It’s interesting to see how widely charges and fines vary between library services. Last week, we saw that fines range from nothing to 50p per day per item. This time, there’s a news story about Cambridgeshire libraries introducing charges for computer use and author events. Such things are standard practice in many library services but apparently novel there. “Premier membership” is an idea that has been tried before, with uncertain success as far as I can tell. The most unusual thing I can see on the list is charging for storytimes which is unusual (but not unique – hello Milton Keynes).. And this is the thing, there’s so much variety in libraries  that the odds that the novel idea has probably been done elsewhere, sometimes surprising even a deep library nerd like me.


National news

    •  Libraries by Law, not just “nice to have” – CILIP. “We were therefore disappointed to see a reference to public libraries as ‘discretionary’ in a recent opinion piece published on the Guardian website. Our CEO, Nick Poole, wrote to the Guardian Editor (see below) and we are pleased to confirm that following this letter the Guardian has now corrected the reference.” see Setting council budgets is a messy series of unattractive compromises – Guardian.
    • Young People’s Library Survey – Libraries Taskforce. “Meaningful evidence about the impact of public library services on children and young people can be transformative for libraries in terms of the support they receive from partners, funders and stakeholders. Data gathered from children and young people themselves is particularly powerful. In December 2017, ASCEL published a report by CIPFA which analyses the results of the Young People’s Library Survey from 2014 -2017. The data is drawn from 344 libraries representing 18 library services and over 40,000 children, young people and their families. It maps the results against the index of multiple deprivation.”

An online bookclub from Axiell

International news

  • USA -Guns in the Library | Safety & Security – Library Journal. “video walking viewers through these steps for reacting to an active shooter in a public place has received 6.5 million YouTube views since 2012 and forms a key part of a new generation of safety training for libraries. “
  • USA – On Lost Library Books And The #BestPartofMyDay – Librarygirl. “We are not debt collectors. We are reading champions. And, for those kids, like me, who don’t have books at home and whose home lives make keeping up with borrowed materials challenging,”
  • USA – Weeding — Love It or Hate It – Public Libraries Online. “it seems that not as much weeding is being done in libraries as should be. The question is, why are some of these items still on shelves and does a lack of weeding mean something more than it appears on the surface?”

Local news

  • Bath and North East Somerset – Work begins in preparation for Town’s Library move – Journal. “Work to modernise and improve the Midsomer Norton Hollies Council building, which will soon be home to the town’s library, is about to get under way.”
  • Birmingham – Libraries in Birmingham – Libraries Taskforce. Library of Birmingham gets the publicity but there are “the 36 other public libraries which also serve the people of the city, which, although they are collectively labelled community libraries, are (all bar one) managed by the council. A new structure is being rolled out, involving 4 tiers of provision. I was privileged to visit 3 libraries in the area recently which illustrate how library services continue to evolve, and hear from members of the team about the role they fill in their communities.” … “By introducing a tiered model they have maintained all their sites (except for Kents Moat which is in an area of redevelopment). They are shortly hoping to reopen West Heath Library and Sutton Coldfield Library supported by FOLIO (Friends of Libraries in our Sutton Coldfield) – the latter of which is currently being refurbished to incorporate the children’s play café Little Green Book worms.”

“although they are collectively labelled community libraries, are (all bar one) managed by the council” [The first example I’ve seen of the original meaning of “community libraries” as branch libraries, instead of meaning volunteer libraries, being commented upon as unusual – Ed.]