Congratulations to those voted in as Trustees for CILIP, especially public libraries blogger Leon Bolton whose blogging career I have watched with great interest. There’s a few ongoing fights in various library services, including an interesting suggestion from Warrington’s auditors about the need to consider other bidders for library services. The deep cuts to Northamptonshire libraries are again in the news too (and I’d like to point out they only had 36 branches to begin with, not the bigger number I have accidentally given them in previous posts), as are the final dates for some of Bury libraries to close. The long-running legal fight in Darlington will continue, with the judge saying there’s just enough evidence to move the review on to the next level.


National news

  • Board Member Election Results – CILIP. 19.6% turnout. John Trevor-Allen (2 years trustee, ethics, health librarian) 1586 votes (elected), Dawn Finch (Schools librarian. immediate past president) 1578 votes (elected), Leon Bolton (public librarian, blogger) 1272 votes (elected), Naomi Korn (trustee, consultant) 1231 votes. Three board members elected.
  • Everything is connected: the library management system of tomorrow – Axiell / Ian Anstice [Yes, me – Ed.]. “Look, as said at the start, we live in a connected world. We search online. We speak to friends. We watch a YouTube video and click on a link in its comments. That the online public face that we show the world is not so connected is a massive missed opportunity. Nor should we expect people to come to us or even have us at the forefront of their minds when they’re looking for something. “
  • How Bookstart Rhymetimes helped me become the mother I am – Booktrust. “I had arranged to meet a new friend who had a daughter the same age as my son, and Rhymetime was the perfect place to catch up. It was welcoming, fun and the babies adored it. We all loved it so much that we started going every week – and told all our friends about it too! We got into a lovely routine of going along to Rhymetime and then having a coffee and a chat afterwards.”
  • Savings bank founder Henry Duncan celebrated in new book – BBC. “The TSB Bank has announced plans to donate two copies to 490 libraries throughout Scotland.”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • Canada – Tank: Look it up — Canadian cities spending big on libraries – Saskatoon Star Phoenix. “Calgary seems the best example. For a city that has appeared skeptical about ponying up millions for a new arena, it may be a surprising place to find a $245-million new central library slated to open next year. The building will cost nearly as much as Regina’s new Mosaic Stadium ($278 million). The money comes largely through a community investment fund, but it’s a huge show of faith in the relevance of libraries when some think the digital revolution has rendered them obsolete. Edmonton is spending $69 million to revamp its downtown library, which is scheduled to reopen in 2020. Ottawa is planning a $168-million library as part of efforts to redevelop a central part of the nation’s capital. The City of Ottawa is paying $99 million of the cost. Mid-sized cities are building new libraries, too. Halifax opened its new $57.6-million, 120,000-sq.-ft. library in 2014. It bears a striking resemblance to the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan.”

Local news by authority

  • Bexley – Crayford Library temporarily closes as post office work begins – Bexley Times. “Crayford Library is closed for the next few days to allow for installation of the town’s new post office”
  • Birmingham – Anger as Sutton Coldfield Library to shut for ‘months’ to make building fit for tenants – Birmingham Mail. “Last year Birmingham City Council announced plans to close the town centre library saying it was the ‘most expensive to run in the city’. But earlier this year a deal was struck with Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council (RSCTC) to contribute to running costs, in return for the city council carrying out repairs and actively marketing the letting of the second floor. Now it has emerged that in order to let the second floor, to what is believed to be a call centre firm, works must take place at the building, primarily to create a new exclusive entrance for the firm. Works are also required to create toilets on the first floor and a new café. But town and city councillor Ewan Mackey (Trinity, Con.) has slammed the announcement that the library will close for the works to take place.”
  • Bristol – Bristol libraries safe – for now – as council caves to pressure – Socialist Party. “The future of Bristol’s libraries is far from guaranteed. Other options under consideration including libraries sharing sites with other services, which could still mean cuts. But this setback for the cuts programme is very significant. The rethink was triggered by a small rebellion of Labour councillors who voted for a Lib Dem motion on libraries, against their party group and mayor. This follows growing pressure from below in the Labour Party. The cracks are beginning to show in the council’s assertion that it has no choice. Members are looking for alternatives.”
  • Bury – Closing date for 10 of the borough’s libraries announced – Bury Times. “The libraries set to close are Ainsworth, Brandlesholme, Castle Leisure Centre, Coronation Road, Dumers Lane, Moorside, Topping Fold, Tottington, Unsworth and Whitefield.” see also Radcliffe library services to be chopped in face of Bury-wide closures – Bury Times.Meanwhile, four libraries – Bury, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Prestwich – will remain open, but with reduced opening hours. Prestwich Library will close on Saturdays from May 2018. “
  • Cheshire East – Youngsters recreate Crewe in Minecraft – Crewe and Nantwich Guardian. “Youngsters aged 10-15 took part in a series of workshops to recreate Crewe’s historic buildings in three-dimensional digital formats. Cheshire East Council’s cultural economy team delivered the project with the support of public libraries, Cheshire Archives, Crewe Town Council and the Crewe History Society. Using the rich archive about Crewe, through Minecraft, young people learnt about the history of the town as they recreated old buildings and landmarks from old town plans and photographs within a digital world, built to scale. To celebrate the completion of CreweCraft, 13 young people from Crewe and their families went to a celebration event on Saturday at Crewe Library.”
  • Darlington – Judge orders further scrutiny of Darlington’s Crown Street Library closure plans – Northern Echo. “A high court judge said there was “just about enough” evidence for him to order further scrutiny of contentious proposals to close Darlington’s historic Crown Street Library. Impassioned campaigners representing thousands of the town’s residents took their fight to save the library to the high court today. At Leeds Combined Court, Mr Justice King presided over a hearing that concluded with his decision to order a further hearing before a judge into plans by Darlington Borough Council (DBC) to cut and change library services across the town.”

