Apologies for two posts in one day but I though the interview with Helen Milner deserved a special one on its own.  Here’s the news for the last couple of days.


Blast from the Past: National Libraries Week twenty years ago

My thanks to the subscriber who reminded me that National Libraries Week is nothing new. Here’s the plan for the 1997 NLW organised by the Library Association. He says “I remember organising loads of events and getting other local libraries involved. We even persuaded local restaurants to have literary themed meals”

Major plans for National Libraries Week announced (3-9 November 1997) – PR Newswire. “A series of major initiatives and events for this autumn’s National Libraries Week has been announced by The Library Association. The Week runs from 3-9 November, starting with a House of Commons launch at which Melvyn Bragg, Patron of the Week, and Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will speak. A mix of the serious and light-hearted, the Week features everything from the publication of new research on libraries’ social and economic impact to a campaign raising the status of readers; from Saturday Night at the Library (all night opening) to an advertising campaign for libraries devised by children.”

National news

  • Celebrating libraries, archives and museums in Wales – Alyson’s Welsh Libraries Blog. “#LoveLibraries (and #CaruLlyfrgelloedd in Welsh) is a five-week campaign showcasing many of the great things that libraries have to offer their communities, whether they are public, academic or health libraries.”
  • The future of libraries in a digital world – Varsity. “contemplates how projects of digitisation, and its relationship with physical spaces, might affect how we use libraries in the future”
  • Celebs reveal favourite books ft. Alesha Dixon, Conor Maynard and more! #LovetoRead – BBC. “A great writer once said, “You can get everything you need from a good book.” Ok, we lied – we said it. But still, it’s basically true. Don’t take our word for it though. The celebs in this video have run their A-list fingers along the spines in their bookshelves and picked out their absolute top reads for the BBC’s Love to Read campaign featuring Britains Got Talent’s Alesha Dixon, Former Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, Model Abbey Clancy, Singer-songwriter Conor Maynard and many more! Do you have a favourite book from your childhood or how about that book you recently finished? why not recommend it to your friends and share your own book selfie on Instagram find out more about the #LovetoRead campaign below:”
  • Get it Loud in Libraries – Libraries Taskforce / Stewart Parsons. “When introducing the Get It Loud In Libraries project, I often use the shorthand: “It’s a programme of high quality live music shows, in mostly smaller towns, showcasing the best new music, for new audiences, offering new creative opportunities for talented young people.” So the emphasis is firmly on the ‘new’ for those harbouring perceptions that libraries specialized in the ‘old’.”

“Number one – we love libraries. Number two – we love music. Number three – we believe in life chances for young people. Package that up and then deliver the ethos in areas of low arts activity and challenging economic circumstances and you have everything you need to know about Get It Loud In Libraries.”

  • Loop the Loop – Libraries Taskforce / Cornwall Libraries. “Cornwall’s Loop the Loop project has received funding from both Arts Council England (ACE) and Heritage Lottery Fund. Each phase of the project has introduced experimental art to new audiences and has embraced animation, manga drawing, jazz, pop up musical performances and film making.”
  • National Libraries, Museums and Galleries Demonstration – Unison. Double-sided flyer for the 5th November Demonstration.
  • Nick Poole on what can we learn from the past to inform the future of public libraries – Public Libraries News. “… it was into this nation, a nation of opportunity and prosperity and ambition that the idea of a national public library network was born. On the 6th February 1831, a lawyer called Charles Henry Bellenden Kerr wrote a letter to the then Lord Chancellor and great reformer Henry Lord Brougham which included a document titled, “Proposal for a bill to enable towns of a given population to raise funds for the establishment of public reading and public lending libraries”…”
  • Not all libraries should be protected from closure argues charity – LocalGov. “The Tinder Foundation said that protecting libraries from closure at all costs could actually be holding the sector back”
  • Some libraries deserve to close, says ‘digital inclusion’ charity – Guardian. “The Tinder Foundation argues that these amenities should not receive a ‘get out of austerity free’ card simply because they are libraries” … “A spokesperson for the foundation said the charity was “expecting” Milner’s comments to provoke a reaction. “We’re keen to broaden the discussion around the quality provided by libraries, so hopefully this will allow us to do this. There are lots of libraries doing fantastic things that we think should absolutely stay open, but we need to ensure that the libraries that do remain can attract new people, and are relevant to their communities,” she said.”

