Well, that was an election and a half. I’m not sure if anyone really knows what it all means yet and I won’t pretend to even be able to make a good guess. The only thing for sure is we will have a new minister in charge of libraries as Rob Wilson lost his parliamentary seat last week. He certainly seemed more interventionist than Ed Vaizey, although that is not exactly saying much. He visited troubled library authorities and even issued as “minded to intervene” in Lancashire, which is highly unusual and seemed to at least take an interest in the sector. He even found some funding for innovation, although the timetable for bidding for it was incredibly rushed. At the time of writing, it’s not clear who his replacement may be.



National news

  • Books Beyond Words Book Clubs – Beyond Words. “It’s a group who regularly meet to read the Books Beyond Words series. We read the pictures as there are no words and we make up the stories between us. We have fun. We often meet in our local libraries, but you can run a book club anywhere. Some clubs run in community cafes or other community facilities. It is good to be in local places everyone uses. Currently we all meet during the daytime. Each club lasts 45 minutes to one hour, and the clubs meet every week, every two weeks or once a month.”
  • Libraries minister Wilson loses his seat – BookSeller. “The future of the government’s libraries brief has been thrown into doubt after libraries minister Rob Wilson lost his seat in Thursday’s General Election (8th June). Wilson’s Reading East constituency fell to Labour’s Matt Rodda, who won by increasing the party’s majority by 16%, while Wilson’s share of the votes dropped by -3.7%. The district was one of 13 the Tories lost, and one of the 29 Labour gained.” … “During his time in the role, the Department of Culture made two interventions into libraries closures in Lancashire and Swindon, which were welcomed by library campaigners. He also delivered the Libraries Ambition report, which offered a £4m dedicated fund to help boost the sector, but was accused by campaigners as “ignoring the real issues” of library closures across England.”
  • The new Children’s Laureate – why reading is more than just child’s play – Yorkshire Post. “If books are crucial during a child’s formative years then so, too, are libraries. “They do a lot more than just provide books, they act as community hubs and very often they are the first place where a child encounters a book and has the chance to choose a book. School libraries are incredibly important and yet some schools don’t even have one.”Around 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared since 2010, about a quarter of the overall total, as councils have slashed spending on public libraries, hundreds of which have been closed, and it’s an issue that authors like Child have repeatedly voiced concerns about. “I can’t change things on my own, nobody can, but what I can do is talk about the importance of them and if enough people do that then it can make a difference.”
An online bookclub from Axiell


International news

  • Global – Use these social media tools to attract more patrons to the library – Princh. “Creating a simple marketing plan and focusing on a few online tools is the best way to improve your library’s presence in the community and make people aware of its existence. There is a lot of skepticism about this but as the Taylor and Francis Group explains in their whitepaper, a library’s social media initiatives will only be as successful as the research they do into social media usage within their library user group. For example, does the geographical location, age and ethnic profile of library users match those who use social media on a regular basis?”. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, streaming videos, YouTube, podcasts, blogging, newsletters, messaging,
  • Israel – Israel’s Culture of Knowledge – In Focus. During Book Week, there are book related sales and events all over Israel. Bookstores slash their prices (one academic publisher, Shalem Press, offers a buy one, get two free offer on its books), and portable bookstores pop up everywhere. ” … “According to the International Federation of Libraries Associations, Israel has 870 public libraries. The United Arab Emirates, a country with an equivalent population to Israel, has 20.”
  • Russia – Power of the Russian State vs. a Librarian – New York Times. “There is something particularly Orwellian about accusing a librarian of hate crimes because books under her care don’t jibe with government propaganda. That, in essence, is what a Russian court did in giving to Natalia Sharina a four-year suspended sentence because the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature, which she formerly headed, purportedly carried literature that didn’t match Russia’s official version of what’s happening in Ukraine.”
  • Singapore – Report: Singapore’s libraries pull down controversial Malay books on religions Malay Mail Online. ““One of the books has, on its cover, children wearing yarmulkes, smiling as they hold machine guns,” the report said. “In it, there are declarations of how the third world war will ‘start in the Middle East between Israel and the neighbouring countries, which are the Arab states’.” The New Paper also reported that it found the questionable books in the junior non-fiction section of the Bishan Public Library on Tuesday. “
  • USA – Drone crash cuts power to 1,600 PG&E customers in Mountain View and forces library evacuation, cops hunt white-haired man – Silicon Beat. “Mountain View city officials in the wake of a power outage the night of June 8 that cut electricity to 1,600 PG&E customers, forced the library to be evacuated and caused, according to the city, tens of thousands of dollars in damage.”
  • USA – NYPL just turned a subway train into an adorable library – Time Out. “NYPL unveiled a Library Train, which is designed to look like the iconic Rose Reading Room with the seats and walls on each car made to resemble bookshelves (and a fauxGilded Age ceiling to boot). The train is scheduled to run on the E and F lines between Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For the next six weeks, any member of the public can head to subwaylibrary.com or download the library’s reader app, SimplyE, to have unlimited access to a wide selection of NYPL-provided e-books. The initiative also aims to promote the free Wi-Fi service at each of the subway’s underground stations, which rolled out late last year. When users log onto the service, a link to the Subway Library website will appear, encouraging you to read a book instead of your Facebook feed”
  • USA – San Diego librarians receive Mental Health First Aid training – 10 News. “Most of the librarians have been trained in traditional first aid, but they will soon learn how to address the hidden wounds.  Staff with the San Diego Public Library are taking part in the Mental Health First Aid course, learning skills to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health issue or substance abuse problem or experiencing a crisis.”

