CILIP are going through a major change, with 11 out of 54 posts being lost. Library services have had ample experience of that sort of thing so we all know what that feels like. Wishing them all the best for the future. Surrey are also having a major, major, major cut – with a cut in usage of 25% since 2010 being used – get this – to justify an over 50% cut in funding and ignoring all the other cuts there since 2010. So that’s not fixed in any way, no sir. There’s good news, on the other hand, from Scottish libraries, with £450k for various library projects and from Libraries Connected who have got £75k from ACE for regional work. I have no idea what the latter means but the press release makes it sound like a good thing so here’s hoping.



National news

  • £450,000 funding boost for public libraries in Scotland – Press and Journal. “Successful bids were announced by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, at Haddington library as part of the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF). A total of £238,107 has been allocated to support the nine projects, five of which are collaborative bids involving more than one library service and partners. The remaining funds will be used for national library initiatives, such as Every Child A Library Member, One Card and Book Week Scotland”
  • Book spend by England’s public libraries falls below £30m – BookSeller. “Spending by public libraries in England on printed books fell 20% year-on-year in the 12 months to end March 2018 to £29.1m (£36.3m the previous…”
  • David Walliams calls for ‘safeguarding’ of libraries – Guardian. “David Walliams, the comedian turned bestselling children’s author, has called for the “safeguarding” of libraries. Walliams, author of Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny, said that “access to reading” should be improved. Imagining what he would do if he were prime minister, Walliams, 47, told Radio Times magazine: “I’d … introduce new laws on children’s literacy.” … ““I used to go to the library every couple of weeks with my mum and dad and get out books like Stig of the Dump and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” he said.” … “His comments come after an analysis of government figures revealed that libraries in England have had their funding slashed for the fifth year in a row. The Library Campaign, a national charity, said further cuts to stretched services were “like taking a hammer to a wall that’s already full of holes”.” Walliams calls for better access to reading, ‘safeguarding’ of libraries – BookSeller.
  • Libraries Connected awarded funding for regional development – Libraries Connected. “Libraries Connected has been awarded £75,000 from the Arts Council to explore the support required by our regional networks. The project will focus on identifying how existing regional structures can be developed to make best use of the skills, expertise and capacity within the sector.” … “While Libraries Connected is funded as a Sector Support Organisation, their resources are largely directed towards national work. Providing support at a local and regional level will be a step change in delivering impactful sector development to help libraries to meet the structural challenges they face” … “Activist Group will lead on the first stage of the project, consulting with key stakeholders to build a business case and proposal for a future regional support offer. The project will also have a reference group made up of heads of service and senior managers” … “The project will also provide an independent facilitator to work with each regional structure over a period of six months to identify its existing skills, expertise and capacity, and to create a clear set of shared objectives focusing on initiatives that cannot be easily achieved by individual services acting alone.”
  • New CILIP structure and strategy from 2019 – CILIP. “While we have begun to see the first indications of membership growth in Q3 and Q4 of 2018, this growth has not happened quickly enough to offset the financial impact of a cheaper membership model. At the same time, a number of our trading activities (which normally offset fluctuations in membership) have experienced a very challenging year. ” … “Because of the size of our team (c. 54 people) and the need to deliver a completely new structure, all posts were initially put at risk of redundancy other than that of the Chief Executive. ” … “As a result of the consultation, 11 posts have been identified for redundancy plus two contracts which were scheduled to end in 2019 will not be renewed. A small number of vacancies have also been identified which will be advertised for internal and external recruitment. … “It is not appropriate to publish a list of redundant posts or their postholders” … “we do encourage members to contact Nick Poole nick.poole@cilip.org.uk) with any concerns “

