Thank you to everyone who responded to me plea for examples of good promotions of non-bestseller author / book events in libraries. One of the key things coming out is the need to it in with something else. A “hook” if you will. Things like food, drink, music and tying in with a special day on the calendar (be it Halloween or the Great British Bake Off) appear to work. As ever, charging splits opinion, with some worried that charging will deter people and others swearing by it for showing the events is high-quality and for making sure people actually turn up when they see they will. But I’d love more examples.  I want this list to be something good. Ooh, and also I only have UK examples so far and I know a lot of you are not from around these part. So email me at ianlibrarian@live.co.uk.  Thanks again.



National news

  • Connect Books put up for sale – BookSeller. “The group [Connect Books] aims to find a buyer and sell the business arm, which includes wholesaler Bertrams, Dawson Books academic library supply arm and e-commerce retailer Wordery, within 12 months”. Both the company’s UK and international library businesses suffered ..the firm blamed on “more challenging conditions impacted by the combination of Brexit, which has created inevitable uncertainty in the higher education sector, and volatile exchange rates, and ongoing austerity challenges especially in the public library sector”.
  • Do we need a UK Library User’s Guide to RFID? – Changing Libraries / Mick Fortune. “This guide is different from everything else I have written about RFID over the past 10 years or so. It is much shorter, and is for the individual who wants to write their own app as well as the ordinary citizen who just wants to borrow a book.” … “If there are any additional concerns about public interaction with the library they should be troubling librarians rather than the public. The reason for my saying this concerns recent advances in a technology called NFC (short for Near Field Communication) that have resulted in many smartphones being able to read and write to library tags. As I indicated at the start of this post some members of the public are already using this capability to develop their own apps to interact with library stock. For the moment this appears to be for purely benign reasons.”

“The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not seek to duplicate the collection of data that is collected and published by others. The Libraries Taskforce collected and published basic data about the number and locations of each public library in England as at 1 July 2016 and has worked with the libraries sector to define the data proposed for inclusion in a future core dataset for public libraries in England.” John Glen MP  [In actuality, the DCMS have never listed library closures, Taskforce or no, as presumably this would not be politically beneficial to the minister of the time, Labour or Conservative – Ed.]

  • Why I bother with libraries A Medley Of Extemporanea / Dawn Finch. “want a society where people have intelligence and are informed and creative. That matters to me and that’s what libraries (and in particular school libraries) do…”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • Australia – The Truth Worth Of Libraries Is Much Greater Than You Think – Huffington Post. “There are plenty of things that young generations feel aggrieved about being saddled with. Climate change and a long-running war in the Middle East are two that leap immediately to mind. But there are other things handed down by previous generations that seem to suggest extraordinary generosity and vision. One is libraries”. What seems like a socialist idea – lending books for free – in fact is a great investment.
  • Global – Librarians Are Secretly the Funniest People Alive – Electric Literature. “did you know that librarians have always been lowkey the most fun people on the planet? Here are seven times that librarians have debunked the stereotype that they are uptight scolds ready to shush those who dare to have fun in their sacred institution.”
  • Global – Open + Libraries: Sharing the Library Key – Medium / Jane Cowell. Cologne: “Budget limitations meant that Mondays could not be staffed and the library team saw the Open Plus model as a way to provide an ‘open library’ with minimum budget impact” … Arhus: ” For the main Central Library in Aarhus the Open Plus hours allow the library to be opened from 7am until 10pm with staff hours 8am until 8pm. A janitor walks the floors for evacuation purposes at night when staff are not in attendance.”

“There is certainly a view in the United Kingdom that Open Plus Libraries are being used to fully replace library staff and staff-less libraries are being implemented using this technology. And this was a concern expressed at one German Library service. However, their experience is that their Council understands and supports the wide variety of work the Library service undertakes with their staff and was excited to see the extensions for their citizens. So questions to ask yourselves are: Does your Council understand that the Library Service does more than check out books? If not then there is some advocacy work to undertake so that the library staff are valued for the impact their work has in the community.”

  • Global – Public Libraries and Developing Countries – Medium / Technology and the New Library. “The Gates Foundation is seeking to make the world’s public libraries assets in communities as centres for information and technology. They advocate for the equality of opportunity, to access online information and skills to interpret the information, for all individuals, especially those in developing nations or poor communities. The Gates Foundation is trying to help public libraries reinvent themselves as online information centres, to help their communities in a drastic way. The foundation began by funding free Internet access in public libraries around the US. They have expanded globally and are supporting access to the Internet worldwide.” 
  • USA – Important Emotional Labor of Librarians Most People Never Think About – Medium / EveryLibrary. “Being a librarian is not an easy job, and it’s not because we occasionally have to clean up vile messes. It’s not easy because, like Steven Assarian explained in his article, “As a Business Librarian, I Help People Find Their Passion,” people sometimes come to us at a crossroads. They’re afraid of making a mistake that may put their lives in turmoil. Heck, sometimes their lives are already in turmoil. Librarians take on that chaos; we have no choice but to face down the power, joy and suffering both, that people bring into our space. That’s the emotional labor of librarianship. It’s not something we often talk about to the public, or even that much to each other. But it’s real, it’s hard, and it’s important.”

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