Libraries Week is not long away. Events often need a lead time of several months and there’s the Summer Holidays between now and October, with its’ twin threat of staff being on leave or being too busy to do anything else because of the Summer Reading Challenge, So I’m pleased to see a bit more information on the Libraries Week webpage and a chance for services to put their events on. And it’s going to take some preparation as the webpage says “To take part your library must be ready to run a week of compelling activities designed to appeal to your community and give visitors a great experience and exciting day out”. So get your thinking caps on. It will be here before you know it.


National news

Add on your library events and get more info at http://www.librariesweek.org.uk/

Add on your library events and get more info at http://www.librariesweek.org.uk/

  • #44 Creative collaborations – #UKLibChat. “For the upcoming #uklibchat on creative collaborations, we are very pleased to present a feature article by Gary Green, Digital Services Lead at Surrey Libraries, on the importance of collaborating with others, factors important to the success of partnerships, and a case study of collaborative cooperation – the Guildford Maker Space project.” … “. Most recently, along with other members of my team, we’ve been increasingly involved in working with the team whose primary focus is outreach work. With them we’ve run making and digital storytelling sessions with a focus on looked after children and those with mental health issues and we are currently discussing how we can work together on a digital angle for the Summer Reading Scheme”
  • Arts funding: Major English venues cut, with more money for the regions – BBC. Looks at the winners and losers. “The total annual budget for government funding distributed by Arts Council England will be £409m – £42.4m more than the currently figure. Libraries and museums are included for the first time.”
  • BIC Breakfast July 2017: RFID Privacy in Libraries: Revealing What Librarians (both Public & Academic), Library Suppliers and Library Systems Vendors Need to Know – BIC.  “Libraries are identified as high risk within this analysis because unlike retail RFID tags which are switched off during purchase, RFID tags on library books are always available to be read so that, on their return to the library, the tags can be read as part of a self-return process. Many library professionals involved with the RFID privacy issue, point out that compared to other sources of privacy risk, such as CCTV, wearing a smartwatch or carrying a mobile phone, the risk to the citizen’s privacy posed by library RFID tags is very small indeed, but it does not negate the duty of libraries to explain the risk and warn their users. Most library users will be unaware that there is any risk to their privacy and they need to be warned so that they can make an informed decision, for example whether or not to use the library, and to take any necessary precautions….”
  • Learning in libraries: A public space to expand your knowledge – Virtual College. Key selling points are (a) quiet space [don’t laugh – it’s a key USP – Ed.], community, e-learning.

“Tory Rob Wilson lost his seat in Reading East, John Glen takes over as minister for libraries as part of his brief covering arts, heritage and tourism at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. There should be plenty in his inbox.  Bristol, for example, has become the latest major city to announce huge library closures, with plans to shut 17 out of 27 branches.  City Mayor Marvin Rees said the council was “in agonies” over the proposal, as the city tries to shave £100m from its budget.

Meanwhile, a review produced by consultants in Wirral has suggested closing ten libraries.  A previous attempt to shut multiple libraries in the area was stopped when the then culture secretary Andy Burnham launched an inquiry into whether the council was fulfilling its legal duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service.  Ultimately, the scheme was scrapped and library cuts have been off the table for the past eight years in Wirral.  The council was quick to insist it will not be following the consultants’ recommendations.”  Private Eye Issue No. 1447 (p.35) Library News – John Glen takes over.

  • One-off £1.6m boost for libraries leaves long-term future in question – Guardian. “Seven library organisations are to receive four-year Arts Council England grants, against a backdrop of continuing cuts in local government support” … ““There is a lot of money in the library system, but what we still do not have is a really good national plan for England,” said one insider, who asked not to be named. “There is no central transformative plan that will change the current narrative.”” … Neil MacInnes SCL President says “The funding would enable SCL to step up to the role of leading the sector and developing a national strategy, he said. He added: “This is especially crucial now, at a time when the impact of austerity measures has been felt deeply within the public library service.””. ACE says “We are very clear that core funding for delivering library services still goes to local government,” he said. “Our funding is not in any way intended to replace cuts in local authority library services.””
  • Pamela Tulloch: So much more to libraries than merely reading – Edinburgh News. “Libraries are not alone in seeking to promote literacy, but they do have a distinct role as a local space where people of all ages can come to explore, learn and discover. Indeed, the Scottish Government is currently developing a cultural strategy for Scotland, with core themes emerging around access, equity and excellence. The library sector will have a significant contribution to make to this discussion for the role libraries play in supporting learning, skills and culture.”
  • Prosper – Creative United (press release). Four public library services have won assistance from this programme – Barnsley, Gateshead, Somerset and Hammersmith & Fulham. ” Creative United, has today announced the cohort of 70 organisations and individuals across the arts, museums and libraries which will benefit from free business support through its Prosper programme. This cohort includes cutting edge artists, innovative library services, enterprising museums and much-loved arts organisations. Prosper was designed and launched by Creative United with funding from Arts Council England,  Access – the Foundation for Social Investment and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and is delivered in partnership with the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University and the Arts Marketing Association. It will enable those in the cohort to grow and develop into more resilient organisations, better able to attract income from a variety of sources as well as pursue their creative and social missions. “
  • Reporting back: Engaging Libraries workshops – Carnegie UK. “In terms of the input from the front, Andy Wright, our Carnegie Associate on the project, shared his top tips for applying…”
An online bookclub from Axiell


