Quite a few changes reported this post, with co-locations absolutely being the order of the day. That cut in Hampshire is going to be big news when it hits the public consciousness next year. The anger is continuing over the “move it further away and halve its size” plan for Bath Central and. over in Plymouth, the council is welcoming the closure of five libraries as a move into the 21st Century. That may be depressing but Lancashire is showing the opposite move with £850k being spent in order to reopen libraries closed under the previous administration. Also, we have a volunteer library in trouble as the academy where it is house is suggesting they move out, with nowhere to go to. Internationally, the picture is pretty much reversed with a massive boost in spending announced for the already well-funded (to British eyes) Swedish system. There’s also a brilliant article on how great Australian libraries are.


National news

  • Benchmarking Framework for library services – DDCMS. “designed by the sector to support library services to develop their organisational capability to achieve enhanced and sustainable positive outcomes for the communities they serve. The Framework is not a product, an award or a badge; it’s a ‘journey’ of improvement across all aspects of the library service and its work (underpinned by self-assessment).” …”community managed [volunteer] libraries should also find the framework useful”
  • How can library events be used to reach out to the community? – Princh. “Over the past few months, we have discovered some of the many creative ways libraries can become more attractive to their users, such as community partnerships, a single library system, focusing on sensitive communities, technology and much more. You can explore all of these topics here. The aspect that we emphasize the most is the importance of a community focus when implementing new programs and events at the library. For this, here are two successful ways library events are used for reaching out to patrons:” Looks at events for current and future users.
  • Love Libraries Tour 2017 – Peters. “During the summer holidays, children’s author, Tom Palmer, spent nine days touring public libraries in England to help spread the love of reading for pleasure. And, when we say tour, we mean tour. Here’s his tour t-shirt to prove it.
  • Makerspaces in libraries: progress – Libraries Taskforce.
  • A Question of Identity – Leon’s Library Blog. “it was interesting when NicK Poole tweeted from the recent IFLA WLIC conference the question as to whether Cilip saw itself as an association for libraries or librarians or both, and then invited views. The question has implications for our identity and how we conduct ourselves, both individually and as a profession.” … “my answer to Nick’s question would be it’s for both and by building a strong professional body we provide the best possible service for libraries, librarians and ultimately the public. “

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • Australia – Whisper it: libraries are cooler and more important than ever – Weekly Review. “What we’re seeing is actually a public library renaissance. Around Victoria there have been so many new libraries built in recognition of the fact that they’re really vital contributors to community life,” Patti says.”
  • Global / USA – Top 50 Librarian Blogs and Websites for Librarians – Feedspot. Some interesting ones I’ve not seen before but heavy USA bias.
  • Iraq – Library Rebuilding Begins at University of Mosul – Public Libraries Online. “In 2014, ISIL/ISIS closed the University of Mosul.  Eight thousand books  and 10,000 manuscripts were destroyed by militants as they looted and ransacked the library. An anonymous blogger, who goes by Mosul Eye, is leading an effort to rebuilt and restock the library”
  • Norway / UK – Diametrically opposed library drama in two of our neighboring countries – Library Addresses (Translated from Norwegian). “And this is one of the virtually daily messages from the UK about closures, automations and competition and privatization. The brave of us can follow British Ian Anstice’s blog Public Library News , with almost daily news reports including “Changes” (scroll down). All the changes, mostly worse, he collects here
  • Sweden – Eight of the earliest library masters!  In Sweden – Library Addresses (Translated from Norwegian). “Swedish Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke (Environmental Party) announced today that the government will spend a quarter of a billion Swedish Kroner each year for three years to strengthen the public library. It is currently unclear from the minister how the money will be used, except for the wording ” More libraries allow more people to borrow books and read newspapers” [This is £23m pounds. Taking into account Sweden’s population this would represent easily £125m per year pro rata for England – Ed.]
  • USA – Kansas City Libraries Defend Free Speech in Face of Arrests, Resignations – Library Journal. “Two library systems in the Kansas City, MO, area have found themselves at the center of challenges to free speech. An event last spring at the Kansas City Public Library (KCPL) resulted in the arrests of a both patron who spoke at a public lecture and the librarian who defended him. And in August, at the nearby Grandview branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL), two security guards resigned in protest of a book display originally titled “Black Lives Matter,” although the library changed the title. Both incidents, while different in tenor and outcome, highlight the role of libraries as defenders of free speech and safe spaces for dissent.”

