There’s not many commonly accepted figures when it comes to volunteers in libraries and, it comes to something, where I’m the one offering some of the most comprehensive data as a hobby in the evenings. This came up again when  I said on Twitter a week ago that there were roughly 10 volunteers needed to replace one paid member of staff. Leaving aside the myriad debating points about the pros and cons of volunteers, a few people asked me where the data to base this on was.  Well, there’s no real data. The state of public library research is such that no-one really knows. But the figure was based on reading seven years of media reports and noting the number of volunteers mentioned in a “new” volunteer library. It’s also based on the rule of thumb that it’s a rare volunteer that would volunteer more than half a day per week, and even though there are some that do, there’d be those who do less. And of course volunteers would likely take more holidays than a paid person. I suspect, in fact, that there’s more than a ten-to-one ratio but it’s one that is easily memorable and probably as good as any,

If anyone has any more data or thoughts on the issue, do let me know. The ratio is important because it shows the difficulty implicit in sufficiently training volunteers and the number needed when thinking of closing down a paid library. But as in so many things, the data just isn’t there at the moment. And it should be. Because otherwise a lot of what’s going on at the moment looks dangerously like guesswork and thus roulette with a national public service.

NB: The PLN server broke down last week which meant you’re getting a bumper post today. Hopefully, more frequent posts will be the order of the day from now on.



National news

  • 5 reasons why your library should offer online reading groups – Axiell. “Reading groups offered by libraries play an incredibly important role in supporting the library’s mission to improve reading and literacy. ” A recent blog post on the Libraries Taskforce website serves to highlight just how important they are: help outreach, provide greater choice, be more flexible and inclusive, modernise.
  • Chances for life: PMLG & CDEG Conference 2017: Public Libraries for Social, Digital and Economic Inclusion – CILIP. “Public libraries are at the heart of their community. Libraries connect and empower excluded individuals. From supporting job seekers to providing social opportunities, the role the library plays for inclusion is profound and vital for personal and social prosperity.  This event explores future direction and best practice for inclusion.”
  • Changing Times – Leon’s Library Blog. Frances Hendrix: ” I just don’t think that we, as a profession, have ever had the clout, the PR skills, or the determination to raise the profile of our service and work inside our authority or direct to the public. It has often been the ‘outsider’ to the profession who have pushed the service to new activities etc.” … ” it is time for a new model for public libraries. Take them away from the dull, ill-informed and useless local government. Train our librarians to be more forceful, persuasive, business canny and energetic, with high levels of IT skills. Let us move on and up and rethink and fight for what we believe in”
  • Delivering local solutions for public library services – Local Government Association. “Written for all councillors who have an interest in supporting the development of public library services, this guide will take you through the how and why of transformation in your area. Whether you are a portfolio holder with responsibility for libraries and wider cultural services, or a ward councillor who has campaigned tirelessly to keep a local library open in a period of cost-cutting and rationalisation, it will set out ways in which you can ensure your library service excels and meets the needs of your communities.”
  • Ever wondered what Jane Austen would be like on Twitter? – Big Issue. “The project is jointly funded by the Arts Council England ‘Grants for the Arts’ lottery-funded grants programme and Time to Read – a unique partnership of 22 library authorities in the North West of England working together to promote reading.” … “The idea of one library in every authority putting on a top-notch show and, having a first-rate interactive display as well, is fantastic and I know that everyone, not just Jane Austen fans, will gain something from it.” says Ian Anstice [Yes, I’m involved in this one – Ed.]
  • Getting to grips with digital: A toolkit for libraries – Arts Council England / We Heart Tech / Curious Minds. Simple case studies and examples for how to use digital technology in libraries.
