Innovation is not a problem in libraryland. Have a read of the new ACE report “Libraries welcome everyone” to see this in action and then read the article by Carnegie on the Taskforce website. You can then have a wistful browse of an article about French beach libraries (come on Llandudno!) and then read about toy sleepovers. Then, perhaps have a giggle at the silliness of the reactionaries who worry about Drag Queen Storytimes. Moving on to tech, it’s good to see Somerset having 360 degree pictures of all their branches on their webpages (a boon for those with autism) and browse their open date on library usage. I remember when “knit an natter” and “adult colouring” classes were new ideas and now they’re basically everywhere. No, innovation is not a problem. And successful ideas spread – I’m seeing toy sleepovers happening in many places and more and more DQSTs happening in the UK. Both started out in the USA (I think) and have spread. This innovation is to be encouraged. And is encouraging.

Changes by local authority

Axiell Selflib
National news

  • The Education Secretary calls the literacy gap a “scandal” – so why are libraries closing? – New Statesman. “Damian Hinds is horrified some children starting school still can’t read. Perhaps he should stop, erm, limiting their access to books then” … “Campaigners warn that the decline of libraries is creating a social mobility time-bomb. Indeed, 9.4 per cent of children aged 8-18 in the UK do not have a single book of their own. For the New Statesman’s “Crumbling Britain” series, I’ve heard from parents around the country about the effects of vanishing children’s services and library services on their family life – and their concerns for their children’s future.” see also Pupils unable to read is ‘a scandal’, says minister – BBC.
  • GDPR: Training Videos for CMLs – Community Libraries Network. “Following the recent data protection changes brought about by GDPR, Chris Brown from Greenhill Community Library has provided some information which may be of use to Community Managed Libraries requiring training aimed at front line staff.
  • James Patterson remains UK libraries’ most borrowed author for 11th year – Guardian. “While readers in east England prefer romance, and those in the south-west want their books to be by Roald Dahl, figures show the US thriller king has kept his throne” … ““I firmly believe that better readers become better thinkers and I think libraries are an integral part of any community, as they are essential in helping to share and spread the joy of reading,” said Patterson, whose most popular title this year, Bullseye, was the UK’s ninth most borrowed book.”
  • Libraries Deliver newsletter – Libraries Taskforce.
  • Libraries welcome everyone: Six stories of diversity and inclusion from libraries in England – Arts Council England. “This report presents the results from ‘desk research’ and a call for examples, plus the findings of six case studies, the aim of which was to explore different aspects of equality and diversity provision as part of a new development in each of the six library services.”
  • Partnerships, public engagement and pushing the boundaries – Libraries Taskforce / Carnegie. “he Carnegie Trust’s Rachel Heydecker reports on 3 of the projects running as part of the Engaging Libraries programme” … “Oldham Libraries’ project ‘Comics and Cosplay; Caring for Young Minds’ is using the arts to encourage conversations about mental health” … “The Comic Con at Oldham Library was a huge success, attracting over 6,000 visitors, and sparked interest from teachers wishing to take the theatre performance, workshops and comic into schools to continue discussions. ” … “Leeds Libraries’ project ‘Body Image and Mind’ has been holding workshops using a wide variety of artistic methods to inspire discussion about body image and self-acceptance.” … “‘Brainworks’ in East Dunbartonshire aims to get people exploring aspects of neuroscience and brain research within their local library, through practical activities and lively discussions.”

International news

Local news by authority

  • Ealing – Please Read & See link in Update to Help Save Pitshanger LibraryChange. Article on cuts to library services in UK.
  • East Sussex – Langney Library to reopen as community-run facilityEastbourne Herald. “The community will take over the running of the library in a new unit in Langney Shopping Centre, which will be opening in early September. “
  • Northamptonshire – Fears cash-strapped council may cut services for vulnerable children – Guardian. “Northamptonshire county council scrambles to save £70m amid warnings even core services are at risk” … “The council is already facing a legal challenge over its plans to close or sell-off 21 of the county’s 36 libraries on the basis that in doing so it is in breach of its statutory obligations. More legal challenges can be expected as it moves more services to “bare minimum” levels.”
  • North Lincolnshire – Work to begin on new £2m leisure, library and wellbeing hub – Grimsby Telegraph. “Work is set to begin on a new £2 million new leisure, library and wellbeing hub. The facility at Baysgarth Leisure Centre in Barton-Upon-Humber will include a purpose-built library and customer information advice area, specific facilities for health and wellbeing support, an internet cafe with enhanced refreshment facilities and comprehensive leisure facilities.”
  • Northern Ireland – Linen Hall Library to close on Saturdays amid funding pressures – Irish News. “The Linen Hall Library, the last subscribing library in Ireland, will close its doors on Saturdays from October for a six-month trial period. In a letter to members, the president of the library’s board of governors said the decision had been made in light of a “challenging economic situation affecting many third-sector institutions”.
  • Somerset – Libraries Catchment Mapping tool – Somerset Libraries. “The catchment maps have been created for each library, using the postcodes of customers. Postcodes were also used to calculate the Output Area (OA) for each customer. OAs are used for Census Data. The OA is the lowest geographical level at which census estimates are provided and each OA generally covers around 300 people.”
  • Somerset – Take A Virtual Library Tour – Somerset County Council. “The virtual tours were put together as a way of testing a recently acquired 360° camera, which will soon be available to use in the Glass Box, an innovation and enterprise space in Taunton Library.”
  • Waltham Forest – Libraries decision called into question – Waltham Forest Echo. “The decision by Waltham Forest Council to close a library building will be scrutinised after opposition councillors accused the authority of presenting false information. A report stated the cost of refurbishing Wood Street Library was £2.5million, a figure used to justify the decision to sell the site for redevelopment and create a new library instead on Marlowe Road Estate.”
  • Worcestershire – Have your say as County Hall looks to make cutbacks in library services – Redditch Standard. “Cash-strapped Worcestershire County Council is looking to make savings of around £500,000 and then £300,000 next year and people are being asked for their opinion on what they expect from their local library. The county has 23 libraries plus the mobile library and the library links service. It asks what services people use and how often they visit and, crucially, what reduction in service they would be prepared to have to keep their local library open.”
  • Worcestershire – Library service closure on hold – Worcester Observer. “The service had been earmarked to close at the end of August after the number of schools using it since 2000/2001 had shrunk from 216 to just 52 with a resulting fall in income from £378,200 per annum to £112,000. However following a consultation exercise with county schools which showed a real appetite for libraries, books and the expertise that goes with them, the axe has been stayed until at least the end of the year while officials work out an alternative and more cost effective way of running it.”