I am looking for examples of promoting author / book events in libraries that are a bit out of the ordinary. Have you seen a successful library event that was due to something clever the library did to sell it? I’ve just come across one event where a book on Greek literature was tried in with a meal from a local Greek restaurant, leading to a sell-out Genius. Another had authors/poets scattered in shops/cafes and people walked between them. The thing you’ve come across need not have been quite so wonderful but I’d be delighted to hear about it. Any little hints or tips would be great. Because the more ways we can get people interested in reading, and libraries, the better.

Give your example via the comments or email me at ianlibrarian@live.co.uk. I’ll make sure a report on the best ideas will be made available to all. It may even make a difference to a library near you.

Thank you.


National News

  • British Esports Association appoints Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP as Vice Chair – Esports Insider. “Vaizey added: “What I want to do with British Esports is some of the work they’re already doing, for example going into libraries and teaching kids about esports. So getting in with young people and their parents and explaining how esports works, and showing it’s not this scary thing or a waste of time, but has great benefits in playing. It’s an industry and you can make a career in it…”
  • Campaign group Voices for the Library to close – BookSeller. “In its seven years of campaign activity, the group has supported campaigns at a national and local level, participated in the Speak Up For Libraries coalition to develop solidarity across the UK, given media interviews in response to library cuts to give voice to library users and library workers, and has been involved in discussions with ministers, including giving evidence at a Select Committee hearing, to lend its expertise and inform policy.”

  • Edge 2018 – Edinburgh Libraries. Thursday 1st and 2nd March. “Edge 2018 will provide many opportunities to learn from and meet with speakers, decision makers and other practitioners leading the transformation agenda. These are the change managers, thought leaders, and many movers and shakers in information services, shared services, content management, engagement and regeneration. Invest in your organisation, the future, and yourself by attending the ninth Edgeconference in one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world, Edinburgh
  • How can libraries fight the crisis and remain relevant to their users? – Interview with Liz McGettigan – Princh. “The lack of funds definitely wasn’t the only factor. We were guilty of complacency. There was a lack of foresight in risk of potential competition for our services and a lack of investment in library futurology and strategy.” … “Another factor was the lack of leadership and personalities at the top of the profession and that essential power to drive to get libraries to the top tables on council agendas. We allowed our buildings and interiors to deteriorate and we offered free partnership space and staffing to all and sundry.” … “Another key part of our downfall was and still is poor advocacy and the dreadful state of our promotions and marketing. “

“There are more questions than answers – How do we balance the best of the virtual and physical worlds? What mindshifts do we need to make? What makeovers? How do we add the magic? Those which will survive and thrive are those who grasp the need to create fabulous learning experiences.”

          • Libraries Week – PMLG. A Stiorify of tweets from Libraries Week. There’s a ton of stuff here.
          • Libraries Week – Libraries Taskforce. “I’ve taken the opportunity in this post to roundup the announcements that were made and showcase just some of the wide variety of activities that took place. I’ve also included a gallery showing what some of the Taskforce members did.”
Places are still available at the NAG conference, 6th to 7th November in Leeds. Public library workers can get in at half price. More information via http://www.nag.org.uk/events/forthcoming-events/2017/10/workshops-and-papers-at-nag17/.

Places are still available at the NAG conference, 6th to 7th November in Leeds. Public library workers can get in at half price. More information via http://www.nag.org.uk/events/forthcoming-events/2017/10/workshops-and-papers-at-nag17/.

          • One year on from Ambition: let us know what you think – Libraries Taskforce. “for the retrospective, what do you think about what we’ve been doing over the last year? What impact is our work having on the ground through local library service delivery? What have we been doing well, and what should we look to change in future?”
          • Watchmen writer Alan Moore goes to war with council over library closures – Telegraph. “Moore, 63, was born in Northampton into a working class family who had lived there for generations. He claims that it was access to the town’s libraries that inspired him to become a writer. As he told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “The facilities that I relied upon when I grew up in a house that didn’t have many books… but there was always the library. It was a treasured institution that made me what I am.”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

