Last week, as I imagine absolutely everyone reading this will know, was Libraries Week. Scanning all of the news about the sector, as I do, it’s obvious that the Week does raise the profile of the public libraries. Most interestingly, the libraries minister himself, Michael Ellis, was seen in a public library or two, and even spoke about them, and I understand that even the DCMS minister his or herself (I see their name so rarely I can’t remember) was seen to show a momentary interest too. All the normal allies of libraries – basically, authors and the Guardian – raised their interest and it was notable that the BBC mentioned it a few times too. Most public libraries these days, unlike back when it started, marked the week as did Libraries Connected. And, of course, befitting the origin of the Week in protest, Labour used it to publish the result of a cuts survey. Much of the publicity, indeed the majority, was positive and that’s great because, frankly, the two things Joe Public thinks they know is that libraries are closing (they’re not, massively, but rather being hollowed out) and are becoming outdated due to ebooks (just no).


National news

  • Books are the best medicine: how libraries boost our wellbeing – Guardian. “From hosting Comic Cons to organising Christmas socials, these community hubs can do wonders for mental health” … “When staff volunteered to open Plymouth’s central library for two-and-a-half hours last Christmas Day, they thought it might give a few homeless residents somewhere warm and welcoming to go. Instead, explains librarian Mandy McDonald, they were taken by surprise. People of all ages came to the library to enjoy free mince pies, biscuits and hot drinks, as well as a festive film showing” … “Meanwhile, Oldham Library, which last year became the first public library to offer a free Comic Con event”
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau at Glasgow Libraries – Winner of 2018 Libraries Change Lives Award. “Glasgow Libraries has been recognised with a prestigious Libraries Change Lives Award for their inspirational work supporting people experiencing homelessness in Glasgow. The Award, presented by Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries, Lord Graham Tope, CBE, at a ceremony in London on Thursday (11 October) during national Libraries Week recognises excellence and innovation in library services across the United Kingdom”
  • Contribution libraries make to early years – Libraries Taskforce. “I recently responded to a request for examples of the work public libraries do to support children when they are very young – from birth to 5, the so called early years foundation stage. Almost all libraries run rhymetimes, baby bounce or similar, but too few attendees come along as a result of referrals from early years teams – so there is the opportunity for work to be done to make more targeted links.”
  • The deepest cuts: austerity measured – New Statesman. “Since 2010, more than 478 libraries have closed in England, Wales and Scotland, while more than 230,000 library opening hours have been lost over the past eight years. This disproportionately affects vulnerable people as the elderly, disabled and those on low incomes rely on library services (internet access, benefits help, children’s clubs and pensioners’ groups, as well as books) more than others.”
  • Government passing on costs of services to public, says major study – Public Finance. ““One way the government has tried to save money and avoid the need for tax increases is by asking members of the public to contribute more in other ways – from volunteers running libraries to people paying a greater share of the cost of defending themselves in court.”
  • How Wales’ local libraries gave power to the people – Wales Online.
  • James Patterson says saving libraries is down to readers – Guardian. “Patterson does not deny the importance of funding, and has donated £50,000 of his own money to fund books for school libraries in the UK, but argues that if people want libraries to stay open, they need to use them. Official UK figures show that the number of library branches in England, Scotland and Wales dropped by 105 last year, with visits down by 3% year on year, and funding down £66m.”
  • Librarians – the real Guardians of the Galaxy – Vaseem Khan. “Peter Quill, Star Lord, a half-alien half-human hero with cosmic awareness… Well, is this not precisely the description of that singularly brave soul given the thankless task of running a library in today’s environment? Cosmic awareness is practically a necessity for the job, as well as a certain out-of-this-world ability to juggle budget, staff rotas, customer ‘experience’, political bartering, and the not inconsequential problem of ensuring the library does not become a homeless shelter.”
  • Libraries support people with mental health issues, say council chiefs – Localgov. “Local government leaders have described how novel library services are helping people cope with a range of mental health problems. They include drawing and painting sessions for people with anxiety and addictions and reminiscence activities for those with dementia.” see also Libraries Change Lives Award 2018 Shortlist – CILIP.
  • Library hours across England slashed by austerity – Guardian. “Data gathered by the Labour party shows that over the past eight years 117 local authorities have jointly cut access to books and other public services by more than 230,000 hours. And more than half of the 2,208 libraries that submitted information admitted they had shut their doors for 21% of the time they were normally open in 2010.”
  • Neighbourhood services a ‘serious concern’, report warns – Localgov. “‘Social care – for both children and adults – is the most costly element of local government activity. As demand for both has risen, spending on other services that local government runs – such as libraries, waste collection and trading standards – has been consistently squeezed. Non-social care spending now makes up only 46% of all local government spending, down from 55% in 2010/11.”
