National news

  • Digitisation Grant 2018 winners announced – Townsweb Archiving. “The Grant offers funding of up to £5000 to enable UK cultural heritage institutions to digitise their collections and open up access to them online, you can watch the full winners announcement video below” … “Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre won the first prize award, the Primary Grant for £5000, with its proposed project to digitise a large proportion of photographic negatives from its Kentish Times Newspapers collection. The project was submitted by Bexley Archives manager Gemma Cook and plans to digitise 15,000 unique negatives, which feature photographs taken by Kentish Times photographers between 1964-98, in order to make the collection digitally accessible.  
  • From bedtime stories to bribes: how to get your child reading more – Guardian. “A good way to start a long summer of reading is to take children to the library and sign them up for the Summer Reading Challenge. The children’s author and poet Joseph Coelho took part in a precursor to this initiative when he was 10, and still recalls the thrill of nudging his little spaceship counter along the Velcro backing, one notch for each book read. “It turned reading into a sport,” he says. And that turned him into a reader.”
  • Non-core services likely to disappear as funding dwindles, NLGN survey finds – Public Finance. “Most councils will not be able to provide discretionary services such as libraries and park maintenance in five years time, according to a survey of council leaders and chief executives.” … “Just one in three councils feel they will be able to provide services beyond those required by law in 2023, the latest version of the New Local Government Network’s leadership index found.” … “NLGN director Adam Lent said: “In the next five years we could be seeing areas stripped of their libraries and park maintenance, with roads full of potholes.”  [Libraries are covered by law – Ed.]
  • We are Still Here – Community Libraries Network. “Power to Change, the organisation set up to grow and support community businesses in England is supporting us again for one year to create a sustainable Peer Network and to increase our regional Presence.”

Axiell Selflib
International news

  • Eire – Reading matters: Libraries are proving their worth – Belfast Telegraph.Henrietta ­McKervey visits Dublin’s Kevin Street Library, newly ­reopened and proving a vital community space” … “The reading room next door is quiet and cosy. ” … “It’s a calm place,” he adds. Then, gesturing in the direction of the children’s library, “And a noisy one”  … “There are people who think a library isn’t for them. But it is. It’s an individual space and a community space. It’s your space.””

“There was a time, Teeling says, when the Irish public library services looked to the UK as the beacon and tried to emulate what was happening there. “But now, apart from a few examples, we are far ahead of them.”

  • New Zealand – People are loving this New Zealand library’s creative meme-inspired poster – Belfast Telegraph. “Central City Library in Auckland posted an evil Kermit the Frog meme up on its walls in July, gently roasting patrons’ inability to just stick to one book at a time. Library-goer CW posted a photo of the display on Twitter, saying: “Walked into my local library and felt attacked.” … “The tweet now has 13,000 likes, and plenty of other book-lovers agreeing with CW’s sentiment. Chelsea Heap, senior library assistant and person responsible for the meme display, said: “We generally keep displays up for about a month depending on the engagement with it.”
  • USA – 13 Awesome Children’s Libraries Around The U.S. That Will Make You Want To Be A Kid Again – Book Riot.I asked fellow librarians to shout out some of their favorite children’s libraries and children’s library spaces from around the USA. Check ’em out below. I’ve included a mix of spaces that are big and innovative, as well as those that are smaller and make creative, savvy choices within a tight budget and space situation. “
  • USA – Being a Victorian Librarian Was Oh-So-Dangerous – Jstor. ” a number of female librarians did experience breakdowns, requesting long leaves of absence to recover. In 1900, the Brooklyn Public Library Association proposed “to build a seaside rest home for those who had broken down in library service,” McReynolds writes. One speaker at the American Library Association’s 1910 conference claimed he knew fifty librarians who had become incapacitated by the work, including some who died before their time.”

