Some interesting news stories today. GLL have officially taken over another library service, meaning they’re now running, by my count, five. In a further sign, if any were needed, that London is an increasingly foreign city compared to the rest of the country, another library there gets a new building as part of a property deal that would not have been so possible anywhere without its insanely high property prices. And then we have Christmas creeping up on us, with a story in the Guardian of how dedicated librarians are even at Christmas. This article also mentions the large number of volunteers being used, which ties in with an advert also today for a paid PhD on volunteers, describing them as “crucial” for the library service. No mention of volunteers, though, from Japan, where a new combined bookshop/library/restaurant model is apparently going great guns.



National news

  • Keeping them hooked: An investigation into the drivers and barriers to successful volunteer use in Public Libraries – FindaPhD. “Volunteers have become a crucial part of public library delivery within the UK … The Libraries Taskforce (2017) proposes that further research is required examining the longer-term impact on volunteers and the communities that they serve, in addition to exploring good practice evident in other sectors. Therefore, this research seeks to investigate and identify the key drivers and barriers to successful volunteer use, and explore more fully the mechanisms that would enhance relationships.”
  • Libraries Deliver newsletter – Libraries Taskforce. “A monthly newsletter for library staff ” : archive of all newsletters. “The Libraries Taskforce publish a newsletter for those who work in libraries. This single sheet will appear monthly, and is designed to be printed out and pinned to noticeboards – recognising that many of the people who work in libraries don’t spend their days at computers.”
  • Library closures mean lonely people will be left out in the cold this Christmas time – Guardian. “I have kept my family waiting at home, with my dinner going cold, to detour from my evening commute to the doorstep of a lady who said, “without my books I am just sitting around waiting to die”. For many people in the communities we serve, the library service is a lifeline.” … “When my own sizable library lost all but two of its paid members of staff, we recruited 30 volunteers to help out. The volunteers generously gave up their time to support the library, they became the smiling face at the entrance brightening up the library visitor’s day and libraries became, for some of them, the highlight of their week”
  • Littleford to become Reading Agency chair – BookSeller. “Formerly joint m.d of Betty, one of the UK’s leading TV production companies, Littleford will join the national literacy charity in January.”
  • MA dissertation questionnaire: public librarianship – Claire Flynn. To investigate the experiences of professional public librarians, past, present and future in terms of personal experience of job/role changes, and their perceptions of the future of the public library service in the UK, and public librarianship as a career: for public librarians past and present, for students interested in public librarianship.
  • Oft-Hidden Role Of The School Library – Leon’s Library Blog. “All publicly funded libraries; public, school, FE etc, are facing a sharp decline in funding, staffing, and resources. That’s why it’s important we work together to highlight the essential and valuable work done by libraries across all sectors.”

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

“By almost any measure, these new book centers have proved hugely successful. Visits at the new Tagajo library have jumped 1,527% compared to what they were before the CCC took over, and circulation has increased 350%—and that doesn’t account for book sales. Other locations have seen increases ranging from 171% to 269%. Customer surveys show significant satisfaction improvements over traditional library models. The communities get a vibrant new facility, open more than twice as many hours, that does two to three times as much business as their old libraries, all for not much more money than they were paying to operate the traditional model.”

  • USA – Librarian of the Gaps – Medium / John Hubbard. “I don’t even know who we expect to be arguing with anymore. Google has won, after all. Not just the battle with Yahoo!, proving that robots perform a better job at keeping up with cataloging the Internet than does a human-powered hierarchical classification system using controlled vocabulary, but also in providing the first and best destination for essentially any information-seeking behavior.” … ” want to make it easier for everyone to be, in effect, their own librarian, and not need me anymore”
  • USA – Meet Max, the cat who lost the library but won the Internet – Washington Post. Poster outside library says “Please do not let in the cat. His name is Max, Max is nice. His owner does not want Max in the library. We do not want Max in the library. Max wants to be in the library. Please do not let Max in the library”.  Over 200k likes, 60k retweets.