  • Not just treating the symptoms – Libraries Taskforce. “Readers have always believed in the benefits of reading but initiatives like these show how important libraries can be to our health and wellbeing, especially for people feeling lonely or isolated and living with poor health. That is why the NHS is partnering public libraries to make sure we can help more people find answers to their troubles and not just treat the symptoms.”
  • Off the shelf – Arts Professional. “Libraries have always been involved in arts and culture, but in recent years their role has expanded significantly in our communities. They have flourished in a way that we haven’t previously seen, and they provide an array of benefits for residents”
  • Palaces for the People – BBC Radio 4/ Thinking Allowed. Concentrates on the influence of libraries from 4.40 on. “The library assumes the best out of people”: look at the social good done by libraries in US and UK.
  • Petition calls for ‘ringfencing’ of government library funding – BookSeller. “A petition calling to protect libraries by “ringfencing government funding” has gained more than 5,000 signatures. Launched by Frances Belbin, the petition puts responsibility for library closures at the government’s door and describes the solution of volunteer-run library services as “unsustainable long-term”. While highlighting local libraries are “a vital resource for the promotion of reading, literature and culture”, and its benefits to those who don’t readily have online access, the petition laments government cuts now mean councils are “unable to keep staffed library services open when faced with the competing demands”.” [Number at 6,665 on time of checking – Ed.]
  • ‘Save the arts and libraries’ march goes through London cultural landmarks to Parliament – Unison. “Now UNISON, with support from PCS and UNITE are calling on the public to join public sector workers in a march for the arts. Starting at the British Library on the Euston Road, the march will go past London cultural landmarks to finish with a rally in Parliament Square.” March will be 3 November.
  • Scotland’s libraries welcome millions in investment since March 2017 – National. £20m: “The figure represents the combined capital spend on 14 new and refurbished public library premises that have opened in areas across the country since March 2017. ” … “As Libraries Week (October 8 to 13), the national celebration of libraries, gets underway, the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) has welcomed the investment as an indication of the strong commitment to public library services. “
  • Social prescribing at the library – NHS England. “NHS England’s Director for Experience, Participation and Equalities marks Libraries Week by highlighting some of the ways that public libraries are helping the NHS promote health and wellbeing:”
  • Special Edition: 9 ways reading ensures the community’s wellbeing – Princh. “This month, we join the celebrations of our much-loved libraries. Libraries Month has started in Canada as well as Libraries Week in the UK and we take our pledge to support libraries.” Nice infographic.
  • Summer Reading Challenge – getting more children reading – Libraries Taskforce. “Although we haven’t yet received comprehensive statistics on participation from our library partners, the early numbers for 2018 are encouraging. 96% of authorities in England, Scotland and Wales participated in this year’s Challenge, which began on 14 July in England and Wales and 23 June in Scotland, (where it has been sponsored by Tesco Bank since 2011).”
  • Why I’m looking forward to Libraries Week – Libraries Taskforce. Michael Ellis MP, libraries minister: “I’ll be launching Libraries Week to colleagues in Parliament at an event on Tuesday 9 October, and later in the week I’ll be delighted to visit Wimbledon, one of the libraries in London which benefited from funding from our Libraries: Opportunities for Everyone (LOFE) Fund last year. Since I took on the libraries brief, I’ve seen numerous examples of how libraries are an important part of our social landscape. They bring people together, they help people to help themselves and improve their opportunities and also provide practical support and guidance to people in different ways at every stage of their lives”
  • With a little help from my friends: the vital contribution made by Friends Groups – Libraries Taskforce. “in this post I bring together examples from some of the many Friends groups around the country, which show the work they do to support their library. Collectively their efforts are a powerful illustration of the outcome: stronger and more resilient communities.”
  • Your library, your work club and The Great Project – Libraries Taskforce. “Since 2010 Leicestershire Libraries have offered weekly drop in work clubs open to anyone across the county. The work clubs have always been well attended and provide a much valued service to job seekers using the library. Work clubs have a well-established link with local job centres that ensures a constant and steady stream of new participants – which in turn opens the library and its many services to people who may never have been in one before. Our work clubs’ reputation is so high in Leicestershire that it attracted the attention of a new family social inclusion project.”
  • Yvette Huddleston: Why libraries can boost our mental health – Yorkshire Post. “Reading, especially fiction, can make a huge, positive difference to someone’s state of mind, something which Sheffield-born writer and mental health campaigner Matt Haig has eloquently communicated. In his 2015 memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, he wrote about his descent into depression in his twenties and he has since spoken about how reading helped him to get through some of his darkest depressive periods. And it doesn’t have to be a whole book – a short poem or even a line or two of literary wisdom or clarity can be just as effective…”