Axiell Selflib
International news

  • New Zealand – 27,000 books to be decontaminated, library closed due to toxic mould – Stuff. “The Waikanae Public Library will remain closed for the foreseeable future following a discovery of Stachybotrys​ mould, known to be dangerous to humans.” … “Found in wet-damaged, cellulose-rich material such as Gib, ceiling tiles, wallpaper and carpet, Stachybotrys can produce toxins that suppress the immune system and cause cancer. “
  • USA – A Librarian Was Targeted And Killed After She Banned A Man From The Library – Buzzfeed News. “”We believe this was not a random act, and we do believe that the victim was targeted,” Chandler said. On Oct. 13, police were called to the library after Seay caused a disturbance, Chandler said. Seay, who had been living a few miles from the library for several months, was presented with a no trespassing order. Clark was the supervisor of the library branch and was working at that time. “That is the only contact that we are aware of between the suspect and the victim,” Chandler said.”
  • USA – Meet Baltimore’s longest tenured employee: A 77-year-old library staffer who’s been on the job 56 years – MSN. “That’s the stubborn streak in me,” Whitt said of her career’s longevity. “I like doing what I do. If you’re doing something you hate, why would you do it? I’ve been blessed working at Pratt. Not a lot of people can say that about their job.””

Local news by authority

  • Aberdeen – £24k in fines handed out by Aberdeen libraries – Evening Express. Newspaper concentrates on library service fining its users rather than number of memberships etc.
  • Bexley – Bexley Council budget: £50k savings from community libraries planned – News Shopper. “One proposal tabled by officers has been to reduce the grant the council gives to six community libraries by 20 per cent, which would save £50,000.”
  • Derbyshire – Proposals to change the way libraries are run to be considered – Derbyshire County Council. “Innovative proposals to change the way our libraries are run are due to be considered at a meeting next week “. More money and support to be given to volunteer libraries.
  • Devon – A message from our Chief Executive – Libraries Unlimited. Ciara Eastell: “I’ve been leading the library service in Devon for 10 years and have seen the service through enormous changes.  Working with staff from across the county during that time, we’ve been able to forge a powerful vision for libraries and their role at the heart of our local communities.  The culmination of that work has been the creation of Libraries Unlimited – a public service mutual that has achieved so much in its first 3 years”
  • Essex – 1 in 5 children can’t read well by 11….so don’t close libraries – Gazette News / Letters. “I would urge people to take part in Essex County Council’s survey on libraries which is open until February 20 and can be accessed on their website. Unless we all make our voices heard they will continue be a low hanging fruit that is picked by an authority desperate to make savings due to central government funding reductions.”
    • County-wide libraries overhaul could see hours cut back at town library – Dunmow Broadcast. “The number of hours Dunmow library is open could reduce by more than a half under proposals”
    • Political View by Coun John Mason, party leader, Rochford District Residents – Leigh Times. “If austerity is over why should rochford start losing our libraries?” … “ECC has no data about residents that are using the library service without making any book transactions. For example, people studying or using resources in the library without borrowing items, attending events or using the library as a place to meet friends or attend clubs, using the computers – Universal Credit – book clubs, charity events, junior readers and local displays like Remembrance. The list is endless.”
    • Libraries boss: We want views on next chapter – Gazette News. “Susan Barker, County Cabinet Member for Customer and Corporate, also said she did expect there to be the degree of negative reaction to the plans, which were publicised last month.But the Conservative, who has faced opposition from her own party on the matter, has stood her ground.” … “Under the plans, many of the libraries could be kept open if volunteers are happy to run them. Mrs Barker denied this aspiration could be unrealistic, a claim which has been made by many campaigners who say paid staff with expertise should still work in them.”
  • Lancashire – Bamber Bridge library is back open after two years – Blog Preston. “Bamber Bridge library has reopened after being closed for two years. The building in Station Road was due to be taken on by a Scouts group but Lancashire County Council pulled out of the deal. The Conservative-led administration promised in its manifesto to re-open libraries across the county which had been closed by the previous Labour administration. County councillor Barrie Yates reopened the library, which has 4,000 books, on Tuesday (11 December).”
  • Leeds – Leeds City Council set to offer free sanitary products – BBC. “Free sanitary products should be provided in schools and libraries in Leeds, according to a report to the the city council. The scheme, which aims to tackle period poverty, is to be discussed by senior councillors next week. The report also advises the council to lobby the government to declassify sanitary products as luxury items and remove the 5% VAT currently payable.”