          • Belgium – De Krook Library, Ghent – Designing Libraries. “We strongly believe in the library, but it must be ready for the future. A place where anyone can go to read or borrow a book, but also to attend lectures or participate in research. A place where you can navigate your way through the complex digital world or simply enjoy a cup of coffee with friends. De Krook truly belongs to everyone”
          • Canada – CUPE Releases Results of Survey on Precarious Employment in Public Libraries – Librarianship.ca. ” large percentage of the workers at public libraries are precariously employed, a new CUPE survey has found. Twenty-eight per cent of CUPE public library workers are not working in full-time or permanent jobs, and an additional 24 per cent are at risk of becoming precariously employed, according to major findings from Phase 1 of the first-ever CUPE national library workers’ survey on precarious employment.”
          • Croatia – Best Library 2017 Award: Prelog Municipal Library – Naple Sister Libraries. “best library in Croatia for 2017.  This library plays a central role in the community, with outstanding statistics of participation. Maja Lesinger, a passionate librarian, is its Director. He’s interviewed (it’s in English) for this Croatian digital publication:”
          • Pakistan – Why Quetta’s sole library is unable to accommodate its 4000 patrons – Dawn. “Quetta’s lone library is crowded with students reading books ranging from philosophy to democracy. Arrive early and the students and avid readers get yellow wooden desks. The latecomers have to settle for a place on the floor. “The government could at least provide chairs so that students don’t have to study on the floor,” requests Musa Babul son of a farmer from Turbat.”
          • Spain – GLAM/Case studies/Catalonia’s Network of Public Libraries – Wikimedia. “This case study covers the collaboration of a whole network of Catalan public libraries with Wikipedia & Wikimedia projects. This documentation focues on the motivations for their collaboration, the activities engaging the libraries and the influence and impact of that initiative on ideas around open access and the Wikimedia community within the libraries sector.”
          • USA – Sensible talk about HTTPS – Librarian.net. “The big reasoning for pushing for this in libraries is twofold. First privacy is our business. It’s in our professional bill of rights and it’s certainly in all of our marketing materials.”
          • USA – State of sexual harassment in the library – Book Riot. “In speaking out, Team Harpy did what it was people ask for in any situation of sexual assault and/or harassment: they talked.Not only were they sued for doing so, a community turned against them, calling them little more than harpies looking for attention.”… “librarians are not taught what to do when they become the victim of harassment.”
          • USA – How Libraries Discriminate Against Undocumented Children – Time. “I was not surprised when I learned this past May that students in Cicero were unable to obtain library cards because their parents were obligated to provide government-issued photo identification. An acquaintance of mine who works in the school district had tried to set up field trips for kids to renew or apply for cards and was informed about this requirement. For most Americans who are citizens, I’d venture to guess that these kinds of requests seem perfectly reasonable. For undocumented immigrants, however, this is another instance in which they are being denied a public service.”