Local news by authority

  • Barnet – Barnet library campaigners slam ‘£1m security costs’ – Ham and High. “Campaigners battling changes to Barnet Council’s libraries have claimed the authority will spend more than a million pounds on security guards, money they say would be better spent on librarians.”
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Opposition call-in fails to stop library plans – Journal. “A call-in by opposition councillors to re-examine B&NES Council’s Modern Libraries Programme has failed to halt plans to merge Bath’s One Stop Shop with the Central Library in the Podium. However, the Panel did uphold the Community Libraries call-in, asking for more consultation to be undertaken, and to find out if there really is an appetite for the community taking on the running of local libraries. Those affected are Paulton, Radstock, Moorland Road, Weston and Saltford.”
  • Bradford – “Keighley Library and Cliffe Castle Museum safe from closure” – council leader – Keighley News. “Council bosses initially refused to rule out the closure of museums and libraries across the district when they announced plans to save £30 million over the next two years. Exclusive top-level assurances were later given to the Keighley News that the town’s library and flagship museum would both remain open and under City Hall control. But either facility could still be affected …” see also Further council cuts on the way in bid to save £30m by 2020 – Ilkley Gazette.
  • Dudley – Social enterprise GLL take control of Dudley’s libraries – Halesowen News. “The day-to-day management of all of the borough’s 13 libraries, four library links and Dudley Archives and Local History Service will transfer to GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), an employee-led mutual. GLL is now tasked with introducing innovative ways of working to generate income to reinvest into the Dudley Council-owned service, update facilities and expand the range of services on offer.”
  • East Sussex – Campaigners turn out to protest against planned cuts to libraries – Eastbourne Herald. “the Save Langney Library Campaign is holding a protest walk from West Rise Schools to the shopping centre led by Stephen Lloyd MP and Langney Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, who said the proposed closure would ‘hit the youngest and most elderly people the hardest’. The Friends of Pevensey Bay Library are also organising a protest, gathering at 10.30am on Saturday (December 2) outside the village’s library. “
  • Gloucestershire – Stonehouse News with Lesley Williams – Stroud News Journal. “Did you know that every Wednesday at 10.30 the library welcomes toddlers for ‘Bounce & Rhyme’. It really is great fun and it’s never to soon to introduce you babe to the world of books and music. The Library also can provide ‘books on prescription’ and a range of books on the ‘Reading Well’ scheme. Drop into your local Library to find out more. “
  • Hackney – Stoke Newington Town Hall revamp is ‘not a sell-off’, says Mayor as cabinet agrees site’s future – Hackney Citizen. “Stoke Newington Library will carry on as normal but an “exhibition space or a small café/coffee kiosk” might be added to the foyer. The Assembly Hall will see “the frequency of events intensified” and could include “live performances and festivals”, with “retail, restaurant or bar use” in rooms next door. The former reference library could become a café or restaurant”
  • Lancashire – Book tells the story of axe threat Lytham library – Blackpool Gazette. “Brian Turner, the locally-based author whose 2008 volume Victorian Lytham proved a big hit, has published a glossy 32-page volume entitled The Story of Lytham Institute and Library.”
  • Lancashire – Oswaldtwistle library opening date confirmed – Accrington Observer. “The Observer revealed last month how campaigners were ‘very confident’ of seeing the library open early in the new year following the installation of new windows and upgrades to the heating system. Gayle Knight said the library will officially reopen at 9am on January 15.”
  • Merton – New Colliers Wood library set to open next year – Wimbledon Guardian. “The library in the High Street will be arranged over three levels and visitors are set to benefit from more space given over to books, a coffee shop, community meeting rooms, special activity zones and a larger children’s area. There is currently a temporary library at Merton Vision, Guardian Centre in Clarendon Road. Councillor Nick Draper visited the development this week. He said: “It is very exciting seeing the library take shape. Our winning libraries are going from strength to strength and have some of the highest usage and customer satisfaction of any library service nationally, whilst also being one of the most cost efficient.”