  • It matters that school libraries are closing – not just for reading but for helping young lives in need – I. “Any librarian will tell you about the significance of their pastoral role. The library is a haven. A place to come if you are new and haven’t made friends yet. A place to come if you are feeling unwell or overwhelmed. A place where you are always welcome and someone always has the time to listen to what you have to say”
  • Libraries Taskforce: future research priorities – Libraries Taskforce. “We’re actively discussing with partners how the projects listed can be taken forward and will say more in future blogs when these are progressing. One piece of good news is that we’ve already got agreement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to fund one of the pieces of research – an independent evaluation of the Libraries Opportunities for Everyone: innovation fund.”
  • Libraries Taskforce Kathy Settle sets the records straight – Public Libraries News. ““As quotes were used without the full context I provided and, in a few cases, quotes were attributed to me when the remarks were actually made by others, I wanted to provide more details here.” ” … “I think we need to break that negative narrative. I recognise that’s difficult because there really are cuts and closures happening. We certainly don’t want to make it look as if everything is sweetness and light because we know that it’s not. But equally, if we don’t turn that narrative round and collectively start talking more positively about libraries, no one else is going to. And why would anyone want to invest in a service that sounds as if it’s failing?’ “
  • Library Excellence Tour – “The Library Global Excellence Tour 2017 is primarily aimed at senior leaders in public and academic libraries in the UK and Ireland. The tour, completely free to attend thanks to our sponsors, is designed to showcase global excellence and ambition in library service delivery and to inspire library leaders to achieve excellence in their service. Excellence is a quality that people really appreciate as it’s so hard to find, achieving it is never easy to do and this tour will showcase a snapshot of the best library service delivery globally. You will hear from the library movers and shakers who have delivered and you will get real world examples of what is possible in your service, state or nation, even in austere times”
  • More than a house for books – Arts Council England. “We’ve commissioned a series of three podcasts to highlight the important role libraries play in our communities. Libraries offer a safe space, providing access to digital & online learning, helping to combat loneliness and having a positive impact on people’s lives. The series cover three themes: Libraries for young people – looking at the impact libraries have on the early years; Libraries as a social enabler – exploring how facilities enhance lives; Digital transformation in libraries – examining how technology is benefitting libraries and communities. You can listen to the first episode now. Episodes 2 and 3 will be released over the next three weeks. ” Transcript. of the first episode [Has some excellent advocacy quotes – Ed.]
  • Opinion: Turn over a new leaf and get reading – Yorkshire Post. “Your local library is on hand to help get you started – a family reading hub in every community where children and adults can access books free of charge. “
  • Public finances – the implications for libraries – Libraries Taskforce. “Whilst much rhetoric is suggesting that austerity is over (or rather the public are tired of that narrative), the Chancellor will no doubt emphasise that we will still need to live within our means and a growing economy is needed to generate the tax revenues to fund public services.” … “In the absence of any more money, there are real opportunities for libraries if they can position themselves to contribute to the agenda for health and wellbeing, inclusive growth, new housing, lifelong learning and skills, and in shaping places to make them attractive to skilled workforces (who pay council tax) and businesses (who pay business rates).”
  • Reading groups, libraries and communities: an exploratory study – Libraries Taskforce.  blog about a recently published research report posted on the Libraries Taskforce website. “What part do reading groups play in the services that libraries provide for their communities? How central is their role and what do libraries do to foster them? Two years ago, we set out to explore these questions, spurred on by our own experience as members of a reading group and our awareness of the huge growth in reading groups that had taken place in recent years”
  • SCL to offer Mozfest bursaries – Society of Chief Librarians  “As part of the Universal Learning Offer SCL is offering 6 bursaries for the festival. This ticket covers entry to the festival on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. It includes lunch, coffee, adult beverages, swag, and two days of building, making and learning (plus a party on Saturday evening!) ( Where possible SCL will also be including a negotiable contribution to travel costs- more info on application)”
  • Through the Barricades? – Leon’s Library Blog. “Chatting with a fellow campaigner this week we observed that anyone following news and updates about libraries via social media could be forgiven for thinking that two entirely different sectors are being talked about” … “campaigners, on a national level, are reluctant to acknowledge when positive changes or projects take place within library services, and despite massive reductions, there is still some fantastic work happening within the profession. On the other end of the spectrum, are the optimists who only highlight positive stories and steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the extent of damage being done to the library network. The main culprits of this approach are the Libraries Taskforce and SCL.”