“A number of issues with the authority’s two consultation exercises were raised by Mr Bowen, who suggested that they had been “pre-determined” in nature and accused the council of acting unfairly towards campaigners by not giving them enough time to prepare an alternative proposal. “

  • Lambeth – Council leader Lib Peck urged to ‘stand aside’ as Carnegie trust leaders quit – Brixton Blog. “The chair and secretary of the Carnegie Community Trust (CCT) – the body chosen by Lambeth council to be part of its redevelopment of the Carnegie library in Herne Hill – have both resigned at the end of acrimonious negotiations with the council. Carole Boucher, the outgoing chair, and Fred Taggart, the secretary, said they were resigning in protest at the council’s decision to “give half of the building to a commercial company”. Taggart said it was time for council leader Lib Peck to “stand aside”.”
  • Lambeth – Harsh cuts threaten Lambeth libraries to the brink of closure – Richmond and Twickenham Times. “We spoke to the leader of The Friends of West Norwood library, John Atkins. “I am incredibly pleased that our new library is opening with a cinema. It will encourage younger people to use the library services, and provide more money for the library. West Norwood Library is an advocate to struggling libraries nationwide, to show them how to be creative and use what they have. Ideally, we would like to use the whole building for the library, but we are grateful to have even the smallest space. In times like this, when so many public services are being cut, we have to stick together and push through. It’s what we do.””
  • Lincolnshire – Guest blog: Deeping Community Library – Community Managed Libraries Network. “The Friends of Deeping Library took over the running of the Library, a beautiful Georgian building at the heart of our community, in January 2016. We employ a Library co-coordinator and are open now for 24 hours a week – this after a very hard fought battle with Lincolnshire County Council who wanted to reduce us to a volunteer only library (we service a catchment area of 20,000 residents). With help from the Parish and Town Councils and the refurbishment of the first floor of our building (now let as offices) we are now able to employ a member of staff and have a rota of volunteers.” … “We were very proud when last year we broke the Deepings library record for the Summer Reading Challenge with 56 children completing the challenge. But then this year a staggering 120 children completed the challenge.”
  • North Lincolnshire – Scunthorpe’s Central Library services to temporarily relocate from tomorrow – Scunthorpe Telegraph. ” temporary relocation of Scunthorpe’s Central Library will happen ahead of schedule as work continues on a £1 million transformation of the building. The library is getting a complete internal makeover to turn it into a community hub – bringing many services together under one roof. Work began on Monday, November 13 and library services were scheduled to be temporarily relocated to The Base, in Church Square, from Monday (December 4).”
  • North Tyneside – North Tyneside could see bin collections go from weekly to fortnightly in budget cuts – Chronicle. Library opening hours may be reduced. “Potentially reducing opening hours at libraries and customer first centres. At this stage it is not known which branches could be affected. The authority is reviewing opening hours at all sites and any decisions will be made based on levels of activity.”
  • Northamptonshire – Announcement of further Northamptonshire County Council cuts delayed – Northamptonshire Telegraph. “The announcement of a further £27.7m of cuts by Northamptonshire County Council has been delayed as it waits to find out how much money it will get from the Government next year. The council’s December cabinet meeting – where the authority is due to announce further 2018/2019 budget proposals to go out to public consultation – will now take place on Tuesday, December 19, having been put back by a week”
  • Northamptonshire – Plans to close 28 Northamptonshire libraries ‘monstrous’ – BookSeller. “Northamptonshire County Council has revealed plans to close up to 28 of the county’s libraries in a move that would be “completely unacceptable and completely monstrous” according to Alan Moore, Northampton resident and “Watchmen” creator. In a bid to save £115m over the next four years, the council has drawn up three proposals regarding the county’s 36 libraries. Two proposals would see the council close 21 libraries, and the third would close 28, leaving only eight branches open.”
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff – Library Court Christmas Fair – Trivallis. Christmas fair at Rhydyfelin Library.
  • South Gloucestershire – Decision on relocation of Thornbury library to be made next week – Gazette series. “The plan, put forward by Conservatives on South Gloucestershire Council, would see the facility move to Turnberrie’s Community Centre from its current location on St Mary Street, which they say is “in a very poor state of repair, needing re-roofing, new windows, complete rewiring, repairs to the heating system, and a host of other maintenance works which require large amounts of investment”
  • Suffolk – Early drawings show what Eye’s brand new library could look like – Diss Express. Council plans to sell current library.
  • Warrington – Council chief recommending no library closures – Warrington Worldwide. “During an exclusive interview with warrington-worldwide Professor Broomhead, who was discussing various issues across the town, said he was making a series of recommendations revolving around libraries to the Executive Board meeting on Monday December 11 – including no library closures. Professor Broomhead, who has been chairing a special Libraries Working Group, said: “I will be making a series of recommendations, including that no libraries should be closed and there should be further investment in libraries. “It will be down to the politicians to accept those recommendations.””
  • Warrington – Warrington libraries contract ‘against rules’, say auditors – BBC. “A £3.8m contract to run a town’s libraries and leisure services was awarded “contrary” to council rules and the law, its auditors have said. Other companies were not invited to bid for the Warrington Borough Council deal before it was awarded to Livewire Warrington in 2012. In July, internal auditors said “no procurement exercise” was carried out. The council said legal advice suggested “no rules were broken” and the time limit for a legal challenge had passed. The contract was awarded “contrary to the council’s constitution” as well as EU regulations and the UK’s Public Contract Regulations 2006, according to the auditor’s comments which were contained within a report by regeneration manager Steve Park.”