International news

Local news by authority

  • Bristol – ‘Library lovers in Bristol face the fight of our lives’ – Bristol 247. “We are disappointed and angry at the proposals outlined in the council’s ‘consultation’ and we hope that library users across Bristol will join us in opposing them. The consultation is the first opportunity for the public to give their opinions and it is a travesty. Of the 27 existing libraries, the fate of 20 has already been decided and the public cannot alter this. This is contrary to the message from deputy mayor Asher Craig before the consultation that “nothing is set in stone.””
  • Bury – Bury Council cabinet committee confirms closure of 10 librariesBury Times. “Members of the Labour group on the cabinet voted unanimously to implement a recommendation to cut the services in an attempt to save cash” … “After concerned comments from the public gallery, council leader Rishi Shori pledged that the council will support community groups in developing plans to keep libraries open on a voluntary basis and at no cost to the council” see also Ten libraries in Bury are set to close – Manchester Evening News.
  • Cambridgeshire – Libraries across Cambridgeshire to become micro venues for arts and culture _ Cambs Times. “A total of 20 libraries will be turned into micro-arts venues, helping more people to access art and culture on their doorstep. “
  • Ceredigion – New town library gets opening date despite being labelled a ‘farce” – Wales Online. “The new home for Cardigan Library will open in less than two weeks’ time, despite protests from users and warnings about the new site’s safety. The new library, housed in Ceredigion Council’s Morgan Street building in the centre of Cardigan, will open its doors on July 10, following the closure of the old site in Canolfan Teifi on the weekend. The move has long been a contentious issue in the town. A petition against the relocation – signed by more than 1,000 people – was handed to Ceredigion Council, and it originally seemed as if the Morgan Street building would be sold and that the library would continue to be located at Canolfan Teifi, which is privately owned. However, this plan was scrapped after some councillors, who had concerns about losing a council-owned building in the town centre, called in the decision. This led to a full council meeting where a decision was made to keep the Morgan Street building.”
  • Devon – Future of Tavistock Scrapstore hanging in the balance – Tavistock Times Gazette. “… over the year, the group has been struggling to meet the cost of renting premises within the library, which is now run by Libraries Unlimited, a community owned social enterprise, established in April 2016 with the support of Devon County Council, which also has charitable status.” … “Ursula said that although it was great to be helping the library, another charity, the trustees and members of the Creation Station said they will wait until the end of July to see whether they can continue to pay rent and survive at the library.”
  • Doncaster – Old Doncaster Girls’ High School frontage plans for new library– BBC. “Doncaster Girls’ High School’s facade on Chequer Road would be attached to a new £15m building, housing the central library, museum and art gallery, archives and school library service. If Doncaster Council’s plans are approved, the hub could be open by the spring of 2020. The plans will be considered on 4 July” … “The museum and art gallery, and the central library are in two separate 1960s town centre buildings, with the archives in a former school in Balby, and the school library service at Barnby Dun.”
  • Essex – Fines at Essex libraries set to double – Maldon Standard. The changes will come into effect on July 3, and are the first time changes have been made since 2009. Elsewhere, charges for photocopying, printing, DVDs and book loans from the British Library will also rise, and there will be a £1 charge to replace lost or damaged library cards.”
  • Essex – Volunteers from Dengie Hundred Bus Users’ Group (DHBUG) visiting Essex libraries to hear commuters’ issues – Maldon Standard.
  • Essex – Where’s Spot? Not seen in Essex library for more than 20 years – East Anglian Daily Times. “Some overdue books have not been seen for more than 22 years according to new figures from Essex Libraries – as fees for late items are set to rise.” … “Susan Barker, county councillor for libraries, said: “Library fees have stayed the same for eight years, so these changes are necessary, especially as Government funding continues to fall and will be phased out completely by 2020. “
  • Lancashire – The Veterans Association group, who saved the Pike Hill Library in Burnley from closure is calling on volunteers to help out – Lancashire Telegraph. ““The library service is an important part of the community and as part of the asset transfer agreement we will continue to run the library. “The library will run for three days a week but we are not clear on what the times are yet.”
  • Lewisham – Concerns over Forest Hill Library plans to rent desk space – BookSeller. “Dawn Finch, library campaigner and former president of CILIP, told The Bookseller that she had “great concerns” over who will be profiting from the enterprise. “Whilst I fully understand that in times of austerity, a public library may well need to explore creative methods of income generation, I have great concerns over the type of companies that are circling community libraries in search of a profit. I feel that as some library groups are desperately in need of an urgent solution to funding problems, they will be forced to make decisions that are, in themselves, unethical.” … but … “Tara Cranswick, founder and director of V22, said: “The desk space we’re renting out was previously unused and all funds received will go back into the library. It’s a large space that used to house the teen section and film clubs and events, but now the teen section has been moved into the main library and the clubs and events in the community space next door. All the desks in the main library are still there to use free of charge.”
  • Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire Co-operative: supporting local libraries by building community hubs – Co-op news. “Lincolnshire Co-operative has been involved with education in its local community ever since it opened Lincoln’s first reading room in 1873. It now runs three libraries, alongside its food stores, pharmacies and post offices” … “Lincolnshire Co-op took no part in the discussion surrounding the future of the libraries but, once the process was over, it offered to take on five libraries where it had space for them. Three of these were taken up.”