Axiell Selflib
International news

 "Librarian of Congress, Dr Carla Hayden, shared some powerful and moving words with us this #LibrariesWeek and we have to say, we couldn't agree more." - taken from the British Library Facebook page

“Librarian of Congress, Dr Carla Hayden, shared some powerful and moving words with us this #LibrariesWeek and we have to say, we couldn’t agree more.” – taken from the British Library Facebook page

  • USA – American democracy is fracturing. Libraries say they know how to help – Quartz. “The passionate defenders of libraries aren’t just up in arms about books. They say that in a fractured society, libraries are a crucial way to fight the ravages of scorched earth partisanship, rising social discord, and educational inequalities.”
  • USA – Eliminating Late Fines at Saint Paul Public Library SPPL. “”Having worked at all library branches, I’ve noticed a stark difference in the number of people unable to check out materials due to fines at different locations. Fines are an equity issue preventing access to the library.” … “Thirty-four percent of cards registered at Rondo are blocked, while 19% of cards are blocked overall systemwide”
  • USA – How a free public library is becoming a beacon of hope in Baltimore – Good Morning America. “Picked as a finalist in Reader’s Digest “Nicest Places in America” search for the top places in America exemplifying trust, civility, dignity and respect, the Enoch Pratt Free Library has become much more than a place for people to go check out books.”

“When you have neighborhoods that are challenged,” she said, “it’s important to have libraries as anchors.”

  • USA – How dogs help kids learn to read at Philly’s Free Library – Billy Penn. “Konig, a seven-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog, is one of a handful of pups who volunteer their time to providing “judgment-free” zones at select Free Library locations. Each month, he patiently listens to over-enthused narration and pants along to silly sing-a-longs with 15 to 20 daycare-aged children. The idea isn’t novel — but it’s getting more and more popular.”