Local news by authority

    • Bath and North East Somerset – Final Bath library protest to be staged on eve of consultation deadline – Bath Chronicle. “The group believe Lewis House is a totally unsuitable home for the “modern, integrated” library planned. Surveyors have raised concerns about disability access at both sites, especially Lewis House, which it says many disabled people “would not enter”.
    • Bath and North East Somerset – Tories vote down calls to scrap library changes on eve of consultation deadline – Bath Chronicle. “Bath and North East Somerset Council plans to integrate library and One Stop Shop services. For the last two months it has been seeking feedback from the community about whether those services should be housed in the Podium, the current home of the library, or Lewis House, which currently houses the One Stop Shop. Yesterday (Friday, September 14) a debate over the future of the library was held during a full council meeting. The Lib Dems called for the consultation to be dropped, labelling it as “fake”, while the Conservatives slammed the opposition actions as “irresponsible”.-
    • Bexley – Crayford post office set for library opening, says MP – Bexley Times. “The long wait for a post office to return to Crayford could be over soon, as it looks to return at the town’s library. Residents lost the services after Mace convenience store closed down last summer in the hope of becoming a dessert parlour, but a planning application to change its use was later rejectecd by Bexley council. Since then users have had to travel to Bexleyheath or Dartford post offices. But David Evennett, Bexleyheath and Crayford MP, said that wait could soon be over.”
    • Bradford – Comic-book giveaway at Keighley Library – Keighley News. “Free graphic novels and comic books – suitable for teenagers and young adults – will be available from 13 libraries, from Friday, September 22. As part of the Bradford Libraries venture – in partnership with Leeds Sequential Art Festival-Thought Bubble – there are also workshops led by Lucasfilm artist and author Jake Steel, who has worked on merchandise for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.” see also Star Wars artist among guests dropping into Bradford libraries – Telegraph and Argus.
    • Bradford – Denholme Community Library needs new volunteers to keep current opening hours – Keighley News. “The library’s Volunteer Management Committee said it was offering local people a “new and exciting opportunity” to help them maintain the present opening hours. A spokesman said: “There are a number of spaces available for multi-skilled, customer-friendly people.”
    • Bradford – District councillors urge parish colleagues to delay a decision on Burley Library – Wharfedale Observer. “Councillors Gerry Barker, Jackie Whiteley and Dale Smith are urging parish councillors to defer a decision on the future of the library in Burley for 12 months, so a full and proper assessment of its viability can be formed and a business plan can be compiled. “
    • Bradford – New community-run library to open at Queensbury Community Partnership, High Street, Queensbury – Telegraph and Argus. Queensbury Community Programme (QCP), in High Street, will house the new facility after the Bradford Council-run library in Victoria Hall shut earlier this year. QCP Development Manager Kathryn Halford says 25 volunteers have already come forward to help out.””
    • Croydon – Revealed: The number of visits to Croydon libraries has increased – Croydon Advertiser. “overall number of visits to the borough’s 13 Croydon Council libraries has increased when compaing figures from 2012 to 2017. The data shows there were a total of 1,859,113 visits made between the start of April, 2012, and end of March, 2013, compared to 1,917,777 in the most recent financial year – April 2016 to March 2017. As a result, when comparing these two periods an 58,664 visits were made in the last year compared to five years ago.”
    • Ealing – Relocation of Ealing Central Library to begin next month – Ealing Council. “The plans, announced by Ealing Council at the cabinet meeting on 12 September, will see Ealing Central Library moved to a new, modern space within Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, close to the current facility.  British Land, the owner of the shopping centre will fund the relocation in full, meaning that local residents will benefit from a new, modern town centre library, with reduced running costs, at no cost to the council. “
    • East Sussex – Council leader’s £9,000 allowance rise to be discussed on same day as library closures debate – Eastbourne Herald. “A possible £9,000 a year rise in the leader of the county council’s special responsibility allowance is to be discussed straight after proposed library closures next week. As part of the recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel, Conservative Keith Glazier would receive £34,400 per annum up from the current figure of £25,113, while all councillors’ basic allowance would also increase from £11,303 to £12,300 a year. Extra costs would be met by savings made as a result of councillors being excluded from the local government pension scheme. “
    • East Sussex – ‘Huge loss’ if closure of Ringmer’s library goes ahead – Sussex Express. “Lewes MP Maria Caulfield said: “I am very disappointed that there are plans to close the libraries in Ringmer and Polegate. “The community in Ringmer only recently re-opened their new library facility in the village hall and so to close this would be a huge loss to the community”
    • East Sussex – Lib Dems launch petition to stop library closures – Eastbourne Herald. ” petition has been launched by the Lib Dems opposing the proposed library closures at Ringmer and Polegate.It says: “These closures are unnecessary and detrimental to local communities, and Liberal Democrats are campaigning to have these proposed cuts reversed. Please sign our petition and add your voice to stop these cuts.”