Local news by authority

  • Bath and North East Somerset – Success of Saltford’s library and post office ‘will be down to the community’ – Somerset Live. “ome 60 volunteers have come together since a Bath and North East Somerset Council consultation brought the library’s future into question last year, and then the post office closed its doors soon after. But the demand for both services is obvious. Residents have donated £4,000 in just two months – more than double what organisers hoped to raise in the first year – and the facility will sell cards and stationery to bring in extra income to cover the lease and running costs. It also has the support of the parish council.”
  • Cambridgeshire – Reading together – book groups in Cambridgeshire Libraries – Libraries Taskforce. “Cambridgeshire has more than 250 registered reading groups. We have approximately 350 titles designated as reading group stock. Sets vary from 4 to 25 copies comprising standard print hardback and paperback but other formats are available including audio, large print, e-audio and e-book. For speed and efficiency of processing and distribution, physical sets are held centrally at our distribution centre.” … “In May 2017 we implemented an annual reading group fee of £30. The annual fee provides up to 12 free item requests per month. We currently charge a £1 reservation fee, linked to borrower category rather than stock category. “
  • Ealing – Backlash to plans to close an Ealing library and ask volunteers to run new site – Get West London. “residents and businesses have clubbed together to gather more than 2,000 signatures on a petition calling for the council to think again whilst Conservative councillors demanded the decision be reviewed.” … “At the council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday, August 2, Conservative councillor Seema Kumar, said: “This is a much loved library in an award winning high street. “Some 100,000 people use it each year and the number of books being loaned out has gone up from 44,000 to 47,000. “Closing the library would be a terrible loss.”
  • East Lothian – Lack of consultation over Prestonpans Library change is criticised – East Lothian Courier. “East Lothian Council plans to move the majority of its services from its Aldhammer House offices in Prestonpans into the town’s library. The move comes just 16 months after a public consultation on similar plans in which three quarters of those who took part objected to the change, leading the council to scrap the proposal.”
  • Edinburgh / Glasgow – Letters: Glasgow, not Edinburgh, should be City of Literature – Herald Scotland. “The Mitchell Library has had several extensions since it was built on its present site in 1911 – indeed by 1981 it was believed to be the largest local reference library in Europe. Contrast this approach with that of Edinburgh, the world’s first Unesco City of Literature, where the city council has been both neglecting and asset stripping its once-great Carnegie library, the Central Library, selling off adjacent buildings including the children’s and music annexes, and disposing of common good land long reserved for the library’s expansion for a Virgin hotel development on a hopelessly cramped site which will engulf the original 1890 A listed building in gloom. Some even suspect there are moves afoot to dispose of the Carnegie building altogether. “
  • Lancashire – Bamber Bridge library will be reopening – Blog Preston. “Bamber Bridge’s library is going to be reopened as a county council-run library. Previous proposals for the 1st Bamber Bridge Scouts to take on the building and also operate a community library have been scrapped. Lancashire County Council says the Station Road building will remain a county council building and be reopened in the near future.”
  • Northamptonshire – Northamptonshire County Council: The story behind the cash crisis – BBC. “Northamptonshire County Council has voted to make radical cuts to jobs and services as it attempts to fill a £70m shortfall. Children’s services, road maintenance and waste management are among the areas now facing cuts. So how did the council find itself in this crisis?”
  • Northern Ireland – NI libraries bring in £400,000 in book fines – BBC. “Northern Ireland’s libraries have fined the public almost £400,000 in the past three years. Figures also reveal that almost £40,000 of that amount has yet to be recouped. Libraries NI runs 96 libraries and said it has introduced measures to encourage customers to return books and other items, rather than pay fines. Total overdue fines amounted to £396,050 since 2015, according to data obtained by BBC News NI.” … “Total book fines in Northern Ireland have fallen by 25% – from £147,904 a year to £110,606 a year – since 2015/16.” … “In February, Trafford Council in Greater Manchester was the first UK council to abolish all library fines and the Irish government is also considering scrapping the penalties.” [Rutland was the first – Ed.]
    Sheffield – Bid to boost Sheffield library membership after figures show fall in book borrowing – Star. “As part of the ‘Discover More’ campaign existing members who may not have visited a library for a while are also urged to reconnect with their love of books.” … “This comes just a day after the Sheffield Star revealed book lending at the city’s 16 volunteer-run libraries has dropped by about 57 per cent in the last four years.” see also Dramatic fall in book borrowing at Sheffield libraries taken over by volunteers – Star. “The council stressed the figures do not capture all book loans and pointed out there has been a decline in library visits nationally.”
  • Somerset – Somerset considers staff taking unpaid leave amid audit warning – Local Government Chronicle. “Somerset CC has floated the idea of asking staff to take unpaid leave over the next two Christmas holidays in a bid to save £1m, according to Unite, as auditors warn the county could run out of money within three years.”
  • Sunderland – New Sunderland project to support people with dyslexia – Sunderland Echo. “The project will use software on all public access library computers, to allow people to use their keyboard and screens to convert text into speech, helping them to complete on-line forms. “
  • Waltham Forest – Waltham Forest Council votes to sell historic Wood Street Library – Chelmsford Today. “Protestors who fought hard to save Wood Street Library lost the battle after a vote last night. The plans were originally debated by the council’s cabinet on July 17 but were called in for an extraordinary neighbourhood scrutiny meeting held last night.”
  • West Dunbartonshire – Read all about it… new-look Balloch library is great Daily Record. “The library was the first in West Dunbartonshire to benefit from the rebranding and branch improvement project which includes book quotes on the wall, use of historic photography and modern information boards. The cafe space has leather chairs, giving visitors the opportunity to relax while reading newspapers. The branch also benefits from new display cases promoting the latest books in the library, and signage directing readers to their preferred genre.”