Local news by authority

  • Bath and North East Somerset – ‘Shameless sidestepping’ and ‘false accusations’ – why arguments over Bath library are as bitter as ever – Somerset Live. “Council leaders have been accused of a “shameless attempt” to avoid public objections to their £3M plans to integrate other services into Bath Library.” … “But cabinet member Councillor Karen Warrington said opposition members were being “deliberately misleading” and “fabricating an issue that simply doesn’t exist”. Bath and North East Somerset Council has submitted a so-called certificate of lawfulness to bring the One Stop Shop into the Podium, arguing the proposals do not constitute a change of use.” see also B&NES Council accused of ‘bypassing’ planning process for library merger – Bath Echo.
  • Bradford – Addingham Library saved – Yorkshire Evening Post. “When the facility was under threat of closure several years ago the local community stepped in to save it. However, over the last two years, volunteers and Addingham Parish Council faced several challenges, including being forced to close the listed building after discovering serious structural defects during refurbishment work. Since then, the library has been run in a portacabin with books looked after by village residents in their own homes … The charity has now awarded £50,000 towards the refurbishment of the old building. The plans include the creation of a local heritage resource with a local history archive and tourism information service.”
  • Bradford – Concerns raised over how Bradford’s libraries will cope with huge budget cuts – Telegraph and Argus. “Members of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee had requested a report into how the district’s library service would look after £950,000 is removed from its budget in the 2019/20 financial year. But the report they were given at a meeting on Tuesday focused on the work that has been done already to try to maintain the service after previous year’s budget cuts.”
  • Bradford – Visitor numbers up at Bradford’s museums – despite budget cuts – Telegraph and Argus. “The report says: “Staff continue to deliver excellent service to all our customers, despite a reduction in full time equivalents. In Libraries from 132 FTE in 2011 to 72.8 FTE present day.” The library budget has reduced year on year since 2011 from £3,958,000 to £3,100,000 in 2018/19. The report reveals further savings of £905,000 are planned in the next year.”
  • Cheshire East Cheshire East Council leader defends local authority record – Cheshire Live. “We have kept libraries open against a national picture of closures, secured an ambitious investment programme and successfully achieved funding from government for vital improvements to Crewe Green Roundabout …”
  • Cumbria – Campaign to extend library opening hours – Times and Star. “A Cockermouth mum has launched a petition calling for the town library to extend its opening hours. Grace Bennion has two children, Elsie, four, and Bryn, 18 months. “My daughter loves to read and I love to read with her, to her and with her little brother,” said Grace. “We have always tried to use Cockermouth library as much as possible to get books, but since the library reduced its opening hours to 10am to 4pm during the week and 10am to 2pm on a Saturday we are finding it very difficult to enjoy, or even get the opportunity of using the space.”
  • Darlington – Council to forge Darlington library plan with campaigners – Northern Echo. “The council’s leisure boss, Councillor Nick Wallis, said he is delighted campaigners want to remain involved in shaping the library’s future and that he would be very interested hear their views. He said: “All too often in experience from this authority and other authorities there can be big campaigns about potential difficult changes that local authorities are having to make. Councils may agree to make those changes and then the campaign group disappears.”
  • Denbighshire – Library opens new chapter after major refurbishment. – Denbighshire Free Press. Denbigh Library “Following a £120,000 grant from the Welsh Government’s Museums, Archives and Libraries Division in collaboration with Denbighshire County Council (DCC), the library has been updated with modern facilities with the hope that it will remain at the centre of the older community and attract younger audiences. “
  • Derby – Hold put on more Derby libraries being handed over to charities – Derby Telegraph. “The handing over of ten Derby libraries to community management is on hold while a review of the original plan is considered by the city council’s cabinet. Earlier this year, when Labour ran the authority, an agreement was signed with charity Direct Help and Advice to run 10 of the city’s 15 libraries. That scheme also involved the closure of the Central library and the opening of the Riverside Library in the Council House.”
  • Devon – #lovelibraries ‘A seven and a half per cent annual reduction in book issues – if we carry on like this, libraries won’t be dusty, they’ll be gone’, Devon Scrutiny Chair tells library chiefs and @LibrariesUnLtd – Seaton Matters. “In a far-reaching discussion of the state of Devon’s libraries on 25 September (minute and webcast at item 83), the County Council’s Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee – which looks at services like libraries which have been outsourced, in this case to the mutual Libraries Unlimited – considered a continuing decline of book issues which, as this comment of our chair, Cllr Alastair Dewhirst, suggests, could soon threaten the very existence of many of the county’s 50 libraries.”

“The task is especially urgent because of the unremittingly gloomy outlook for public services and local government. Although Theresa May says that ‘austerity is over’, county councils like Somerset and Northamptonshire are going bust, Brexit is leaving a big hole in the government’s tax base, and Devon faces a further big withdrawal of government funding next year. To defend the level of library funding, we need to show that it is being used to maintain a well-stocked library system which can attract and keep new readers.”

“One of my favourite things about working in Islington’s libraries is the massive diversity,” said Nike. “No two days are the same and the other thing I really love about this job is the difference we can make to people’s lives.”