“The libraries are run by volunteers but supported by Lincolnshire Co-operative’s staff from its food, pharmacies and post offices on site. Co-op colleagues help with tasks such as opening and closing libraries, supporting the volunteers, liaising with the volunteer coordinator, supporting library users, and banking duties. The co-op invested £35,000 in each library to set them up, and the council provides around £5,000 per year towards the running cost of each library and offered one-off grants of £15,000 for changes to buildings or equipment”

  • North East Lincolnshire – Boutique offering ‘high quality fashion for affordable prices’ opens in the East Marsh – Grimsby Telegraph. “The No. 29 Boutique, an online women’s clothing store, was set up by an enterprising young Scartho girl with help from her mother just eight weeks ago, and the pair celebrated the opening of their first premises at the newly-refurbished library on Tuesday.” [This is a fairly surreal article – Ed.]
  • North East Lincolnshire – Tea In The Park cafe at Grant Thorold Library officially opened – Grimsby Telegraph.
  • Northumberland – Uncertainty over future a factor as Playhouse funding bid falls short – Northumberland Gazette. Alnwick: “Proposals to use the venue as a community hub, retaining the auditorium, but also using the building to house the library and other council services, such as tourist information, were first put forward more than two years ago. But, despite announcing ‘an agreement in principle’ in April 2016, there have been no signs of any progress since.”
  • Plymouth – Libraries Opportunities for Everyone Innovation Fund: Plymouth Libraries – the story so far… –  Libraries Taskforce. “We’re hugely excited to have received funding to work with CATERed, our school meals provider, to reach disadvantaged children and families over the summer. We’re looking to combat holiday hunger and introduce new audiences to library services through fun and cultural activities. Holiday hunger is a real issue for many families across Plymouth and, for the last two years, CATERed have delivered their Big Summer Food tour, giving out free, healthy bagged meals in parks and other locations throughout August.”
  • Sefton – Creating a ‘human library’ in Sefton – Libraries Taskforce. “We will create a ‘human library’ where volunteers can ‘gift’ their talents or experience to someone who needs their time and support. To uncover these talents, we will be hosting a series of creative programmes, which in turn will build a sustainable bank of volunteers who can share their ‘gift’ at any time.”
  • Swindon – Community Outreach Librarian, Officer – Swindon Libraries. £22k full time. “We are particularly keen to recruit someone with a background as a children’s librarian or who is confident in working with children of all ages, including children and families. Familiarity with children’s library projects is a must. You will be a qualified or Chartered Librarian, or have significant compensatory experience. “
  • Warrington – Council bosses to look at investing in more library books – Warrington Guardian. “bosses will look at spending more money on library books after a meeting of the Libraries Working Group raised concerns about the current stock. Figures revealed the amount of money budgeted to be spent on books by LiveWire has more than halved in the past three years, from £1.13 per resident per year in 2013 to just 50p per person in 2016. At an earlier meeting of the working group LiveWire confirmed the 2017 budget for resources would remain the same as the 2016 fund, at £103,944.”
the Frog Pod and is essentially an iPad kiosk for children. The concept is that children learn through play by using specially loaded Apps within the library to help them with reading, writing, maths, creativity, problem solving, coding and much more. My concept is that the pods complement the traditional book offer, and prepare children for digital skills, rather than replace it. See www.frogpod.com for more info

“The “Frog Pod” is essentially an iPad kiosk for children. The concept is that children learn through play by using specially loaded Apps within the library to help them with reading, writing, maths, creativity, problem solving, coding and much more. My concept is that the pods complement the traditional book offer, and prepare children for digital skills, rather than replace it. See www.frogpod.co.uk for more info. Pic is from Wolverhampton libraries (Source: email from company)