  • Northamptonshire – The new plan for Northamptonshire libraries explained – Northants Telegraph. Summary of the situation so far.
    • Funds are ‘appropriate’ to invest in libraries says county council chief – Northants Chronicle. “A judicial review win for library campaigners has helped to bring forward the new proposals to retain a number of libraries which were previously at threat of closure by the authority. A consultation has started today on the proposals, and will end on February 6. The scheme includes roughly £1 million being ‘invested’ into the libraries through Section 106 funds. The ring-fenced funds are allocated to capital projects for infrastructure, but they cannot be used to run the library services themselves.”
  • Oxfordshire – Teenager urges writers to take part in libraries story competition – Oxford Mail. “Now in its fifth year, the competition showcases talented new writers in the county by making their stories available for any library user to read for free on the Overdrive eBook service – an online extension of the county’s network of more than 40 libraries”
  • Pembrokeshire – New library to open in Haverfordwest town centre – Western Telegraph. “The development, including a library, gallery, visitor information and coffee shop, is the result of an exciting partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Library of Wales. Funding to build the facility came from a range of sources including Pembrokeshire County Council, Welsh Government, the Wolfson Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.”
  • Sheffield – Keep lifeline libraries open over festive period – Yorkshire Post / Letters. “when many places which may normally be open will be shut for the holidays. Professionally staffed libraries provide an antidote to this loneliness and they can be what keeps people going through periods like Christmas.”
  • Staffordshire – New library opens its doors – Staffordshire Newsroom. “The city centre library on the ground floor of the former St Mary’s Church, Lichfield, will welcome the public from 9am on Monday, December 17th. It is the culmination of a £1.4m investment over two years which also sees a tourist information centre installed on the ground floor and a versatile venue with gallery, heritage and performance space on the first floor, along with a history access point for digitised archive collections.”
  • Surrey – Surrey Archaeological Society fears for future of historic artefacts as libraries are ‘reshaped’ – County Border News. “They fear the skilled workforce protecting the manuscripts and writings could be lost under proposals by Surrey County Council (SCC) to restructure its library and cultural services. The council is now entering its final few weeks of consulting on cutting its cultural budget for 2019/20 by more than half from £8.7m to £4m.”
  • Thurrock – Ambitious council plans to save Thurrock libraries approved – Thurrock Gazette. Five year plan approved. Council makes point they’re investing in libraries, not closing them as in neighbouring Essex.
  • Thurrock Council- ‘no libraries will be closing’ – Braintree and Witham Times. “It guarantees that the borough’s 10 libraries will remain open with some being redeveloped into community hubs which will see other services integrated with the libraries.Among them will be learning facilities, health and well-being support and arts and culture events. Details on how the changes will be funded are limited but it is stated in the strategy that it will come from a “mixture of council investment and exploring income generation through different means”.”
  • Wandsworth – Loan a tablet as easily as a book at Balham and Putney Libraries – 2CQR / GLL. “For users the self-­‐service tablets make access simple to all types of digital and electronic media. They are ideal for workshops and events with content easily tailored to different target groups. Smaller and more compact than PCs, the tablets are space saving, portable and, for privacy, wiped clean when returned to the docking station.”
  • Warrington – Most borrowed library books in Warrington revealed – Warrington Worldwide. “Topping the list of most popular reads for adults was the gripping family drama The Affair, by Amanda Brook, while Jessica Parrish’s storybook The Adventure of Pugalugs was the most-borrowed children’s book.”
  • West Sussex – Crawley Library chalks up birthday milestone – Crawley Observer. “During the decade it’s been open, the library has welcomed more than 1,000 visitors a day on average”
  • Western Isles – Western Isles mobile library service could be scrapped – BBC. “The isles’ local authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, has sought £177,000-worth of savings through a redesign of the service. After an assessment of four options, council officers have suggested scrapping the current model and replacing it with “community hubs”.”
    • Western Isles mobile library service to continue – BBC. “After an assessment of four options, council officers had suggested scrapping the current model and replacing it with “community hubs”. But councillors voted 16-12 to retain the mobile libraries. Two new vans are now to be purchased, one for Lewis and Harris while the other could be allocated to North and South Uist.”