International news

  • Canada – Budget cuts at Toronto libraries ‘rip the heart out’: Keenan – Star. “Library board meeting looked at Mayor John Tory and city council’s direction that the library prepare a budget 2.6 per cent lower than the 2016 budget.” … “Still, the demand is a budget proposal to cut 2.6 per cent, so an additional $6.195 million in savings needed to be found. (By way of comparison, the total provincial funding for the Toronto library system is $5.5 million.) Since 98 per cent of the budget is made up of staffing, collections (that is, the books and materials the library has) and fixed facilities and IT costs, there are not a lot of “other expenditures” to cut, Bowles’ report said.”
  • Germany – “The idea of ‘books only’ has expired” – Buenos Aires Herald. Cologne library boss: “Libraries are now inspirational places where you learn things that maybe you were not looking for. Things that you just find there. Like when you just step in in our library in Cologne and you see a 3D printer printing objects. Then you learn how this works, and it brings a new idea of what a library is. ” … “Our motto is explore, create and share.” … “This week, for example, we were in the European Parliament with other libraries of Europe as it’s European Coding Week. In our library we teach coding because we assess it as an important knowledge nowadays. We try to provide this kind of knowledge as well as to encourage what we call “the maker kids”. For us the concept of “makers” is important.”
  • New Zealand – Libraries preparing for the future – Our Auckland. “We’ve seen shifts in demand for the types of services we provide and how we provide them – including new locations and in the digital space.” Ms Edmundson says this is a growing trend in libraries around the world, so Auckland Libraries’ programme focuses on being ready for change, not one step behind. “In order to continue to be a leader in this area, and deliver what Aucklanders expect from a world-class library, we need to change alongside our customers,” she says. “This means that some of our services and programmes need to be redesigned in response to shifting customer demand.” There are no plans to close any of Auckland’s 55 libraries.” Compare with this article.
  • USA – Do we need librarians now that we have the internet? – PBS News Hour. “Observe librarians, and you’ll learn quite a bit about 21st century physicians. Digital technologies are hurling both professions into disintermediated worlds where they are no longer sole providers of vital services. Both must change their skills year by year and prove their value day by day. Both must choose whether the change is liberating or suffocating.”
  • USA – The Public Librarians Who Serve as Human Google – CityLab. “. A new short film by Great Big Story highlights the New York Public Library’s pre-Google-Google service. It’s been in continuous operation since 1967 and still handles roughly 30,000 calls per year. ”People have been reaching out to librarians for as long as there have been libraries,” Rosa Caballero-Li, the manager of Ask-NYPL, says in the film. Even today, she explains, not everyone has access to an online search engine. Plus, “I honestly think some just want someone to talk to.””

Local news by authority

“It became clear during consultation and public meetings that users at some of our local libraries were concerned about the Library Plus model, so it is not being recommended for introduction at those libraries. Instead, it is recommended that it be introduced at our Central Library where there is the presence of security staff.”