    • Hampshire – Agenda – Hampshire County Council. “The Library Service is exploring options to achieve a saving of £2.25m by The Library Service Transformation Strategy to 2020 was approved in April 2016 and was developed to ensure that the Library Service can evolve to meet the changing needs of customers, whilst retaining traditional services. The proposals to deliver transformation to 2019 savings are therefore underpinned by this service strategy. Self service technology will be installed in all libraries and vacancy management will continue to be rigorously applied to all staff vacancies, reducing staff numbers as far as possible. It is proposed to undertake a public consultation in 2018 on options to reduce the operating costs of running the service. The options could include reducing opening hours, transferring libraries to be run by their local community, making greater use of volunteers and making a permanent reduction to the Book Fund.”
    • Hampshire – Extent of potential cuts revealed as county council looks to save £140m – Basingstoke Advertiser. “The proposals include stopping funding of all subsidised bus services across Hampshire, closing half of the county’s waste and recycling centres, and reducing staff at libraries.”
    • Haringey – Campaigners respond after Highgate Library escapes relocation – Ham and High. “We at Friends of Highgate Library (FOHL) are delighted to hear that Highgate Library will continue to serve the community in its current beautiful building. The Friends campaigned for months against the damaging proposal to sell Highgate Library and put the service into Jacksons Lane Arts Centre (JLAC). Nobody, apart from a few HLAG committee members, were ever consulted about JLAC’s proposal to help fund its refurbishment by selling off Highgate Library and moving the library service to the JLAC building.”

  • Lancashire – Adlington Library could be run by Lancashire County Council again – Lancashire Evening Post. “The library had been declared surplus to requirements last year. However following campaigning from community group, Friends of Adlington Libary, it has remained open with financial support from Chorley Council. “
  • Lancashire – Bill to reopen axed Lancashire libraries nears £1m – Lancashire Evening Post. “Councillors have voted to fund nearly £850,000 of work to reopen 11 of Lancashire’s closed libraries. The county council’s cabinet also threw a new lifeline to Adlington library. The cabinet’s decisions, made today, will help fulfil a May election pledge to re-open libraries closed as a money saving measure by the previous Labour administration. It’s expected to cost £110,554 to reopen Fulwood library, £186,512 to reopen Lostock Hall, £96,086 for Whalley and £93,783 for Freckleton library. The future of Bamber Bridge library has still to be decided. ;Council leader Councillor Geoff Driver said if the previous administration had heeded Tory amendments to keep library services running: “It would have saved something approaching £1m and I hope people take notice of that.””
  • Lancashire – Cleveleys gets go-ahead for new community centre and library – Blackpool Gazette. “Lancashire County Council’s cabinet gave the go-ahead this week for a community asset transfer and the creation of an independent community library in the town. Councillors, who approved the change in principle, were told community organisation UR Potential had submitted a detailed application for the transfer. It hopes to make the buildings available for community use, providing opportunities for learning and activities to help reduce social isolation. “
  • Lancashire – Plaster woes put dampener on library – Blackpool Gazette. “Results of structural investigations are still awaited after the library was closed suddenly last month after some plaster fell from the ceiling. Specialist surveyors advised that the building should be closed for the safety of the public and members of staff and library users were advised to use Ansdell or Kirkham libraries as alternatives. The library had been scheduled to close for four weeks later this year to enable a structural survey to be carried out but the plaster fall meant that work has had to be brought forward.”
  • Lancashire – Trying to save Lancashire’s libraries – 2BR. “a consultation will last for eight weeks to let us decide how long libraries will be open for. After that, the LCC will make a final decision early next year. Our libraries would be put into one of four different bands depending on what’s needed in the area. That will affect the potential opening hours of the services.”