  • Why the library is the hottest late‑night venue – Times. “Bath was the first university in the UK to introduce a 24-hour library, in 1996, but many have followed suit. Durham, Leeds, King’s College London and Reading have libraries that stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now that students pay £9,250 a year in fees, they expect facilities to be open at times to suit them. Others go in the early hours to avoid the overcrowding during the day….”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • USA – 75 American Public Libraries Launch STEM Ed Programs for Underserved Communities – Campus Technology. “Public libraries are quickly becoming centers for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) enrichment in the United States, with many starting to introduce interactive learning spaces. Recently, 75 U.S. libraries were chosen to receive resources, training and support to bring STEM education opportunities to library patrons as part of NASA@ My Library.”
  • USA – Charlottesville Libraries Weather Violent Protests, Offer Unity – Library Journal. “When staff opened the library on the morning of August 10, the Thursday before the rally, they found two signs with white supremacist messages on the building’s front door, which were quickly removed” … “Director John Halliday stayed in the building all day on Saturday to monitor the activity outside and update staff. Although the original plan was for Farrell to spell him at lunchtime, Halliday texted her that morning telling her to stay home. The park was already filling with heavily armed men in militia-type camouflage who were not with the state or local police or the National Guard, he reported, and a large crowd was gathering.”

“The building did not sustain any damage. And when the library opened Monday morning, its customary “Libraries are for everyone” sign was posted prominently in front.”

  • USA – How Nashville Has Beaten Bleak Predictions For Libraries – Nashville Public Radio. “At the Nashville Public Library, cardholders can check out packets of seeds to grow hot peppers and mustard greens. They can attend free yoga classes or a professional development book club for adult educators. Calling it a model for the nation and the world, Nashville’s public library was designated the 2017 Library of the Year by Library Journal and Gale this summer. If libraries could win an Oscar, this would be it. Despite bleak predictions about the future of buildings housing books in an increasingly digital world, the award applauds Nashville for reimagining what a library can offer.”
  • USA – Jeff Bezos Should Put His Billions Into Libraries –  Wired. Excellent article on how philanthropy could work for billionaires and libraries both. However, it would mean libraries being implicates in things like another article today: Amazon paid just £15m in tax on European revenues of £19.5bn – Guardian. But I am sure the pressure would be too much to resist.
  • USA – Most Buffalo and Erie County public libraries run out of free eclipse viewing glasses – WIVB. 2 million glasses (yes, million) given out.
  • USA – On Racism, Ignorance, and Librarianship – David Lankes. “… I talked about three things librarians and libraries could do in the wake of a terrorist act: fight violence with information and understanding; help the community develop their own narrative; continue to be the resource for your communities to come together. I still think this is a good game plan for any library in the wake of violence and tragedy. Counter false and ignorant claims with knowledge and learning; help the community construct and disseminate their own story so that one is not imposed from outside; and continue to be a place the community relies upon. A library should be a safe space, but it will only be that if librarians continue to understand the threats all their community members face and work to overcome them.”

“Racism is a state of ignorance. It deliberately denies the positive effect of diversity and inclusion. Purposefully living in a state of ignorance is counter to the values and mission of librarianship. Therefore, giving voice to racism does not further the conversation or learning of a community.” … “Shouldn’t libraries be place for all voices in the community? No. Libraries are not neutral microphones placed in a town square open to all comers. They are platforms of learning that acknowledge the full range of the views in a community, but with the community develop and support a learning narrative that pushes against racism and bigotry.”