Local news by authority

      • Bath and North East Somerset – Green light given for integrated Bath Library and One Stop Shop at the Podium – Bath Echo. “By investing in the library service now and integrating the Council’s library and customer service, this is expected to save the authority almost £400,000 a year towards an overall savings target of £800,000 from the Council’s Modern Libraries programme.” see also A victory for campaigners as Bath Library to stay in its current home – Journal series.
      • Bexley – Six Bexley libraries will pilot a pre-school obesity programme – Bexley Times. “The Teddy Bears Picnic project will take place at six libraries, with a focus on teaching pre-school children about healthy eating in a fun and imaginative way. The project is one 14 to receive a share of a £200,000 grant from Carnegie UK Trust and the health trust, Wellcome. Bexley’s project has received a £12,500 share of the grant, which was set up to create engagement between libraries and residents.”
      • Bolton – Bolton Central Library uncovers the past with rare book collection – Bolton News. “As part of the celebrations for Libraries Week, staff at the Central Library have been delving into their rare book collection, allowing the public to get up close to some of their greatest treasures.”
      • Bristol – How this Bristol library threatened with closure became my lifeline – Bristol Post. “When Liz Twose caught a virus that put an end to her sporty lifestyle, Wick Road Library was there to help her rebuild. Now it is on a list of 17 libraries which could be shut to save money.” … “Liz started attending the reading group at the library in Brislington, meeting them every four to six weeks and going to social events and trips throughout the year”
      • Calderdale – Inside Halifax Central Library – Designing Libraries. “The new library opened on September 5th 2017 in its new location. Thedesignconcept was the principal interior design company, shelving and furniture supplier for the new library.”
      • Cumbria – No changes planned to opening times at town library, despite request from MP – Times and Star. “Cockermouth Town Council has no plans to change the opening hours at the town’s library following its takeover. The council was asked by Workington MP Sue Hayman to consider staying open an hour later one day a week, until 5pm, to allow children who did not have appropriate facilites at home to do their homework. Councillor Eric Nicholson said: “We have just taken this service on and I think we should see how things go in the next 12 months. If there is a massive upsurge in the number of people using the library we can look into opening hours again”
      • Dudley – International Games week – Dudley Council. “We will soon publish details of our Library events to celebrate International Games week.  We hope to have some drop-in gaming tasters and more…”: board games and chess.
      • East Sussex – Library cuts must be fought – Sussex Express / Letters. “Profits sink, libraries close, potholes appear, council houses are not built, streets lights are repaired less, doctors are more difficult to see. The world has never been richer, but not for library users. “
      • Gloucestershire – Legendary playwright Alan Bennett presents £5,000 prize to Bream Library – Forester. “Alan Bennett presented Bream Community Library with the first ever David Vaisey Prize of £5,000. Bream fought of competition from 20 entries from Gloucestershire’s 39 libraries in the competition which encourages more people to use their public library. Bream Library was originally shortlisted for its imaginative initiative to increase the number of children to visit the library. It runs a regular Lego club where children build Lego projects and gain inspiration from Lego books which they read with their parents.”
      • Halton – This Lego library is partially based on the building where it was created – Evening Express. “Children at the Halton Lea club added some dream elements to their Lego library as they got creative but other parts were faithful to the building’s actual design.”
      • Herefordshire – Project to create cultural hub at library put on hold – Hereford Times. “An independent group called 31 Broad Street was due to report back to Herefordshire Council‘s cabinet next May on their plans to create an innovative new centre of learning at the current library building in Hereford city centre. But Les Watson, who was leading the project, said no further meetings will take place while the council works on a separate report considering the future of museum services. “
      • Isle of Wight – 2,592 island children took in part in Summer Reading Challenge – Island Echo. ” An amazing 2,592 children signed up across all 11 of the island’s libraries, including volunteer-run libraries and the mobile library. This was an increase of 10.5% on last (2,345 children in 2016) and is the third highest figure recorded since the reading challenge on the Island began.
      • Lambeth – Council slammed over £3 million public relations spree:: “Money would pay for Carnegie and Minet libraries bills three times over” – councillor – News from Crystal Palace. “Green party Cllr Scott Ainslie has criticised Lambeth council’s decision to spend £3 million on their internal PR agency Lambeth Communications calling their decision “shocking” and “a slap in the face for all residents”. The annual cost would pay for basic library services at Carnegie and Minet “more than three times over” he says. “I am livid.””
