More details on the BBC “Love To Read” promotion ae emerging.  The BBC tend not to do anything by halves, as I discovered when I was lucky enough to experience a children’s book promotion at the Library of Birmingham a couple of weeks ago, which featured hordes of people, Blue Peter and top league authors. So this is going to be a good thing for reading and, by extension, libraries. Take full advantage.  Other than that, it’s fairly quiet today in the UK, with a reduction in hours in Shropshire and a move of library in Staffordshire. Abroad, the article on a “secret” Syraina library is the stand out, showing how – when it comes down to it – libraries are actually pretty essential to people’s lives, especially when they have so little else.


National news

  • Carnegie Library Lab: Final Project Snapshot from Cohort 1 – Carnegie UK Trust. “This snapshot provides a final summary of how our first cohort of Carnegie Library Lab Partners got on with their innovative projects. The Partners participated in Carnegie Library Lab from November 2014 to April 2016. The programme is aimed at enhancing innovation and leadership in the public library sector.”
  • Last of the Rare Book Cataloguers – Huffington Post. James Christie attacks the library profession. “Now it’s 2016 and British libraries are f****d.”
  • #LovetoRead – Libraries Taskforce. “the idea behind #LovetoRead, the BBC’s 2016 campaign to celebrate the pleasure of reading – or as I’m calling it, the joy of text! Authors and books, and indeed good stories, have always been at the heart of what the BBC does but by partnering and working with the UK’s leading literacy and literary organisations and publishers – including amongst others the Society of Chief Librarians and the Scottish Library and Information Council – it’s hoped that #LovetoRead will start a national conversation about books like never before.” … “#LovetoRead is split into two distinct parts: this summer we’ll concentrate on Awesome Authors with the aim to get children excited about reading, creative writing and storytelling.” … “In the autumn, the focus switches to the Books that Made Britain, including a search for the nation’s best-loved books.” … “. The season will culminate with the #LovetoRead weekend on 5 and 6 November when the BBC and partners will invite everyone, everywhere to read something new. BBC presenters from across all local, regional and network stations and channels will be an excellent source of inspiration”
  • New libraries minister stresses community action – BookSeller. “In a letter to “colleagues” in the public library service, Wilson argued the “exciting new opportunity” of the library brief fitted well with his existing role. He said a “number of overlaps” between his civil society work and “what you are trying to achieve in public libraries” included volunteering, particularly by younger people; exploitation of new governance models (like mutual, trusts and co-operatives); and new funding opportunities (such as social investment bonds and crowd-funding) and the importance of co-creation of services.” includes comments from the Library Campaign, myself, CILIP and Desmond Clarke.
  • Overcoming Information Poverty, 1st Edition: Investigating the Role of Public Libraries in The Twenty-First Century – Anthony McKeown. “This engaging book proposes a model for understanding the concept of information poverty, develops indicators for its measurement, and provides recommendations for service improvement based on analysis of public library services at macro (strategic), meso (community) and micro (individual) levels”
  • PPRG annual conference – Library marketing and PR: critical to success  – CILIP. 18th November. “Come to CILIP’s Publicity and PR Group (PPRG) annual conference and hear from 9 fantastic speakers including 5 Marketing Excellence Award winners, who will showcase their successful campaigns. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear about the best practice strategies and techniques which have worked so effectively in other library services, providing you with inspiring ideas to take back to your service.”

International news

  • Global – Best cities in the world for book lovers – Quartz. “Every year the World Cities Culture Forum collects information on how people consume culture around the world. The organization looks at factors like how many video game arcades a city has, or how much a city forks over for movie tickets each year. Led by the London mayor’s office and organized by UK consulting company Bop, the forum asks its partner cities to self-report on cultural institutions and consumption, including where people can get books.” … “When it comes to libraries per capita, Edinburgh leads by quite a bit: The city reported 60 libraries for every 100,000 people. Even going back more than two years, to include cities with older data, Edinburg blew everywhere else out of the water. It has around 300 libraries total, in a city of half a million. By comparison, Hong Kong has around 300 libraries for 7 million people.”
  • Syria – Syria’s secret library – BBC. “When a place has been besieged for years and hunger stalks the streets, you might have thought people would have little interest in books. But enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings – and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it.”
  • USA – Renaissance for Public Libraries – Next Avenue. “In New York City, there is somebody using library materials every second, every day of the year,” said Christian Zabriskie, executive director of Urban Librarians Unite, in a recent New York Times article. “It’s showing that libraries are the fabric of society.””

USA – Arverne LibraryVimeo

Local news by authority


“According to my analysis of the CIPFA 2015 Library Service, this decision now means Darlington has the smallest number of libraries per 100,000 population in England.  Just pipping Brent, Hammersmith/Fulham, Sefton for the dubious honour, unless they have closed even more since the 2015 Stats. Population is 106,000.  We have 2 libraries.  If Cockerton closes, then we will have one reduced service” Darlington – Email from Yvonne Richardson.