  • USA – Two Big Wins for Libraries. Thanks to Your Support of EveryLibrary – EveryLibrary. “You might remember the Christian County Campaign because we alerted you to the illegal tactics used by the opposition. Many of you responded with your donations to help us fight back and that support allowed us to spend over $500 of your donations on educating the local voters about the importance of libraries and setting the record straight against that untruthful flyer that was illegally put in area mailboxes. Through the support of many of our previous individual donors and through the ongoing support of our vendor donors we were also able to provide pro-bono political consulting to the local campaign committee about how best to win their campaign.”

Local news by authority

  • Aberdeen – The Cafe Workshop @ Aberdeen Central Library   –  Scottish Library and Information Council. “Since 2006 the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) has been supporting creative and innovative library projects throughout Scotland. Starting today, we’ll be taking a look at previous award winners on the first Wednesday of every month. Here is Library Operations Manager John Grant talking about the new Cafe Workshop @ Aberdeen Central Library, which has enabled members of the public to explore emerging technologies and the creative arts.”
  • Bath and North East Somerset – ‘Disappointment’ and anger at year-long closure of publicly-funded event room in Bath – Bath Chronicle.  publicly-funded event room used to host clubs, workshops and support groups in Bath has been closed for nine months and could stay shut for up to a year. The exhibition room at Bath’s central library can hold 75 people and has previously played host to storytelling events, coding clubs as well as writing groups and workshops for disabled people” … “A council spokesman explained the closure was related to the relocation of archives material, a broken rolled book shelf and an out-of-order lift. But Andy Halliday, former library manager, said the drawn-out closure of the space was “terrible” and that it was taking the council too long to re-open it”
  • Bedford – Bedfordshire libraries to open for longer – Bedford Today. “Bedford Central Library will be staying open on Sundays when the changes take place from Monday, September 4. Bromham, Wooton and Bedford libraries will introduce the ‘Library Plus’ service that gives you the freedom to use the library during staffed of self-serviced hours. During self-service hours you can still enter the library using your card and PIN. Library users can sign up for the Library Plus service from Monday, August 14 by visiting one of the locations. Councillor Sarah Holland said: “In the face of severe government cuts councils across the country are closing libraries, while in Bedford Borough we are keeping every single one of them open and even extending overall opening hours, and bringing Sunday opening to Bedford Central Library.”Kempston and Putnoe libraries decided not to introduce the Library Plus service.”
  • Bexley – Designs on £5m library and civic building for Thamesmead – South London Press. “The short listed practices are Adam Khan Architects, Architecture 00 Ltd / Studio Weave, Bisset Adams Ltd, Keith Williams Architects and Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter from Norway. The new library and civic building is to be at the heart of the first phase of the planned 1,600 new homes for the Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead housing zone desgned by master architects Proctor and Matthews.”
  • Brighton and  Hove – Allowing nursery and café to use building is marginalising library users – Argus. “NOT-for-profit pre-school has closed after missing out on a move to Hove Library. Happitots in Rutland Road, Hove, has shut after 30 years of providing affordable childcare after missing out to another nursery, Hove Village, in a council-run bidding process. Staff said the nursery – rated good by Ofsted – was being displaced from its current premises by a homeless shelter and its closure means the loss of five jobs. Library users have criticised the move to allow a nursery and café to operate in the historic Carnegie building saying its primary use as a place for books was being marginalised.”
  • Bury – Walshaw Sports Club steps up to help The Friends of Tottington Library – Bury Times. £500 donated. “Walshaw Sports Club, in Sycamore Road, Tottington, gave the money to The Friends of Tottington Library the community group formed to keep the library in Market Street open and running after the withdrawal of all council funding”
  • Carmarthenshire – Labour and Unison petition to safeguard Ammanford town hall and library – Llanelli Online. The joint petition by Carmarthenshire Labour Group and Unison calls on Carmarthenshire Council to keep Ammanford Town Hall and the Old Library open and retain all 67 jobs in Ammanford, engage in meaningful discussions with the trade unions and the people of Ammanford before future decisions are made and put local people first by fighting the cuts to local services. The Council’s proposal would see Ammanford Town Hall, Old Library, Ammanford, Nant y Ci and 5-8 Spillman Street close, as part of the Council’s Agile Working policy, with over 140 staff being affected.”