  • North East Lincolnshire – Chance to have your say on plans to close libraries one day a week – Grimsby Telegraph. “Library users are being asked for their views about closing four core libraries in North East Lincolnshire one day a week. At last month’s Cabinet meeting, it was acknowledged that in order to deliver the service within budget for next year, opening hours at the libraries should be altered, based on use of the facilities. One of the options is close them one day a week.”
  • Oldham – Iconic Royton library will be closed down after more than 100 years – Manchester Evening News. “The services run Royton Library will be moved into the ground floor of the Town Hall as part of a major shake up” … “Oldham Council say the building will be ‘marketed as an attractive centrally-located commercial opportunity’ – meaning it could be sold or leased, and hope it will be revived”
  • Plymouth – Five of Plymouth’s libraries are closing for good this weekend – Herald. “Five libraries in Eggbuckland, Ernesettle, Laira, Tothill and Stoke will close their doors for the final time by 1pm on September 16.”. Ten originally earmarked for closure but “following consultations across the city and widespread public outcry over the plans, the closures were scaled back to six sites and an investment of £250,000 was announced to modernise the service, including redeveloping the St Budeaux site.”
  • Shropshire – Consultation on library services – Ludlow Advertiser. “includes a number of proposals including a number of larger ‘hub’ libraries, smaller libraries and mobile libraries. “Shropshire’s draft library services strategy does not set out to close any existing libraries,” said Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure. “However, based on a thorough review of the usage and location of existing mobile-library stops, the consultation makes a specific recommendation to reduce the number of stops from 354 to 277.”
  • South Gloucestershire – Plans to move Thornbury’s Armstrong Hall and library to community centre go on show to the public – Gazette. “opinions have been voiced by Thornbury residents as a public consultation begins to potentially move the Armstrong Hall and library into Turnberrie’s Community Centre. Two sets of plans have been put forward by Thornbury Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council, with the second proposing a full refurbishment of the Armstrong Hall Complex.”
  • Staffordshire – Self-service library bid sparks fears for security of stock – Stoke Sentinel. “A proposed self-service scheme to allow users access to libraries outside of staffed hours has sparked concerns for security and damage to stock. The out-of-hours service, which would enable registered library users to use facilities when they are not staffed, is one of the options set to be considered by Staffordshire County Council as part of the second phase of its “libraries transformation”.The three-year plan, which also covers future provision of mobile and travelling library services, aims to save £1.3m between 2018 and 2021.”
  • Staffordshire – Work to create new Lichfield library in city centre church to begin next week – Lichfield Mercury. “The scheme will see the opening up of the ground floor at St Mary’s Church in Market Square to accommodate the library and tourist information service, while the first floor will include a permanent museum, exhibition and performance space, as well as an access point for digitised archive collections.” … “While one end of the first floor will have a balcony overlooking the level below, its central space will be occupied by a flexible performance and exhibition space”
  • Suffolk – Suffolk’s young readers receive awards from Summer Reading Challenge – Suffolk Free Press. “Figures show that this year was one of the most successful in Suffolk, with 8,230 children signing up to take part, say organisers.” [So, not a record year. How did everyone else do? Ed.]
  • Swindon – Beechcroft Road library reopens but is yet to be named – Swindon Advertiser. “people of Upper Stratton gathered in Beechcroft Road yesterday to witness the grand reopening of the community library. Councillors and residents were treated to a spot of grub and Stratton St Margaret Parish Council chairman Joe Tray cut the ribbon.”
  • Swindon – Councillor praises ‘ambition’ of community library champions – Swindon Advertiser. “On Tuesday, the Stratton St Margaret Parish Council reopened the library in Beechcroft Road with promises to turn it into a “thriving community hub”. Parish council chairman Joe Tray said that he and fellow councillors had a clear vision for the library and he thought it would be “a huge success”.”
  • Wakefield – Fears over the future of library – Wakefield Express. “a village could lose its library five years after the facility was saved from closure by a team of volunteers. A dispute over the future of Walton Community Library could see it vacate its current premises at the village primary school. It was kept open in 2012 when Wakefield Council could not afford to run after a deal was reached between library volunteers and Walton Primary school. But now the arrangement could be terminated by Waterton Academy Trust, which runs the school.”