Good to see library news connecting with the general goodwill of the season. A news article from Warrington reports that no libraries may close (a big turnaround from the original proposals), although of course the devil may be in the detail, as yet unseen. Also – and I love this – West Dunbartonshire are putting out to consultation (rather than just voting through) deep cuts in their library opening hours due to a well-timed letter from CILIPS. Well done Scottish CILIP people. And it may be Christmas for Derby libraries every day as the council catches on, finally, that Section 106 money from new housing can be used for library projects. But the big applause must go to the library team at Plymouth who are keeping their library open on Christmas Day. It can be the loneliest day for so many so this is a really warm-hearted move. Well done those who volunteered to work that day. I hope it goes well, and the mince pies are delicious.


National news

An online bookclub from Axiell
International news

  • EU – We want to Spread the Word. Will you help us? – Naples Sisters Blog. “Earlier this year we decided to change the image of the Sister Libraries program. We worked on that for a few months and, in May 2017, we launched the new blog. Changes included a new logo and a simplified structure. Also a new, easier way for the public libraries to join the program through an online form.”
  • Canada – Sacrificing the Future for the Present? The Sustainability of the “Library of the Future” – Decolonized Librarian,
  • USA – Power of Public Libraries – Public Libraries Online. “While libraries, and public libraries specifically, rarely come to mind when I think about power, it might be time to rethink the idea of what power public libraries have in our communities to serve the common good.” … “As the most trusted of institutions, how do we translate that into power to stand for the good of our community? I will go out on a limb and suggest that we are places of humanity”

Local news by authority

  • Bradford – Will Bradford Council budget cuts unfairly hit volunteer-run libraries in Silsden, Denholme and Addingham? – Craven Herald. “budget cuts could disproportionately affect community libraries in outlying areas, warns a councillor. Councillor Adrian Naylor fears the council may trim the subsidies it gives to volunteer-run libraries in villages like Silsden, Denholme and Addingham. Although it has handed staffing and management of such small libraries to community groups, the council still provides books, cash for running costs, and computer services. Cllr Naylor rang the alarm bell after learning that the council intends to cut £950,000 from its district-wide library budget
  • Cambridgeshire – Where are the public libraries in Cambridge? – Cambridge News. “Cambridge’s six libraries offer a range of book, DVD and CD borrowing services, as well as various community activities”
  • Derby – Derby’s planning chiefs set to ask developers to fund new swimming pools and libraries – Derby Telegraph. “Developers could face new obligations in Derby next year as council bosses seek cash for swimming pools and libraries. Under planning laws, authorities can demand that developers create or make contributions to local amenities to help offset the impact of their schemes. In Derby, contributions – otherwise known as Section 106 agreements – are negotiated in line with the city council’s Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), adopted in 2008.” … “The 64-page draft says: “There may be circumstances where existing library facilities are insufficient to cope with the demand from the new population. “Therefore, new or extended library facilities will be required. In these circumstances, the council will negotiate a contribution towards extended library provision.””
  • Dudley – Only 18 per cent of people in Dudley are using libraries – Express and Star. “Libraries in the borough are now used by just 18 per cent of people, figures have revealed. It comes as the day-to-day management of the borough’s 13 libraries, as well as Dudley’s archives centre, was transferred from the council to volunteers. The decline in usage of libraries has caused concern among council leaders.”
  • East Sussex – Parents protest against planned library closures – Eastbourne Herald. “Toddlers in buggies, parents with placards and local politicians stood their ground at County Hall in Lewes this morning … Story time and rhyme time are really well attended, it’s about getting out there, it’s vital for our young children.” Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd is supporting the ‘save our library’ campaign and urged the council to re-consider their cost saving outlines. “
  • 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”. The two accused the council of “ramming through” a deal with its leisure provider GLL, giving it large parts of the building rent-free, with “unknown” procurement arrangements. They said the council was both insulting and pitting itself against the community it is meant to serve and was setting up the trust to fail.”
  • Lancashire – Volunteer call as reopening date for Oswaldtwistle library confirmed – Lancashire Telegraph. “Oswaldtwistle Library will finally reopen at 9am on Monday, January 15, it has been confirmed by Lancashire County Council bosses. ” … “The reopening date for the site has now been confirmed and volunteers are being sought to form a group, provisionally called ‘Oswaldtwistle Library Friends’ to help with its running. “
  • Manchester – Meet Hogwarts heroes and villains at Central Library Sunday Funday – Manchester City Council. “The latest special, free Sunday Funday event (10 December, 12 – 4pm) at the library provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate your love of the Harry Potter stories – and pass on the magic to family or friends who have yet to discover JK Rowling’s much-loved fictional series. “
  • Northern Ireland – Library to pilot new ‘out of hours’ service – Larne Times.
  • Plymouth – Warm welcome at Central Library this Christmas Day – Plymouth Newsroom. “There will be free mince pies, tea and coffee, along with a festive film show and library computers for anyone who wants to keep in touch with family or friends. Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “We know there are lots of people who may not have somewhere to go at Christmas. By opening the library on Christmas Day we are offering those who will be alone a safe and welcoming place to visit.””
  • Renfrewshire – Plans for £5 million Paisley library unveiled – Daily Record. “Planners believe the proposals will “significantly improve” footfall in the shopping precinct. Only the lending library — which receives around 130,000 visits each year — would move, with the current heritage section staying at the library in the museum quadrant.”
  • Warrington – All libraries in town set to stay open after council U-turn – Warrington Guardian. “The council’s executive board is being asked to approve new plans which will see all of the borough’s libraries stay open for the foreseeable future. Members will discuss the recommendations at their Town Hall meeting next Monday. There was widespread anger after a consultation into plans to shut nine of the town’s 11 libraries was launched, with determined campaigners pressing the authority to have a major rethink.”

“It includes the running costs of each site, wider library services such as book stock replenishment, bibliographical services and central overheads. As part of the recommendations, the council is committing an investment of £150,000 in 2018 to enhance the book budget.LiveWire will be investing an additional £50,000 on new books each year too. A planned programme of repairs and maintenance to existing library premises of up to £1 million is also part of the investment plan. If the recommendations are approved, the delivery of the modernisation programme would be overseen by a new libraries partnership board – made up of representatives from the council, LiveWire, the third sector and Friends of Libraries groups.”

  • Warrington – Final call to have your say on Burtonwood Post Office plans – Warrington Guardian. “An open-plan till and shop would be installed at the centre and the store would open for four hours extra a week. Speaking at the time of the announcement, Cllr Terry O’Neill (LAB – Burtonwood and Winwick) said merging the services is the best way to secure their future”
  • Warwickshire – Kenilworth bookshop staff write to Prime Minister with concerns over UK library closures – Kenilworth Weekly News. “Tamsin said: “There’s been closure after closure and job losses after job losses. Schools don’t have enough money for new books. “It’s a really essential thing for the future of this country and for literacy. “We had a little boy coming in who said his school library recommended a new book to him by children’s author SF Said.”
  • West Dunbartonshire – Plans to cut library hours in West Dunbartonshire to go to public consultation – Daily Record. ” “severely- damaging” plan to cut library hours by a third in West Dunbartonshire will be put to a public consultation. The move comes after the council administration decided not to proceed with their controversial proposal at last week’s corporate service committee meeting. Instead, they announced a plan to build a new Faifley Library in Clydebank with Labour councillor David McBride believing a well-timed letter from the Scottish affiliate of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIPS), who questioned the “scale” of the cuts, may have forced the “pause” in the library cuts proposal.”