I’m doing a survey on what public libraries charge for things like craft sessions and for drinks for events. It’s to get some idea of what’s happening nationally as well as seeing if these are extra bits of income that can be made without affecting usage (or not).  The survey is tiny (only four questions) and will take you less than a minute if you don’t put any comments in.  So, do me (and possibly yourself as I will be publicising the results) a favour by completing the survey here. The survey is entirely anonymous.  Thank you.


  • Library Extension – Free way to have your library book availability show on Amazon, GoodReads, Overdrive.
  • Smart scales – BMI/Weight scales available in libraries.

National news

  • Coding Clubs in Libraries on the Rise: 330% Increase from March 2016 – Society of Chief Librarians. “Library staff representing 50 public library authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will gather today in Manchester Central Library for SCL’s 2nd digital making symposium, Cracking the Code. The interactive event is in response to the increase in demand for libraries to offer coding clubs and digital making activities, and follows the oversubscribed Clapham Cracking the Code (March 2016). Library staff will get hands-on with the latest trends in digital making, coding, virtual and augmented reality, digital music making and more, facilitated by more than 20 leading digital experts. They will be using the skills and knowledge they gain to develop digital making services for customers in libraries across the country as part of SCL’s Universal Learning Offer.”
  • Dudley Libraries’ Digital Festival – Libraries Taskforce / Emily Clark. “On 8th October 2016, Dudley Libraries held a digital-themed day aimed at families and branded as a ‘digital festival’. Their intention was to raise the profile of libraries as a place to learn digital skills.” … “200 bookings were taken via the Eventbrite page, with 600 people visiting the library on the day.” … “Many people who came asked for more of the same, and there are plans for another Code Club and some spin off ‘mini maker’ activities for the school holidays. A big event like this is great for grabbing attention and testing the waters for the community appetite for more of this type of activity. There is so much more mileage in many of the partnerships that have been made through planning the Digital Festival, so we are hoping that this is just the beginning.”

“I thought you might like to hear about a Chrome extension that Rutland have signed up to. We are the first in the UK to do so, but lots of libraries over here could make real use of it. It is called LibraryExtension and is available at www.libraryextension.com to download for free from the Chrome Web Store. Popular in the US but amazingly unheard of over here, we have had it for about a month now for staff to test out and are starting to really promote it to the public. It is installed on all of our public network PCs at Oakham.

Once installed and the local library service selected, the customer can do an amazon.co.uk search for a book (not DVDs or CDs unfortunately) and see immediately if it is in stock at our library. A link will take them through to the item on our catalogue to place a hold. Libraries with Overdrive can have it search their ebooks too. An added bonus is that it does the same on GoodReads. The only downside we can see is that tablets and phones don’t support Chrome extensions so it only works on desktops”  Emily Barwell, Library and Service Manager, Rutland via email. See the Rutland webpage here. “

International news

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Local news by authority

  • Barnet – Save Barnet libraries campaigners join march in central London – Barnet Today. “The Barnet Unison members joined thousands of campaigners, including members of other unions, activists and even children’s authors, at the National Libraries, Museums, Galleries demonstration. Meanwhile, back in Barnet, libraries remained closed at Burnt Oak, Chipping Barnet, Church End, Edgware, Mill Hill, North Finchley, Osidge and South Friern. And more industrial action is set to take place this Saturday (November 12) as well as during the week of Monday November 28 to Friday November 3.”
  • Bolton – Return of Astley Bridge library ‘not viable’ says council – Bolton News. “Liberal Democrat campaigner Warren Fox has been leading a campaign over the last 18 months to bring back a library to residents in the town. A petition was signed by almost 1,300 residents and presented to the Mayor of Bolton in May, calling for the Grade II listed chapel at Astley Bridge Cemetery to be converted into a library, local education centre and community cafe. On October 18, Labour Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Nick Peel approved a response which stated “having previously conducted a review of library provision across the borough the council considers there is adequate library provision for the area and no need for investment to provide for additional provision.”
  • Bradford – Renewed campaign for townspeople to take over Silsden library – Keighley News. “Local councillor Adrian Naylor has revived his recruitment campaign for a team of volunteers to run the library in the town hall. Bradford Council has pledged to pay the majority of the running costs even after handing control of the service to townspeople. It plans to run training courses from February for volunteers willing to take over administration and staffing of the service from next April.”
  • Cheshire West and Chester – New routes for Cheshire West Mobile Library Service So Cheshire.
  • Dudley – Networking morning for aspiring writers – Dudley News. “The library will be hosting an interactive Q&A session with a panel of published authors and poets on Saturday, November 26. They will be talking about the writing process and answering questions on working with publishers and agents during the session which runs from 10.30am to 1pm.”
  • East Sussex – Uckfield Library hours are changing – Uckfield FM. Lists new hours.
  • Sandwell – Weigh in on smart scales at libraries – Sandwell Council. “People keen to lose weight are getting help with unique smart scales – located at Sandwell libraries as part of a ground breaking health scheme. Sandwell is the first council in the country to introduce Smart scales as part of its Weigh2Go weight loss scheme. The scales are free to use and measure people’s weight, bmi and body fat and send the data straight to the user’s phone or email so people can track their weight. People need to sign up with Healthy Sandwell, part of Sandwell Public Health, to register to use the scales, which are currently located at six borough libraries.”
  • Staffordshire – Baswich Community Library offers community-run service – Staffordshire Newsletter. “BASWICH Community Library has celebrated its new status as a community-run service. Representatives from South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) and Staffordshire County Council (SCC) were joined by guests to cut the ribbon and celebrate the new service on Wednesday. Library services at the building are now provided by a team of volunteers under the management of SSSFT and supported by SCC’s library service. Book lovers met library volunteers and viewed displays promoting the range of community groups who use the library at the ceremony. Library services such as book loans and information provision are still a core part of what’s on offer, but the intention is to work with the community to develop other functions based on what local people want and need.”
  • Swindon – Give us our say, say library campaigners – Swindon Advertiser. “Current proposals would see the Cavendish Square facility closed by the middle of next year unless the community can come up with a way of securing the funds to run, stock and staff it. A petition, launched by the Parks and East Walcot Community Forum, is calling on the council to amend their decision and has topped 1,000 signatures.”
  • Swindon – Swindon campaigners join thousands to save town’s libraries – Swindon Advertiser. “The group, set up earlier this year, saw around 20 members make their way to the capital for the rally which they hope will make more people aware that one of the town’s most valued services could be cut. Sarah Church, chairman of Save Swindon’s Libraries campaign said: “We want to make a point nationally about a local problem.”

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