I, like so many others, have been deeply affected by the sheer tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and the issues surrounding it. One media report from Channel 4 News videoed local people about how they felt about the situation. The very first person on the video pointed out that the local libraries have been sold off.  I was not expecting public libraries to be brought into this but it shows their importance – they’re part of the community and to lose one, especially in the wealthiest borough, is seen as a measure of how much the council cares, as it is  in so many other places.

I’ve included no less than four new “ideas” in this post, which is quite a lot. I was quite taken aback by the crowdfunding the building of a library one. There’s something about public librarians that they’re always soming up with new ideas and being happy to share them. The ideas and innovations page regularly gets the most view on PLN – if you hve come up with an idea and want it included, please email me.  



National news

  • Bookshops, libraries and schools ready Harry Potter 20th birthday celebrations – BookSeller. “Bookshops, libraries and schools are preparing to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with quizzes, events and an attempt to break a world record. Publisher Bloomsbury will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Harry Potter in Bolton. The Lancashire town’s School Library Services and several schools are aiming to gather over 600 students dressed as Harry Potter in one place. Meanwhile 20 bookshops across the UK will be holding Harry Potter book quizzes during the school summer holidays. Exclusive to those bookshops taking part, the winning teams from each quiz will be invited to London to take part in a second quiz.”
An attempt to sum up what public libraries do, but with some problems attached. For my presentation at CILIP Conference - http://cilipconference.org.uk/engaging-audiences/

An attempt to sum up what public libraries do in two letters, but with some problems attached. For my presentation at CILIP Conference – http://cilipconference.org.uk/engaging-audiences/

  • “We don’t want human beings to live in buildings like that.” – Channel Four. Jon Snow interviews locals at the Grenfell Tower site. First person interviewed complains about the selling off of libraries.
  • What is Library Carpentry? – Library Tea Party. ” toolkit providing core lessons to help build librarians’ knowledge, skills and confidence of data and software tools”. Library Carpentry was the winner of the 2016 British Library Labs Teaching and Learning Award. This provided funding, which Somerset Libraries Glass Box Project bid for to run a workshop for librarians across the South West (and further afield)….”
An online bookclub from Axiell


International news

Local news by authority

  • Bristol – Councillors were not consulted on latest library cut proposals, says scrutiny chair – Bristol Post.”Councillors were not consulted on the latest round of library cut proposals, claims the chair of a scrutiny group. Liberal Democrat councillor and Neighbourhood Scrutiny Commission chair Anthony Negus says Bristol councillors were not made aware of the solutions proposed to potential library cuts in their wards, and as such the changes are hampered by a lack of local knowledge. He is now planning an ‘informal’ scrutiny meeting in an attempt to work out how the commission can react to the consultation and hold the council to account.”
  • Cumbria – Friends hold library meeting – Times and Star. “Control of the library has passed from the county to the town council, with various services moving into the building. Last month, the Main Street building opened its doors as a community hub, housing the library service, tourist information centre and an Allerdale council office. When the plan was first mooted, a pressure group – FoCL – was set up by people concerned about loss of services.”
  • Darlington – Fresh legal challenge launched in battle to save Darlington’s Crown Street Library – Northern Echo. “…  proceedings could be issued against Darlington’s council if plans to close a historic library are not scrapped, a lawyer said on Wednesday. The authority faces the threat of a judicial review over proposals to close Crown Street Library and move most of its resources to a leisure centre. Using legal aid, campaigners battling to save the library have again enlisted the help of lawyer Michael Imperato, who notified the council of possible legal action on Tuesday.”

We’re working with the fabulous @LibrariesUnLtd to create a brand new library, made up of your favourite books – can you help? pic.twitter.com/ua1D5TB1QF

— David Lockwood (@dwlockwood) June 17, 2017 [David is a trustee of Libraries Unlimited and some vocal critics on Twitter have rightly pointed out it’s not really a library, but otherwise it looks like a good bit of co-opted outreach to me – Ed.]

  • Dundee – Crowdfund campaign launched to finance £1.8m Broughty Ferry Library extension – Courier. ” review of the suburb’s facilities found there was a lack of community space, leading to calls for a completely new centre or extension of an existing one.” … “The indicative cost of the project is £1,828,000 with £948,500 having already been secured from Leisure & Culture Dundee (L&CD) alongside Dundee City Council. This means a significant sum of £879,500 is still needed, with a JustGiving page set up so willing donors can contribute.”
  • Fife – Dunfermline Carnegie Library wins double architecture award – Scotsman.
  • Kingston – Kingston’s libraries receive £500k investment as they continue to attract more visitors – Surrey Comet. “State-of-the-art self-service machines have replaced the front desks to create a new, modern look and free up library staff to focus on promoting reading and learning, and supporting customers using the resources. “
  • Kirklees – Family Storywalks in Kirklees – Libraries Taskforce. “Family storywalks, combining exercise with book-related activities, have been running in Kirklees Libraries for over nine years. In this time, they’ve developed from simple picture hunts during a walk, to a tool we’ve used to build relationships with communities, deliver high-quality events at low cost and engage with hard to reach groups”
  • Plymouth – Relief and anger at new Plymouth libraries closure plan – Plymouth Herald. “Labour Party campaigner Jeremy Goslin (above), who led the fight to protect Peverell library, said he was pleased the council had reconsidered. “It’s fantastic that this great library is going to be open to the community,” Mr Goslin said. “I think the council were taken aback by the strength of the community action. “It’s shown that people don’t want their library to close, they want it to stay open so they can pop in here on their way to the shops, get a book for their kids or their elderly relatives, or use the computer facilities.”
  • Powys – Powys residents take the chance for a sneak preview of Brecon’s new cultural hub – Abergavenny Chronicle. “More than 120 residents visited Brecon’s new cultural hub last week to see progress on the exciting development. Powys County Council and project contractors Kier held a two stage event at the site and the town’s library this week giving the community a chance to find out about the initiative to renovate the museum and art gallery and provide a new area library, community and education facilities.”
  • Shropshire – Star comment: The clock is ticking on leisure centres Shropshire Star. “Already we have seen with some libraries that it is possible for local groups and organisations to step up to the mark when the council says its sad goodbye. Leisure centres are a completely different kettle of fish to the book landscapes of libraries, posing immense challenges in funding them and running them. “
  • Staffordshire – Date set for Stratford Library re-opening – Stratford Herald. “Stratford-upon-Avon Library will re-open to the public on 12 July following a major refurbishment project. Since leaving its historic home on Henley Street, the library service has been operating temporary out of the ArtsHouse on Rother Street, though this will finish on 24 June. The registration service will continue at Winton House until 12th July when Birth and Death Registration will move to Henley Street, while wedding ceremonies will remain at Winton House until September this year. The library will have an improved look and longer opening hours, while the registration service will include a brand new ceremony room for weddings. The ceremony space, called The Henley Room, will have a separate entrance to the library and will be used for marriages for up to 35 guests, as well as library activities such as author events.” see also New look library soon to be unveiled – Stratford Observer.
  • Suffolk – £40million Mildenhall Hub still on track despite Suffolk fire service pulling out of project – EADT. “Concerns over the move to the new site made Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service rethink the move, but both Suffolk County and Forest Heath District councils have stated the £38million pound public services hub will still go ahead.” .. “Suffolk County Council is committed to the Mildenhall Hub which, if approved, will deliver a school and library services as well as a host of facilities and joined up services for the benefit of our communities. In testament to the value I place in engaging our communities when major development is planned, we wanted to get the views of local people on the fire station at the Mildenhall Hub”