  • Lambeth – Activists to lobby full Lambeth Council meeting with the message, ‘Libraries need librarians!’ – Weds 10th Oct, 6.30pm – Brixton Buzz. “As we have reported extensively in the past, Lambeth have aggressively pursued an unpopular and undemocratic policy of closing libraries or converting them into self-service bookshelves briefly attended by librarians. Campaigners are continuing their fight to reverse Lambeth’s plans, which have been widely opposed by the community since they were first announced.”
  • Lambeth – Book-ish Gyms declared a success by Labour Cabinet member as Lambeth Green party calls for a re-think – Brixton Buzz. “Your Nu Town on 10th October. Herne Hill Green party Cllr Becca Thackray has tabled a question calling on the Labour Cabinet to reconsider the policy of converting libraries into private gyms.”
  • Lancashire – Reopening of Bamber Bridge library moves a step closer – Lancashire Post. “Lancashire County Council has agreed to reopen Bamber Bridge Library. The facility in Station Road, was one of 26 of the county’s 73 libraries closed by the cash-strapped council at the end of 2016. A new administration was elected in May 2017, and decided to re-open as many libraries as possible. “
  • Leeds – A focus on outcomes: digital access/literacy – 100% digital Leeds – Libraries Taskforce. “To enable the library service to deliver the 100% Digital Leeds programme, we have received 2 funding allocations totalling over £750,000.” … “As well as benefiting individuals and communities by increasing digital inclusion across Leeds, our role leading the city’s 100% Digital Leeds programme has brought new opportunities for Leeds Libraries. We will maximise those opportunities to show that, with investment and strategic support, Libraries Deliver.”
  • Leicester – Library due to close to save £14k saved after Leicester council’s surprise U-turn – Leicester Mercury. “Council bosses have performed a surprise U-turn on deeply unpopular cost-cutting plans to close a Leicester library. The city council decided in January last year that it would shut the Rushey Mead library in Lockerbie Avenue to save around £14,000. It said it would transfer the service to a nearby recreation centre but campaigners in the area never accepted the decision. Despite repeated calls for City Hall to change its mind over the closure the council has not budged – until this week.”
  • Lewisham – Appendix 2: Community Service proposals – Lewisham Council (p.45). £450k cut proposed with cuts to staffing in Lewisham Library, Deptford Lounge and Downham Library.
  • Newcastle – Newcastle MP calls for work on the controversial addiction recovery centre at Fenham Library to be halted – Chronicle. “Plans to open an addiction recovery centre at a community library should be put on hold for up to two months, according to a Newcastle MP. Chi Onwurah , the Labour MP for Newcastle Central, has written to City Council chief executive Pat Ritchie, calling on the authority to pause its controversial plans for Fenham Library. see also ‘We’re not going anywhere’ – Residents’ defiant message over Fenham Library rehab centre plan – Chronicle. “More than 1,500 people have now signed a petition against the plans for Fenham Library, and a new action group has been established among residents.”
  • Norfolk – Councillors agree Norfolk mobile library savings – BBC. “Opposition councillors say a decision to keep the majority of mobile library stops is a “major victory”. Plans to save £200,000 have been approved, but only 92 mobile stops will be scrapped instead of 725. Norfolk County councillors also agreed to decommission two mobile trucks as part of the savings. The changes would save a total of £100,000 with a further £100,000 being cut from the general libraries budget, a spokesman said. The mobile service budget for 2017-2018 was £447,765.” see also Call for controversial cuts to Norfolk’s mobile libraries to be ditched – Eastern Daily Press.
  • North Somerset – Nailsea Library saved from closure – North Somerset Times.
  • North Yorkshire – Encounters: Whitby Library – Libraries Taskforce. “North Yorkshire Library and Information Service successfully applied for an Arts Council grant to work with Scarborough-based art and science organisation Invisible Dust, the North Yorkshire County Record Office and volunteers from Whitby Library. The result was Encounters.”
  • Northamptonshire – New plan being developed for Northamptonshire libraries – Northants Telegraph. “The future of Northamptonshire’s library service is under review again, with some libraries possibly closing down before the end of the year. A paper in the county’s financial rescue plan which was published this week has revealed the council’s thinking and has proposed changing from the current system to a community managed system.”
  • Northamptonshire – Relocation plan marks a new chapter for Daventry library – Daventry Express. “Daventry library is set to move to a modern new home next spring as part of wider plans to transform the centre of Daventry. The LibraryPlus service would relocate a short distance from its current base in North Street to the ground floor of the Abbey Centre in nearby St John’s Square. Residents will get the chance to view the proposals and give their feedback on them at an open day at the current library on Saturday, October 20 from 10am to 5pm. Deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council Cllr Cecile Irving-Swift said: “This is a great proposal for Daventry’s library and indeed for the town as a whole.”
  • Northern Ireland – Book clubs and IT classes at Belfast Central Library – BBC News. “Belfast Central Library’s Allison Milligan says things have significantly changed in the 21st century. “We have free internet access and have a lot of homeless people coming in to use our services,”. Video interview. see also Belfast Central Library: A library to last generations – BBC.
  • Northumberland – Library listening pod launches tour in Berwick – Berwick Advertiser. “Northumberland Libraries and two arts organisations, Hexham Book Festival and Arts & Heritage, have collaborated to launch an intriguing, newly-designed, sound-proofed booth with audio access to spoken word and books. The pod, funded by Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council, will be visiting eight libraries until June 1, 2019. “