  • Bradford – Pupils invited to various book sessions around district – Telegraph and Argus. Authors will talk to classes in various libraries.
  • Bury – ‘Great care’ needed on decision of future of libraries – Bury Times. “Bury Council is considering making major changes to the borough’s library services to save cash – and it could mean libraries closing and staff axed. More than 4,000 people took part in the first public consultation and, now, those managing the change have introduced a two-step process so a fair decision is made. Bury’s Cabinet has now decided to table proposals at a meeting in January, hold another public consultation, and then make a final decision at a meeting March.”
  • Camden – Fears for Camden’s local history archives if flats scheme at Holborn Library is expanded – Camden New Journal. “The Town Hall has been accused of putting profits before the history of the borough with plans to shrink the archive collection at Holborn Library to make way for more flats on the site. Developers working on a proposed overhaul of the site in Theobald’s Road say they will pay an extra £3.75million if some of the collections in the Local Studies and Archives are moved off-site.”
  • Darlington – Darlington libraries embrace bookish selfies – Northern Echo. “The #LovetoRead selfie sessions are part of the Society of Chief Librarians support for the BBC’s ongoing Get Reading campaign which aims to promote and encourage reading for pleasure.”
  • East Riding of Yorkshire – Cottingham library set to survive East Riding Council cuts – Hull Daily Mail. Village customer service centre to move into neighbouring library will make saving necessary to keep Cottinghm Library. see also Decisions To Be Made On Bridlington Libraries – Yorkshire Coast Radio.
  • Glasgow – Coding in Glasgow’s public libraries – Knowledge Exchange Blog. “Last week saw the annual CILIPS Autumn Gathering take place in Glasgow. CILIPS is the Scottish branch of the professional body for librarians and information professionals in the UK (CILIP). The Autumn Gathering provides professionals in Scotland with an opportunity to get together to discuss issues and trends within the sector and share best practice. The day saw a range of sessions alongside two keynote addresses from Marc Lambert, CEO of the Scottish Book Trust, and Diane Bruxvoort from the University of Aberdeen. One of the most interesting talks I attended was given by Martin Goodfellow, who is the Coder in Residence at Glasgow Life. Martin previously worked on the Future Makers project, providing 5-17 year olds in Glasgow with the opportunity to learn digital making skills. The project was made possible due to the city winning Innovate UK’s Future Cities Demonstrator competition, and £24m in funding to explore ways to improve the city and the quality of life for its residents through technology.”
  • Halton – Love to Read weekend in Halton – Cheshire Today. “All Halton Libraries staff are signed up as reading ambassadors, pledging their commitment to recommend books to library users. If you are having trouble choosing your next book to read, head down to your library for a tailored recommendation.”
  • Neath Port Talbot – Control of two Neath Port Talbot libraries could be transferred to the community – South Wales Evening Post. “Skewen and Baglan Libraries could be losing their funding from the local authority as it looks to save £11.2 million from the budget for the 2017/18 financial year.”
  • Poole – Thousands of children take part in Poole’s summer reading challenge – Daily Echo. 3,300 children took part.
  • Powys – Residents urged to have a say in future of Llanfyllin library – Advertizer. Councils have been given a deadline of November 1st to contribute 50% of library costs or see library closed. Llanyfillin parish council would need to raise £8,000.
  • Swindon – Libraries campaigners to take their fight to parliament – Swindon Advertiser. “The Save Swindon’s Libraries group will join others from across the UK as they come together in London in support of public libraries, museums and galleries. On November 5, the Swindon campaign will be taking a coach-load of supporters to take part in the demonstration which starts at the British Library, and will finish at the Houses of Parliament.”
  • Walsall – ‘There’s nowhere else for children’: Walsall locals react to library closure plans – Guardian. “The news of the potential mass closures came as a devastating blow to residents, who have come to rely on the library for more than borrowing books. Janet Hodson, 71, who sat with Chloe, six, Lilly, nine, and Kylie, 11, at her feet as she corrected some missed stitches in a yellow blanket they had been working on, described the proposal as diabolical.“It’s absolutely devastating,” she said. “For an area the size of Walsall to just have one library, which for older people like me is hard to get to, is abso lutely ludicrous.” … “figures show that the 16 libraries are not underused. Over the past two years, the libraries have had about 1 million visits, with approximately 775,000 books borrowed each year.” see also Council proposes closing nearly all of its libraries – LocalGov.
  • Westminster – Fears for library services following ‘swingeing cuts’ – Get West London. ““Massive cuts” are being planned to library services in Westminster, the opposition Labour group has said. The group is “deeply concerned and angered” by proposals put forward by the Conservative administration to cut £750,000 per year from the Westminster Libraries budget, saying it will result in the loss of 17.5 full time staff.”