castlewood.”
  • Northern Ireland – Protest to save Derry’s central library this Saturday – Derry Journal. “A protest against plans to cut the hours at Derry’s Central Library will take place on Friday at 2 p.m. Derry Central Library is one of 14 libraries across Northern Ireland threatened with a reduction in opening hours of five hours per week. A spokesperson for the group leading the protest said: “Our libraries are being subjected to death by a thousand cuts.” … “On Saturday at 2pm activists, trade unionists and local campaigners will be gathering outside the Derry Central Library to protest against these cuts and demand that Libraries NI, Minister Paul Givan and the Assembly Executive make the necessary funds available to maintain our library services.”

“The True North Brew Company, which runs several pubs in Sheffield, is to take over Walkley library, the city’s only Carnegie library, converting most of the space for drinking and dining.  The plan has been given the go-ahead after two years of the library being run by volunteers.  They had tried to save it from closure but lack the funds to repair and renovate the listed building.  The pub company has agreed to lease a library area within the building back to Sheffield council, but floorplans show most of the space will be taken over by a bar, dining room and function room. Putting a brave face on the move, the library volunteer charity claims that sharing space with the bar will make the library more “vibrant” — vibrancy not always being ideal for those seeking somewhere to study quietly.

Meanwhile Sheffield’s volunteer-run libraries have suffered a “dramatic dip” in book lending since the handover in 2014, according to figures released earlier this year.  On average loans fell by 34 percent, with one library seeing a 63 percent fall in borrowing.  Library chiefs blamed a national decline in library usage (though this is far from universal, with various towns and countries bucking the trend and declaring increased borrowing in the past year).  Campaigners say it is evidence that the loss of a professionally-run service in 15 out of the city’s 28 libraries has done serious damage.

P.S: Good news from Skidrow-on-Sea, however, where plans to close Hove library due to wildly over-estimated renovation costs (Eye 1416) were scuppered by an alliance of opposition Greens and Conservatives, who passed a motion to reallocate under-spent funds from elsewhere in Brighton’s budget to keep it going without affecting other branch libraries.” Sheffield – Library News – Private Eye No. 1421 (not available online).

  • Shropshire – Warning for Whitchurch: No going back if libraries close – Shropshire Star. “Discussions are currently taking place about the possibility of Whitchurch Town Council taking over the management of services, including play areas and youth activities. Councillor Gerald Dakin, Shropshire member for Whitchurch, said: “If we lose these important services I cannot see them coming back again, so it is very important we all get together and start talking.”
  • Wiltshire – Warminster library hosts Roald Dahl-themed creative dance session – Blackmore Vale. “To celebrate the launch of this year’s Roald Dahl themed Summer Reading Challenge Warminster Library will be holding a creative dance session for children aged four – 11 on Saturday 9th July 2pm-3pm. Led by Caroline Newman (The Dance Lady), children will get the opportunity to explore Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine through expressive dance and movement. Book your free ticket by visiting Warminster Library or phone 01985 216022. Don’t forget to dress up as your favourite Roald Dahl character. All children must be accompanied by a parent/carer.”
  • Worcestershire – Group supporting Syrian refugees told to take down library exhibition – Malvern Gazette. ” Malvern group which has campaigned to bring Syrian refugees to the town was forced to take down an exhibition in the town’s library promoting its work because of the EU referendum. Malvern Welcomes Syrian Refugees had created the display in the library off Graham Road to coincide with Refugee Week. It went on show on Monday, and was expected top remain there until Saturday. But on Tuesday, the group was told by Worcestershire County Council‘s libraries department that it would have to come down until voting on the EU referendum had finished, due to so-called ‘purdah’ rules which come into effect in the run-up to a vote.”. Group says “”Had we known this would be the approach of the library, we would have arranged for the display to happen elsewhere. By forcing us to take down the display, the council has in effect made a political decision that the refugee crisis is related to the EU referendum – which is a very controversial and partial position.””
  • Worcestershire – Local libraries offer great reading opportunities this summer – Droitwich Advertiser. “people in Worcestershire are being invited to volunteer their time and help encourage school children to enjoy reading during their summer holidays”