Local news by authority

  • Derbyshire – CTP853 Glossop Library – Design and Fit Out – Contracts Finder. “Derbyshire County Council is seeking to establish a contract for the design and fit out the new Glossop Library. Glossop Library is part of Derbyshire County Council, Economy, Transport and Communities Department. The new library is due to open by the end of March 2018 with the fit out completed from Monday 12th March 2018 (subject to completion of the building).”
  • Derbyshire – Work starts on new Glossop Library – Derbyshire County Council. “The £2m library is to be built as an extension to the existing adult education building in Talbot Street and will replace the current library in the town’s Victoria Hall. On Monday (13 March) we held a ceremony to mark the start of work and it is anticipated that the new building could be finished by next spring. The new library will be a two-storey extension attached to and located partly within the adult education building. The existing entrance and reception will be used by the library and the adult education service.”
  • Essex – Top folk stars bring their tour to…Harwich Library – Maldon Standard. “Hannah said: “We’re really looking forward to playing several special gigs in Essex libraries. “We originally asked our mailing list and social media for ideas for unusual venues that we could come and play in. “Libraries were such a popular suggestion – and every town has one. “So we thought we’d do an entire tour of them.”
  • Kirklees – There are no public libraries in The Handmaid’s Tale’s Gilead – Friends of Marsden Library. ” As soon as we’ve got a Government, normal service will be resumed, so we can expect the Library Service consultation to begin imminently. All the Libraries in Kirklees are under threat.  Look out for and respond to the consultation when it comes out, tell your neighbours, use the Library and lobby your councillor. Margaret Attwood recently wrote in support of New York City’s Libraries.  Her words are just as relevant here in Kirklees, I hope she won’t mind us borrowing them….”
  • North Yorkshire – Plea for young volunteers to help with reading challenge – Keighley News. “People are needed to get involved with running the scheme, at South Craven Community Library in Cross Hills and at other sites across the district. “
  • North Yorkshire – Summer challenge for enthusiastic young readers in North Yorkshire – Darlington and Stockton Times. “North Yorkshire are looking for enthusiastic young people, aged between 13 and 24, to get involved in helping to run this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge is one of the county’s success stories. More than 10,000 children are expected to participate this year. Young people taking part as volunteers will be helping children to improve their chances for the future by becoming more enthusiastic readers.”
  • Oxfordshire – Oxford tops chart for best city to be a primary school pupil – Oxford Mail. “The research tallied the number of museums, libraries, soft play areas and ‘outstanding’ schools per 10,000 people. “
  • Sheffield – Have your say on Woodseats library opening hours – Star. “Woodseats residents are being asked to vote on the opening hours for the new library in the Sheffield suburb. The branch will be based in the new Woodseats Medical Centre on Chesterfield Road. It will boast modern facilities, new books, a separate children’s library area and new public toilets. The new library will open for 31 hours a week and people are being asked to choose one of two timetable options, both including a Saturday and weekday evening.”
  • St Helens – Libraries calling for help of teenage volunteers – St Helens Star. “St Helens libraries service wants to hear from ‘animal agents’ who will help children to read six books over the holiday. Agents will help library staff to run the challenge, by talking to children about the books they are reading, helping with activities, and inspiring children to read by working with ‘reading dog’ Bert, or work at one of the libraries when Zoo Lab bring in animal creepy crawlies.”