  • Powys – Petition launched to save Welshpool Library during Libraries Week – County Times. “The fight to save the Powys town’s library comes after plans to relocate it within Powysland Museum were revealed by the council. The campaigners behind the petition ultimately want to save the library, but are also unhappy with the way in which the county council has dealt with the matter – without consulting the people of Welshpool.” see also Library to move in with museum under council plans – Shropshire Star.
  • Powys – Satisfied with your library? – My Welshpool. “Library users across Powys will be invited to have their say this week, with a survey being launched at a time when planers are looking to downgrade Welshpool’s facility. Powys County Council’s Library Service is undertaking a customer satisfaction survey with library users. The information gathered will form part of the feedback to Welsh Government, under the Welsh Public Library Standards framework.”
  • Sheffield – Your View: Libraries – Star / Letters. “It is so wrong that libraries have been denigrated in the way they have in Sheffield in recent years. And this isn’t just to do with austerity. It would not cost anything for the city’s Labour MPs & councillors to be lobbying central government to reinstate library standards in England or prioritise funding for libraries over vanity projects of no value like the tour de France or visits to China to visit a man who wanted to turn our central library into a hotel. Sheffield’s trade unions, MPs and councillors should be shouting from the rooftops about the denigration of library services in Sheffield and across the UK.”
  • Shropshire – Views sought on Shropshire library’s new chapter – Shropshire Star. “Planning permission was recently granted for a development of land at Hall Bank in Pontesbury. The scheme includes a Community Hub building which would provide a multi-purpose space for a range of activities and uses, and provide a focal point for the community. Following the granting of this planning permission, Shropshire Council is now putting forward a proposal to relocate Pontesbury Library from its existing location in Bogey Lane into the Community Hub building when it is completed in 2019.”
  • Somerset – Decisions on towns’ libraries in pipeline – Wellington Today. “Recommendations for the future for Somerset’s libraries service, including Wellington and Wiveliscombe, will be published this month. During the recent libraries service consultation, which ran from January to June, more than 7,000 responses from across Somerset were received including nearly 13,000 comments.”
  • South Gloucestershire – Councillor’s clash over library’s open access scheme – Gazette Series. “The Open Access scheme introduced last year enables registered users to enter the library outside of staffed hours. It is currently available in 10 libraries across the region including Thornbury, Winterbourne and Yate. The scheme is restricted to adults with all children under the age of 16 having to be accompanied by a parent or carer at all times. In July Labour Group Chair Councillor Adam Monk tabled a question to Cllr Paul Hughes, cabinet member in charge of libraries, asking whether the council would reconsider the policy that resulted in closed access for teenagers.”
  • Staffordshire – Deadline looms for groups wanting to take over libraries – Stoke Sentinel. “Groups and organisations wanting to take on the day-to-day running and management of five Staffordshire libraries can apply this month. Bids will be considered for Cheadle, Cheslyn Hay, Clayton, Eccleshall and Penkridge.”
  • Suffolk – ‘Books can fire a child’s imagination’ – libraries leader backs EADT and Star £20,000 books giveaway – EADT. “Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “We think the EADT’s Books for Schools campaign is an excellent idea.” see also Revealed – The popular library books flying off the shelves in Suffolk – EADT.
  • Torfaen – Torfaen council to pay out nearly £240k in redundancy costs – Free Press. “Cuts of £200,000 have been proposed as part of a borough-wide shakeup which would see the use of self-service machines for book loans prioritised to protect frontline services. The move involves a reduction in staff numbers from 33 to 28, with three compulsory redundancies, the removal of two vacant posts and a “regrading” of existing posts.
  • Trafford – New “staffless” library offers 24-hour public access – Messenger. “Trafford Council will open the new library on the site of the former Altrincham General Hospital on Market Street. The development was handed over to NHS Property Services last week and will house the new library when the Stamford New Road branch closes next year. The new library will offer an Open + system which will allow people to access the library without staff being present. The system was adopted by Woodsend Library in Urmston in 2015, and the Council deemed it a success” see also The new Altrincham Library will have a self-service system – and will now be open in evenings and on Sundays too – Altrincham Today.
  • Worcestershire – Libraries in Worcestershire set to change as users told to ‘use it or lose it’ – Worcester News. “The future of some of Worcestershire’s smaller libraries hangs in the balance after the county council has announced it will launch a consultation into the whole shape and size of the library structure. Whilst facilities at the Hive and the bigger libraries in Malvern and Evesham are unlikely to change, most of the county’s libraries could be facing closure if their need is not proved.” see also Libraries could be facing closure as Worcestershire County Council needs to save £800,000 – Bromsgrove Advertiser.
  • York – Libraries ‘boost health and wellbeing – Press. “Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for culture. leisure and tourism, said: “Our libraries play a key role in supporting our local communities here in York and their positive impact on improving a persons well-being is often understated. We are deeply proud of our libraries here in York and during the course of this Libraries Week, I would strongly encourage everyone to visit their local library and see what fantastic services are on offer.” “