  • Cornwall – Could you volunteer at Penryn Library? – The Packet. “The council has agreed to take over the running of the library from September 11, and will also be moving its offices into the same building on St Thomas Street. This means the opening hours of the library will be extended from the current one day and two half-days each week to five days a week, and staff will be attending training sessions in the coming weeks on how to run the service.”
  • Cornwall – Helston Library prepares to relocate – This is the West Country. “From this Thursday the main library building will be closed, with reduced facilities moving to the One Stop Shop at Isaac House, in the Coinage Ope alleyway leading to the Tyacke Road car park. Here they will stay for around three months, while major redevelopment work is carried out on the library building in the Trengrouse Way Car Park. A £181,000 revamp will see the library, One Stop Shop and JobCentre Plus all brought under one roof, with the building expected to reopen to the public by the end of November.”
  • Cornwall – Library transfer ‘behind schedule’ – Camelford and Delabole Post. “In regards to the move of the library, town clerk, Esther Greig, confirmed to councillors that they are behind schedule. The town council has been working for many months to transfer the library service in the town from Cornwall Council to the town council, to ensure the service is allowed to thrive, and isn’t lost. The council heard that it is ‘looking unlikely to move before Christmas’.”
  • Dundee – Almost £1m still needed for Ferry library extension after crowdfund effort stalls – Courier. “The project will cost an estimated £1,828,000 with £948,500 having already been secured from Leisure & Culture Dundee (L&CD) alongside Dundee City Council. However, this means around £879,000 is still needed, with a JustGiving page having so far only accumulated £170 of contributions with some additional small donations also made through collection boxes at the library”
  • Flintshire – Members of the public will get a unique peek behind the scenes of Gladstone’s Library next month – Deeside. “The doors of the stunning Grade 1 listed residential library in Hawarden will be thrown open for one day as part of Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, ‘Open Doors’ festival. Guided tours of the library’s secure store, which is usually closed off to the public, will take place on Saturday, 16th September.”
  • Gloucestershire – Gloucestershire reads the riot act on library closures – Countryfile. “As part of a new initiative, the David Vaisey Prize, four Gloucestershire libraries have been shortlisted to receive a grant to help them continue to offer vital services to their communities. Entries were received from 20 of the 39 libraries, each submitting an idea for a project that will get more people into reading”
  • Hull – Hull summer reading challenges encourages young people to discover culture – Hull Daily Mail. “The challenge, called The Hull fREADom Quest, invites children to follow an interactive treasure hunt around the city, reading books and completing challenges along the way” … “This year to celebrate Hull’s year as the UK City of Culture, rather than join in with the national summer reading challenge, we wanted to create our very own Hull-themed challenge” … “Six Hull-themed characters, including a friendly bee lady called Jean and an adventuring moth named Amy, were created by children from Cleeve Primary School, Bransholme in partnership with Hull Libraries.”
  • Kirklees – Two more community centres saved from closure after residents step in to help – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “also being handed over is the Community Centre and Library on Market Street, Birstall, transferred to Birstall Community Holdings Ltd. Both centres have a covenant that restricts them to community use, with up to 30% commercial use”
  • Lambeth – Carnegie trust accuses council of ‘political expediency’ – Brixton Blog. “Lambeth council’s preferred “community partner” to take over Herne Hill’s Carnegie library has accused the council of “political expediency” in a bid to get the building open again before local elections in May next year. And in an open letter to council cabinet member Sonia Winifred, who is responsible for equalities and culture, the Carnegie Community Trust (CCT) says that it is finding it “very difficult” to get through to the council “the need to work in partnership with us and the community”. It says that “Instead of co-operative working we are continually being presented with fait accompli”. And it says a “side deal” between the council and GLL means that a charity could not run the building without contravening charity law.”