  • Norfolk – Outdated books and no librarians – schools turn to volunteers as tight budgets risk damaging libraries – EDP24. “All but one of the schools we surveyed said they have a library – but less than half, 49pc, employ a qualified librarian.”
  • North Yorkshire – New novel to be launched at Northallerton library – Northern Echo. “Set in the fictional North Yorkshire village of Rawscar, The Little Church by the Sea is a tale of love, friendship and starting over by newl- published local author Liz Taylorson”
  • Pembrokeshire – Milford library move to Meads unlikely to go ahead after fears it would ‘kill’ indoor bowls club – Western Gazette. “Fears an indoor bowling club in Milford Haven, seen as a lifeline for disabled bowlers, may be forced to halve its size by a library move, may not now go ahead. Cash-strapped Pembrokeshire County Council has been looking at ways of saving money, with Milford Haven’s library, currently sited at Cedar Court on the town’s Haven’s Head Business Park, costing the local authority some £85,000 a year. It has recently been proposed the library move to Milford Haven’s Meads leisure centre, a move which shocked users of the Meads’ indoor bowling club.”
  • Peterborough – Peterborough library champion is honoured – Peterborough Today. “Elaine Wilkinson has worked in Peterborough Libraries for 13 years and, with the support of staff and volunteers, delivers Vivacity’s reading development programme for under 5s across 11 libraries in Peterborough. The programme includes a number of different initiatives throughout the year designed to encourage families to share stories and rhymes together. The bulk of this work is achieved through Vivacity’s weekly storytimes and rhymetimes across the city for children.”
  • Powys – Hay library group feel views have been ignored by Powys County Council – Hereford Times. “Hay-on-Wye Library Supporters (HOWLS) wanted to keep their library at its current location in Chancery Lane and drew up plans for a ‘self-financing community hub’ to make this a reality. However, the group claim that Powys County Council has blocked their attempts to meet with councillors to discuss any business plan for the current site.”
  • Shropshire – Shropshire Council’s Library Strategy goes to cabinet – Advertizer. “Ellesmere and Gobowen libraries have been given more time to become self-funded services. Shropshire Council received over 700 responses to a public consultation over the county’s libraries which stated that services that are set to become self-funded needed more time to do so.” … “Oswestry Library is in the top tier, which means it will be funded and staffed by Shropshire Council and is used as a multifunctional space. Ellesmere Library is in tier two, which means it is staffed by volunteers and has support from a professional librarian services, and Gobowen Library is in tier three, meaning flexible opening hours and run by volunteers.” see also Wem library upgraded after public consultation
  • Staffordshire – Work continues on project which will see Lichfield Library relocated to city centre church – Birmingham Mail. “The historic church in Market Square has, for more than 30 years, served as the city’s heritage centre and as a meeting place, shop and somewhere to get a drink and a bite to eat. But it has been under financial pressure for a long time and Staffordshire County Council’s decision to sell for development The Friary, which currently houses Lichfield Library, promises to give St Mary’s a new lease of life.
  • Swindon – Betrayal over library – Swindon Advertizer / Shirley Burnham. “I am cross that the council apparently handed the amenity over to the ‘parish’ unconditionally; and unhappy with the ‘parish’ for going ahead with plans that mean older children and adults will have a much reduced service. There was no consultation that I’m aware of but, as the parish is an unaccountable entity and the borough’s statutory library service has washed its hands of the matter, we are left with a fait accompli. I wish them well. “
  • Worcestershire – Worcestershire libraries take top spot – Malvern Observer. “The county claimed first place in the West Midlands for the number of young volunteers recruited to help those aged between four and to complete the challenge as well as having the second-highest completion rate. A total of 180 young volunteers were recruited across the county’s 21 libraries, with 4,704 children signing up to the challenge to read six books over the summer holidays.