      • Lancashire – Libraries in Lancashire put under the spotlight – Lancashire Post. “Recovering from the threat of closures librarians throughout the county have been on a mission to reinvigorate their spaces as central community hubs. Just this week a theatre company visited three libraries across Lancashire, in Longton, Leyland and Morecambe, telling the story of an epic musical folktale.”
      • Leeds – ITS200270 Leeds City Council – Libraries Tablet Lending Scheme – Contract Finder. “Leeds City Council is seeking competitive tenders from suppliers for the delivery of a tablet lending service to the citizens of Leeds. Requirements for the opportunity will include the provision of cellular and Wi-Fi enabled tablets, connectivity and data management, MDM configuration and app management.  It is recognised that the tablet lending scheme will amount to a new service offering delivered from Leeds City Council library buildings across the city and requiring staff at these locations to provide access to these units”
      • Merton – Worlds of Possibilities – The London Libraries Festival – Libraries Taskforce. “Worlds of Possibilities, the first ever London Libraries Festival, starts this Wednesday and runs for four days through to Saturday 14 October. We are thrilled to offer a range of artists, authors and thinkers. Jah Wobble will be live in conversation with Mike Tyrell and will perform with his band, the Invaders of the Heart; Elizabeth Kostova reading from her new book, The Shadowland, and Jessica Hynes talking BAFTA nominations and W1A. All just part of the hundreds of events happening across the London library network, all for free.”
      • Middlesbrough – Harry Potter magic comes to Middlesbrough with town one of only 20 to host exhibition – Gazette. “Middlesbrough Central Library’s local connections to magic and folklore will also be showcased, and will include the stories of Peg Powler and The Lambton Worm as well as items from Dorman Museum’s collection.”
      • Newcastle Upon Tyne – News from the Network: Community Libraries in the North East – Community Managed Libraries Network. “Following the first meeting of the national Community Managed Libraries Peer Network, the Friends of Jesmond Library (in Newcastle upon Tyne) decided to mark Libraries Week by hosting an informal workshop for community libraries in the North East of England, including those interested in forming new community libraries.”
      • Northamptonshire – Twenty-one libraries at risk in Northamptonshire – BookSeller. “Twenty-one libraries in Northamptonshire are at risk of becoming community managed as part of new proposals to make £10m worth of cuts.”
      • North Yorkshire – What a page-turning summer it was – York Press. “Children borrowed nearly 100,000 books from North Yorkshire libraries over the summer, the county council has revealed. Among them were more than 9,600 children who tackled the annual summer challenge of reading at least six library books – and almost 8,000 achieved it. They were helped to find their books by 103 volunteers, aged 11 to 24. The libraries also staged 116 summer holiday events attended by more than 1,700 children including pony riding at Colburn Community Library, a visit by bats to Newby and Scalby Community Library, a detective school at Ripon Library and a secret agent event at Bilton and Woodfield Community Library”
      • Oldham – Oldham Libraries’ Project to care for young minds wins support from pioneering new fund for public libraries – Oldham Times. “Oldham libraries’ “Comics and Cosplay: Caring for Young Minds” project has been selected as one of 14 winning applicants to receive new ‘Engaging Libraries’ funding from the Carnegie UK Trust and the Wellcome Trust. The funding aims to help local communities explore major health and wellbeing issues including stress, obesity, body image and even death in new and innovative ways. “
      • Suffolk – Half term fun as snakes, cockroaches and beetles invade Suffolk library – Ipswich Star. “The event was run by Zoolab a company that specialises in animal handling experiences. A member of their team was on hand to tell the children more about each of the animals that were brought along
      • Vale of Glamorgan – Barry library marks National Libraries Week – Barry and DIstrict News. “The library has some really great facilities and sessions on offer all year round, from digital drop-Ins to colouring clubs to a pedal painting workshop. “
      • West Berkshire – Volunteers crucial to Thatcham Library’s survival – Newbury Today. “Volunteers who stepped in to help save Thatcham Library have been praised for their efforts – 19 months after the community facility was threatened with closure. Around 25 volunteers make up the friends group, which has helped keep the building open. The group held an open morning at the library on Saturday, to coincide with libraries week and the Thatcham Festival.
      • Wigan – Atherton Library set to welcome Atherton Life Centre into its building Leigh Journal. “Atherton Life Centre will move from its Bag Lane base to the town’s library at York Street on Monday. It is part of a scheme to bring customer services in the borough’s towns together as well as contributing towards a £1.4 million saving town hall bosses have targeted. “
      • Wrexham – Review of Wrexham’s library service proposed to “ensure it is cost effective and fit for purpose” – Wrexham.com. “In a ‘Difficult Decisions 2018/19 and 2019/20 – Reshaping Services/Budget Consultation’ report due before members of the Executive Board tomorrow morning, it is proposed a libraries service review takes place to ensure that is cost effective and fit for purpose.”