  • Lambeth – Lambeth Council reply to criticism from Carnegie Library campaigners – exclusive – Brixton Buzz. Council says “The project is about committing a one-off capital investment now, that will deliver year-on-year savings long into the future. This is essential in the current financial climate to make the building sustainable, protecting the community offer and library service in the area for many years to come, despite the government cuts that Lambeth has faced.” … ” am confident that when the Carnegie library reopens, that it will again be a much-loved and valuable asset for the local community. While we understand that some will continue to oppose our plans, similar warnings that were issued by campaigners about Upper Norwood Library and Waterloo library have not been borne out by the reality.
  • Lambeth – Library campaigners hit back against Lambeth’s claims about the Carnegie library’s future – Brixton Buzz. Campaigners respond to council article “We appreciate that you have inherited the current mess, which was not of your making. But it’s still not too late to start a clean-up. Strong feelings have been aroused not just by affection towards the library – with heavy and fast-increasing usage – but by the council’s cavalier attitude to every attempt made by local people to have their views respected … Government cuts have nothing to do with it. The council received a plan in April 2015 from the libraries manager to make the swingeing cuts it demanded while keeping all Lambeth’s 10 libraries running. It was not even looked at.”
  • Lancashire – Mothballed library to be given a new lease of life – Wigan Today. “The upset villagers of Parbold lobbied Lancashire County Council after it was announced that the library, on The Common, would be shut as part of a major savings programme. But the county’s new Conservative administration, which has engaged in a bitter war of words over libraries with their Labour predecessors, have confirmed the library should re-open soon. Parbold and Thornton, near Blackpool, have each been earmarked for a relaunch between this November and the following April.”
  • Lancashire – Veterans group to open new chapter at library – Burnley Express. “Chief executive Tony Hayes said: “We will be holding an opening day and inviting the community to meet us and inform them of various activities that we will be running. “We will he holding coffee mornings and IT courses for older people. We are also looking for volunteers and for a new member for our fund-raising team. For more information call 01282 219391.”The charity has now re-housed 129 veterans, obtained mental health treatment for 391 veterans and obtained six star lifts and bathroom conversions for elderly disabled veterans.”
  • Medway – Thomas Aveling Community library in Rochester will close – Kent Online. “A library in Medway will be closed as part of a shake up of local services. Thomas Aveling Community library will shut after a public consultation which ran between April and June of this year. The reason for the closure has been put down to limited opening hours and low use. A report from the council reads: “The decision to close Thomas Aveling library is due to it being a poorly performing library, with limited use.”
  • Newport – Newport charity Maindee Unlimited signs 25 year lease for Maindee library – South Wales Argus. “Maindee Library, in Chepstow Road, was saved just days before its closure in 2015, after Newport City Council agreed to let a group of volunteers take it over. The library was due to close after the council announced it was to make city-wide cuts to library provision and could no longer run it. Since then, Maindee Unlimited has been running the library, relying on volunteers. John Hallam, programme manager and volunteer at Maindee Unlimited, said: “This is an important milestone for the library. “I think it is one of the first council assets to be transferred to a community group in Newport.”
  • North Lincolnshire – Plans for £1.2m investment in town’s library, local link and health and wellbeing services – Scunthorpe Telegraph. “The council say extending Baysgarth Leisure Centre will create a one-stop shop for the people of Barton, providing advice information and support for all aspects of wellbeing, including access to library services. The local authority say services will be more accessible and in one location for residents”
  • North Somerset – New library and children’s centre in Pill to open in a week – North Somerset Times. “North Somerset Council has refurbished the library, in Underbanks, to enable the children’s centre to move into the building and it hopes it will be ‘worth the wait’. The library has been remodelled and an outside play area has been created for the children’s centre, which moved out of Crockerne Primary School as part of the council’s Community Access Review. The cost-cutting exercise saw children’s centres close in Yatton and Pill, and plans put in place to move their services to libraries in each of the villages.  While the move was primarily made to save money, by reducing the number of buildings the council is responsible for maintaining, the authority has invested £820,000 into the community buildings it has decided to keep.”
