National news

  • Birthday Honours – Honours for Irene Margaret Cox “Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Library Authority. For services to Public Libraries and the community in Northern Ireland, Mrs Moira Mitchell Methven “For services to Libraries in Dundee.”  Mrs Ann Rennie “Library Services Manager, Havering and Founder, London Libraries Consortium.”
  • Every Scottish library closure since 2010 in 3 charts – Ferret Droppings. “Although library cuts in have generated local Scottish press coverage before, nobody, not even BBC Scotland, seems to have pulled the BBC datalab figures covering Scottish councils to give an overview of what’s happening across the country.” … “Overall in Scotland, there are now nearly 100 fewer professional librarians, whilst there are hundreds more volunteers working in libraries”
  • The internet and coffee shops are no replacement for libraries – Guardian. “What I really wanted was something to do with this outrage but I also wanted to understand how a person really felt this. How did someone really believe that the internet and coffee shops were a replacement for libraries? Could they really believe that affording to buy books online was a good substitute? Or were they just giving an opposite view, putting on a show, a black to a white, to make an annoying bit of telly? It made me wonder if this person had ever been into a public library or had ever needed one. It seemed that they did not. But could they not imagine someone who did? Could they not imagine someone who had not lived their life?”
  • Labouring the point – Leon’s Library Blog. Shadow Culture Minister replies on libraries. “I won’t say that the letter was disappointing because my expectations of Labour are pretty low nowadays. The letter is full of the well worn platitudes and unimaginative thinking that has characterised Labour’s stance on libraries for a number of years (see my previous post) and hardly differs from the current administration’s view.” … “So, to labour the point, there really does appear to be no difference between the two main parties regarding libraries. Any campaigner who thinks that Labour will ride to the rescue of libraries is likely to be disappointed, as it is patently clear they are bereft of both ideas and inclination.”
  • No silence please – campaigners launch network of autism-friendly libraries – Guardian. “Restricting speech can distress those with autism as much as excessive noise. A new initiative aims to make England’s public libraries more welcoming …”
  • Top 10 secret libraries of all time – Guardian. “What could be more exciting than magical books hidden in a secret library? (All the more so with hundreds of public libraries under threat – see the My Library By Right Campaign.) Imagine, then, how intrigued I was at the prospect of a private viewing of Scholar, Courtier, Magician: The Lost Library of John Dee, a new exhibition at the Royal College of Physicians in London. …”

International news

  • European Union – How public libraries promote digital inclusion – Digital Post. “In its “Digital Skills for Europe” initiative, the European Commission acknowledges the important work being done by public libraries to spread digital skills and fight digital exclusion. In one year, 4.6 million Europeans accessed the internet for the first time at their public library and 2.3 million people attended digital literacy courses in libraries.” … “It is great to see the European Commission recognising the fantastic work being done to improve skills at public libraries across Europe. If you are interested in learning more about the role of libraries in digital skills development, visit us during the next EU Code Week (18-20 October) at the European Parliament, where Public Libraries 2020 will host an interactive exhibition on how Europe’s public libraries are meeting the digital age.”
  • Netherlands – Libraries: a development matter – Warekennis / Frank Huysmans. ” seems to me that since the turn of the century European public libraries have shifted away from special programs geared at lifelong learners. True, in many communities across Europe adults can follow courses in their libraries, with a focus on computer, Internet and social media skills. Also, second language learners are welcomed and introduced to collections of easy reading materials. But amidst doubts about their continued relevance in the digital era, many libraries have had to bow their heads for pressure from local authorities to focus on what most policy makers now see as the library’s core business: lending out as many books as possible, and supporting primary and (to a lesser extent) secondary schools in language and reading development”

Local news by authority

  • Central Bedfordshire – Have your say on library changes – Biggleswade Today. “Its Library Servicehas set out plans for a total reduction of 30 hours split across its 12 libraries, which will help make £85,000 in savings while maintaining a professionally run service” Consultation. “Under these proposals, all libraries will be placed into three categories – Community Libraries, Area Libraries and Main Libraries – each with uniform opening hours, which will include being closed on one day during the week”
  • Dorset – Future of Dorset’s mobile libraries to be decided next week – Daily Echo. “Following a public consultation Dorset County Council’s People and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider the withdrawal of three mobile library vans at a meeting on Thursday, June 16. A decline in the number of users and “unprecedented” budget pressures have been cited by Dorset County Council to justify the plan. The council has also said axing the mobile library service is part of its plan to save £1million over the next three years.”
  • Haringey – Muswell Hill Library Public Engagement – Haringey Council. “We are consulting on proposals to relocate Muswell Hill Library to an alternative site at 54/56 Muswell Hill (the site of the old Green Man pub). We have committed to maintaining and investing in our library service and we know they are a valuable resource in our communities. To provide a modern and accessible service, Muswell Hill Library needs adaptations and repairs to the building. There is currently no lift in the building to access the children’s library on the first floor, and no accessible toilets for library users or staff. Level access to the ground floor entrance is provided by a limited elevated platform lift at the side of the building.”
  • Herefordshire – Words Fail Me: Public Libraries 1964-201? – YouTube / Trish Marsh. “am both saddened and infuriated by a decade of cuts (actual and planned) to council budgets and the lack of public awareness of their impact on the quality of our shared life together. Cuts to cultural spend (as well as many other areas) have been deep and are continuing. Surprised to find very few artist responses, I wanted to find a visual way to communicate and turned to the medium of satire and film, a new discipline for me. My thanks to the many students and others at Hereford College of Arts and beyond who have been essential elements in translating my initial concept into film.”
  • Shetland – Richard Coles fans the flames of library Twitter war – Shetland Times. “Desperate to compete with Orkney the Shetland Library tried in vain to entice Take That star Gary Barlow to pay a visit. Now the Twitter war seems likely to rage given that the journalist, Reverend and former Communards star Richard Coles has popped in for tea, lemon cake and an impromptu recording session. Mr Coles explained that the visit came about “through the magic of Twitter.” After seeing the “very strong and funny presence” that the Shetland Library has on Twitter Mr Coles became involved in the tweet war between the two libraries and JK Rowling. When Shetland Library later realised that Richard would be paying a visit to the isles they were quick to entice him with lemon cake. The cake was baked by librarian Nicola Sinclair, not at all like the ready made supermarket cake which Orkney Library purchased for JK Rowling’s visit.” JK Rowling then compares the feud to the Montagues and Capulets.
  • Surrey – Boom in children’s library book borrowing in Surrey – Surrey News. “Children borrowed more than two million fiction books from Surrey libraries in the last year – the highest figure for more than a decade. It means fiction borrowing by under-13s has risen nearly a third since 2002 – and five per cent in the last year alone.” Many events listed. “The new figures emerged as Surrey County Council’s Cabinet approved plans to relocate Horley Library to a more accessible location and create a service which will better meet the needs of 21st century readers, with a business wi-fi area and leisure study area as well as the usual range of books and other services.”