  • Derby – Anger as Derby plans to hand over most of city’s libraries to volunteers – Guardian. “The council, which will open a consultation on the proposals in the autumn, has admitted that there would be “a significant reduction in the number of paid jobs” in the city’s libraries as a result of the cost-cutting, and that “if enough volunteers don’t come forward to run a particular library, that library would close”. The grants, meanwhile, would not be sufficient to cover running costs, and “management groups would need to supplement their council grant by fundraising activities or generating some income from other sources”.”.  Quotes myself and Laura Swaffield of the Library Campaign.
  • Derby – Derby library plans met with concern and anger – Derby Telegraph. Deep cuts to libraries met with disapproval by opposition councillors see also Derby plans to hand 11 libraries over to volunteers – BookSeller.
  • Fife – Plans submitted to halt Glenwood Library closure – Fife Today. “Two of the town’s leading community groups, Glenrothes Area Resident’s Federation and West Glenrothes Tenant’s Association, have finalised their long-term plans which would not only keep the library open, but also bring the two organisations under one roof and maximise the use of the building by turning it into a ‘hub’ facility” … “The trust, which was ordered by Fife Council to find £800,000 of budget savings, lodged a proposal to close 16 libraries in a bid to achieve the necessary cuts.” … “if successful, the group says it will continue to employ a qualified librarian as part of its plans. “
  • Haringey – Muswell Hill Library Public Engagement – Haringey. “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. We are facing severe government funding cuts and difficult financial decisions about how and where to spend limited funding. Options for adapting the existing library building were explored, but the estimations of costs ranged from £680,000 to £1,650,000.”
  • Lancashire – MP enlisted David Cameron in talks to save our libraries – Accrington Observer. “Graham Jones made a personal appeal to the outgoing PM to find a way to secure the future of libraries earmarked for closure should county hall bosses pull their funding. …  Jones, who last week presented a petition opposing the closures to the House of Commons, told the Observer: “I have spoken to the outgoing prime minister before he resigned on this matter and he assured me that his government will do what they can in terms of helping community groups if they wish to take over the running of the libraries. “I explained to him that it was his government’s cuts that created this problem and I will oppose these cuts, but I am also keen to see that libraries will not close.”
  • Manchester – Talking Digital with Matthew Kendall, founder of airTeem – Manchester Council. “For many small businesses, the costs associated with being able to access some of the industry’s most useful tools can be high – and this can prevent companies from reaching their full potential. However, at airTeem®, we overcame this barrier by spending time in our local library.” … ” 2014, I attended Central Library’s monthly Inventors Group, in the hope of networking and finding out more about how to protect our Intellectual Property (IP). That was when I discovered the extensive amount of support which is available for SMEs at the library’s Business & IP Centre.”
  • Shropshire – Shropshire councillors agree to cut hours at 11 libraries across county – Shropshire Star. “Shropshire Council’s cabinet has approved a proposal to close Shawbury’s library and to replace it with a mobile service once a week, and also confirmed plans to cut a total of 57 opening hours across 11 of the county’s libraries. Councillor Stuart West, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries said that the move would ensure that libraries could remain open.” … “Under the plans Bridgnorth Library will see a reduction of 11 and a half hours, Ludlow – six hours, Market Drayton – five and a half hours, Oswestry – eight hours, Shrewsbury – eight and a half hours, Whitchurch – three hours, Bayston Hill – two and a half hours, Gobowen – two hours, Much Wenlock – two hours, Shrewsbury, The Lantern – three hours, Wem – five hours. A summary states that in general the revised hours will mean a lunchtime closure where feedback justifies it, and that libraries will open from 9.30am.”
  • Staffordshire – Controversial plan to move Lichfield Library to St Mary’s in the Market Square is approved – Lichfield Live. “Councillors have backed plans to move Lichfield Library to a new home at St Mary’s in the Market Square. The move would see the current site at The Friary redeveloped for residential accommodation” … “Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, said the move would secure both sites: “The £1 million investment will ensure a first class library in the heart of Lichfield, safeguard the future of two landmark buildings and support shops and businesses around St Mary’s. “The library at St Mary’s will have significant amount of money invested in it.” … “Work will begin at St Mary’s this summer to enable the library to occupy the ground floor on a 30 year lease”
  • Staffordshire – Lichfield Library – Staffordshire County Council. “As well as books, the new library is expected to be similiar to the relocated Stafford Library which has seen a 60% increase in membership in just six months. Stafford Library offers new technologies and new ways to engage with literature, history and culture and boasts wifi, touchscreen tables, large computer tablets and two state-of-the-art 3D printers. ”
  • Suffolk – Reading Well Shelf Help for Young people – Suffolk Libraries. Stop-motion video using lego. “Suffolk Libraries Lego creation for the Books on Prescription Shelf help scheme for young people. Shelf Help books are available in all of our libraries in Suffolk, UK.”
  • Westminster – Labour calls on Westminster Council to “come clean” over Marylebone Library delay – KCW Today. “The Marylebone Library on Luxborough Street, which has yet to start, was meant to have opened this summer, yet building work has still not started. Labour Councillors claim that the Westminster Council has “let down Marylebone residents as rumours abound that the current temporary library has been told to leave its Howard de Walden estate-owned premises in Beaumont Street and will be down-sized to a couple of shop units in New Cavendish Street until a permanent location can be found.” Citing council documents, Labour insists that the new Marylebone library should have been built and opened by Spring 2015, a date which was later revised to Summer 2015, then Late 2015.”