  • North Yorkshire – Library pilot scheme offers mobile options to get online – North Yorkshire County Council. Tablets and touchscreen PCs installed as experiment. “This is a pilot scheme, so before a decision is taken on whether to extend it to other libraries, library staff members want to hear from customers about whether the tablets provide the best way to access information and services.”
  • Plymouth – Plymouth pop-up libraries move a step closer to reality – Plymouth Herald.
  • Richmond – Richmond council investigating possible ‘internal redecoration’ of Whitton Library, but no date has been set –  Richmond and Twickenham Times. Although there is no official confirmation of when this will happen or how it will affect library users, the process of it being refurbished is in the “very early stages”. A council spokesperson said: “As part of the ongoing maintenance programme for all our libraries, we are currently investigating possible internal redecoration work at Whitton Library.”
  • Sheffield – ‘Community hub’ opens doors today – Star. Woodseats Library moves into GP co-location.
  • Staffordshire – Korben, 12, is youngest Stafford library volunteer – Staffordshire Newsletter.  “Korben is one of Staffordshire Libraries Services’ youngest volunteers and teaches children computer programming at Code Club in Stafford library.”
  • Stoke on Trent – Relocated Newcastle Library to offer new technology… but there will be fewer books – Stoke Sentinel. “A town’s relocated library will boast new hi-tech IT equipment, including tablets, a 3D printer and Raspberry Pi computers – but fewer books. Newcastle Library will move from its current location in Ironmarket to the new £15.4 million Castle House civic hub in October, with the new facility having a greater emphasis on technology.”
  • Sunderland – Fulwell library a ‘true community venture’ – Sunderland Echo.
  • Surrey – Can you talk in the library? We look at what you can and can’t do in Surrey’s libraries – Get Surrey. “There are strict rules governing singing, dancing and whether you are allowed to bring in livestock…but are you allowed to hold a conversation among the books?”. A look at the library bye-laws. “It seems like the days of the shushing librarian and a haven of peace are over. As Mark said: “The best way to experience the modern soundscape of a library is to drop in a visit one” and Surrey has 52 to choose from”
  • Swindon – Changes to Swindon Libraries from September 2017 – Swindon Libraries and Information Service. “As of the 1st September Swindon Libraries and Information Service will only be directly responsible for the 5 core Libraries, Central, North, Highworth, West and Park. All of these will continue to run much as they currently do at this time with the addition of Extended Opening Technology” … “Community Groups were given the opportunity to run the remaining Libraries and bids were invited in April for groups to take these on with a pot of transitional funding being made available to help facilitate this.”
  • Swindon – Library McLibraryFace will not be new name for library, say councillors in wake of Boaty McBoatFace fiasco – Swindon Advertiser. “As this will be a place for everyone – the community, local businesses and any non-parish visitors – we would like people to name it. The winning name will be announced Friday, September 1, ready for the opening on September 5. “And no, we can’t call it Boaty McBoatface.””
  • Windsor and Maidenhead – Library volunteer raises privacy concerns over new customer service hubs – Maidenhead Advertiser. “A library volunteer has called the new customer service desks in the library ‘unacceptable’ after she overheard a private discussion about emergency housing. Stressing her personal view to the Advertiser, Bridget Watson, who lives in North Town, says there is a lack of privacy in the library as residents are forced to discuss private matters such as housing and benefits within earshot of library visitors. The council moved customer services, including facilities, management, specialised business support, customer feedback and housing options, from the Town Hall to the Maidenhead, Windsor and Ascot libraries as part of phase one of a new scheme in July.”
  • Worcestershire – Libraries across Bromsgrove are first in the county to become members of the Dementia Action Alliance – Bromsgrove Advertiser. “libraries across the Bromsgrove district are the first in the county to become members of the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). The accolade, which has been awarded to Bromsgrove, Rubery and Catshill Libraries, comes after all staff members completed Dementia Friends training over the last 12 months. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia and works towards transforming the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition”