Archive for May, 2019

Someone who should know better in Stroud

Editorial

Yet more “purdah”, where councils needs to be careful about what they say, due to the European elections, so it’s been a quiet fortnight. It looks, on balance, like a good couple of weeks for libraries, with no major cuts outside of Fife and a loss of a mobile in Redbridge. So I’ll include my response to a tweet from someone who should really know better in Stroud.

Changes

National news

  • Author used church event to speak up for all our libraries – Henley Standard. “Sir Philip Pullman is always a crowd-puller and the Friends of Watlington Library drew a full house of book lovers into St Leonard’s Church for a talk titled “Read like a butterfly, Write like a bee”. The talk was structured around anecdotes of Pullman’s reading experiences in libraries public, academic and private. He described libraries as places of enjoyment and discovery, where readers can stumble upon new texts and new writers, both to gain knowledge and to spark the imagination. He recommended browsing the shelves of libraries for surprise finds that broaden the mind and bring unexpected pleasure.”
  • The first-ever virtual reality Doctor Who episode is now available – Fast Company. “The full 13-minute, semi-interactive episode is now downloadable for free from the Oculus Store and Vive Port for use on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. If you don’t have a headset and happen to live in the U.K., the BBC is sharing the virtual episode with more than 40 libraries around the U.K. “
  • Discover the best Northern novels in Read Regional campaign – North Yorkshire County Council. “The campaign celebrates new must-read titles by authors from the North, who have a chance to meet readers in their local libraries through readings and book group discussions. Founded by New Writing North in 2008, the campaign is funded by Arts Council England and is produced in partnership by New Writing North, North Yorkshire County Council and 21 other library authorities.”
  • Inaugural library conference makes noise at leading festival – Harrogate News. “Up to 100 library professionals from across the country are invited to attend the one-day to be held at the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival this July.Keynote speakers include chief executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley OBE. Also speaking is leading crime author and advocate for libraries, Ann Cleeves, whose Vera and Shetlands series were adapted for ITV and the BBC.”
  • Let libraries help turn your business idea into reality – Evening Standard. “This project will invest in training local librarians to deliver a programme of free, regular workshops for start-ups, as well as tailored, face-to-face advice. It puts an accessible hub for anyone with a business idea into the heart of our communities and opens new doors to more busy Londoners with a burning ambition to be their own boss.”
  • Public libraries are not just about books. At their heart, they are about social equity – Guardian. “Working in libraries I learned so much about the city I lived in. We lose nothing by making them a safe space for the community” … “Ten years ago, I worked for two municipal library services in Melbourne. When I applied for my first library job, I thought that libraries were just about borrowing books, but I quickly realised otherwise. The role of public libraries in our communities is not confined to books – at their heart, libraries are about social equity”
  • Sally Rooney hailed as major literary talent after British Book Awards win – Yahoo. ““I’ve received such enormous support and generosity from my own publisher, Faber & Faber, of course, and also from the bookselling community generally, from libraries and librarians, and the community of people who love books.”
  • Thousands praise library assistant for epic list of things they learnt from job – Mirror. “An unnamed Twitter user took to social media on Wednesday to share a list of things that they’ve learnt about the general public while working at a library – and it’s pretty brilliant.”

International news

  • Canada – Apple saves Carnegie’s flagship library in Washington, DC – Herald. “The restoration, however, just like the strike-breaking wage-depressing Carnegie, is not without its critics. Some question question whether or not the library can remain a free space for the public while also housing a for-profit company’s flagship store. “
  • Denmark – How to Transform Your Library on a Small Budget – Vesthimmerland’s Libraries Story – Princh. “Aars Library, a small local library in Vesthimmerland Municipality in Denmark, worked intensively with the Model Programme’s principles and tools in 2015 to develop an interior design concept on a small budget and based on flexibility and anti-institutionalisation. “
  • Finland – Finland is proof that investing in libraries pays off – On Office. “Finland’s expanding library sector does more than just issue loans, it’s also providing the country’s freelancers with spacious, well-designed deskspace”
  • Global – Integrating Libraries And Museums – Princh. “this integration could present a complementary holistic service where the strengths of both platforms are fused together to provide a synergy of resources for the visitors and surrounding community.”
  • USA – Should a Colorado library publish local news? – Columba Journalism Review. “A thing like a modern library can fund news,” says W. Vito Montone, who moved to Longmont from California two years ago and is helping organize the project. “It’s just a function that belongs in modern information.”” … “What a tax-funded, library-governed local news operation would actually look like in practice is so far unclear—it’s early and the group is still hammering out ideas. “

Local news by authority

  • Barnet – Barnet  Libraries: Campaigners wary as minister clears council over controversial library cuts complaint – Ham and High. “Campaigners have reacted with dismay after a government minister rejected their complaint that changes to Barnet’s library services were unlawful.” … “Arts minister Michael Ellis MP relayed the decision, made by his boss Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, in writing to Barnet Council leader Cllr Richard Cornelius. Mr Ellis wrote: “The Secretary of State does not consider there to be any serious doubt or uncertainty as to whether Barnet Council is complying with its legal obligations to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service.””
  • Bristol – Opening hours at Central Library will change from next week – Bristol Live. “From May 20 Bristol’s Central Library will return to opening seven days a week. The library in Deanery Road had been closed on Wednesdays since April 2016. But earlier this year Bristol City Council announced it would reopen the library seven days a week following a public consultation.”
  • Buckinghamshire – Awards for Bucks libraries from users – Mix 96. “Four Buckinghamshire libraries have been voted as top local family attractions by users of the family activity app, ‘Hoop’. High Wycombe Library came first and Marlow Library third in the Buckinghamshire ‘Hoop’ awards for ‘Best Free Activities’. Amersham Library came second and Princes Risborough Library third in the ‘Best local Family Service’ category. More than 100,000 votes were cast by users of Hoop which is a website for parents to find family activities in their local area.”
  • Cheshire West and Chester – Funding secured for beginners’ storytelling and writing workshops in Chester and Ellesmere Port – Standard. “The ‘Hear I Am’ project is an eight-week adult storytelling course for beginners taking place at Winsford, Ellesmere Port and Storyhouse libraries. The one and half hour weekly sessions will take place during the daytime and will focus on such areas as inspiration, writing, technique, style and how to perform a story in front of an audience”
  • Croydon – Shhh! Four libraries could be flogged off. Don’t tell anyone – Inside Croydon. “The report, when released last week, names four libraries – Coulsdon, Purley, Sanderstead and Shirley – as suitable for relocation or redevelopment as part of money-spinning property deals.”
  • Croydon ‘committed to keeping libraries open’ as alternative options considered – Guardian series. “Could some libraries in Croydon be run entirely by volunteers, moved to new locations or even closed completely as funding cuts bite in the borough? This was the crucial question put to Croydon Council’s  cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, Councillor Oliver Lewis after a presentation at Tuesday night’s (May 7) cabinet meeting. But he said the council is committed to keeping libraries open and is spending more money on books and refurbishing the borough’s 13 libraries over a ten-year period.”
  • Derby – Historic former Derby library building up for sale – Derbyshire Live. “A building which once housed one of the most popular libraries in Derby has gone on the market after the city council decided against carrying out £1.5 million urgent repairs on it. Instead, Pear Tree Library has transferred out of the Carnegie building where it opened in 1915, to St Augustine’s Community Centre where almost £800,000 is being spent to improve facilities. It is expected to re-open in the near future.”
  • Durham – £2m leisure centre and library in Peterlee to re-open next week – East Durham News. “Peterlee Leisure Centre will reopen to the public next week following a major improvement programme that has included the relocation of the town’s library.” … ““As well as a range of new books, the new library is furnished with modern seating and shelving. It will also offer free wi-fi and computers with internet access.”
  • Essex – Protestors sang “we love our libraries” during Galleywood march – Time series. “500 joined the first protest march in Galleywood’s history. Residents came together to say no to the planned closure of their library. Children were joined by their parents, grandparents, and many other Galleywood residents.”
    • Authors and poets join campaign to save Essex’s libraries – Clacton Gazette. “Children’s book author Michael Rosen has joined the growing list of prestigious writers who have voiced their concerns against Essex County Council’s proposal to close up to 44 libraries in the county.”
    • Labour’s Tom Watson calls for inquiry into Essex County Council’s library closure plan – Gazette Standard. “The council is planning to drastically reduce its library service, closing 44 of its 74 libraries to save £2 million. If these plans go ahead, they will cause huge social and cultural damage to communities, while saving what is a relatively small sum for the council. The strength feeling in the community is clear. More than 50,000 people have signed petitions against the plans and recently hundreds of people protested against the cuts across the county.”
    • Letter: Launch a public inquiry into library proposals – Clacton Gazette. “The strength feeling in the community is clear. More than 50,000 people have signed petitions against the plans and recently hundreds of people protested against the cuts across the county.”
    • “No statistical evidence” suggesting Tory election poor showing influenced by library closure plan – Dunmow Broadcast. “Essex County Council leader David Finch said there was no evidence to suggest the library plan influenced the voting intentions of the electorate. He said: “I don’t think there is any statistical evidence to support the assertion that there was a significant impact in terms of the local election by the libraries consultation.” The Tories suffered heavy losses across the county in the local elections.”
  • Fife – Cuts to Fife school library service mooted amid £600,000 budget cuts -Courier. “Council leaders David Ross and David Alexander said they did not plan any cuts to the service, which delivers collections of books to primary schools across the kingdom to support the curriculum. The controversial move has been mooted by Fife Cultural Trust, which is facing more than £600,000 of budget cuts over the next three years. In an email to staff, seen by The Courier, the trust warned the savings would have the biggest impact on frontline services. The library service and small museums and heritage centres were among the areas at particular risk and staff have been informed. It is understood voluntary redundancies and redeployment of workers are being examined.”
  • Flintshire – Funding boost for Flint Library – Leader. “Aura Wales recently secured £300,000 of funding for improvement works at Flint Library which was through a successful capital grant application to the Welsh Government’s Museums, Archives and Libraries.In addition to the £300,000, both Aura Wales and Flintshire Country Council will also contribute to the development, totalling £360,000 in new investment.” … “The current training rooms and main library will also be redesigned and transformed in order to create more flexible community spaces”
  • Hertfordshire – Work to move Redbourn and Wheathampstead libraries to fire station goes over budget – Review. “n 2014, the county council secured £700,000 from the Home Office for plans to relocate Sawbridgeworth, Buntingford, Redbourn and Wheathampstead libraries in their local fire stations. Buntingford Library was dropped from the plans at an earlier stage, due to local opposition. Now Sawbridgeworth Library will be removed from plans even though the decision not to go-ahead could cost the county an estimated £233,000 in lost funding.”
  • Kent – Tonbridge Library upgrade continues with adult education boost – Times Local News. ““It is notable that Kent has kept every single one of its 99 libraries open.” The facility had faced a cut of 18 hours to its opening times, from 55 hours to 37 – a reduction of one third – under proposals to save money. But following a public consultation, it has been designated as a ‘large town’ library and will now see a reduction of 13 hours, to 42 hours a week.”
  • Lancashire – Preston’s Harris library will not be affected by change of control, councillors told – Lancashire Post. “Users of Preston’s Harris library will not notice any change in the quality of service when day-to-day control shifts from Lancashire County Council to Preston City Council. That was the message from Peter Buckley, member for cultural services at County Hall, as the cabinet approved a proposal to create a single staff team responsible for all aspects of the Grade I-listed building.” … “The change is part of a plan to develop the UK’s first “blended” library, museum and art gallery.” … “The city council will be given control over how the Harris library operates, but an agreement will be put in place to ensure that it remains “consistent” with Lancashire’s other libraries, which are all run by the county council.”
  • Lincolnshire – Library services set to expand in Metheringham after take over of building – Sleaford Standard. “Metheringham has ambitions to expand its library services after being gifted its community library building by the county council. Metheringham Parish Council has announced the news about the hand over after a year of negotiations with Lincolnshire County Council. The Parish Council now owns (on behalf of the community) both the old NHS clinic part of the building and the library part, as well as all of the surrounding land they are located on.”
  • Milton Keynes – Council shortlisted for national ‘caring’ award over its commitment to the Milton Keynes community  – MK Citizen. Co-operative Council of the Year Award: “Organisers say that while many councils have been cutting back, Milton Keynes has bucked the trend and continued investing in new facilities for its communities. In particular, the council has been recognised for keeping all libraries open and building a new £1.2m library in Westcroft while 127 UK libraries have closed.”
  • North Yorkshire – Get involved in futuristic design at Pickering Library – North Yorkshire County Council. “There will be all kinds of creative tech kit made available at the library in Pickering, including small, programmable computers such as Raspberry Pi, Micro:bits and robotic Lego. The library will also be hosting a BBC Virtual Reality Pop-Up Hub, which will showcase a brand new BBC virtual reality experience.”
  • Northamptonshire – Library campaigners have ‘grave fears’ about future of some under-threat libraries Northampton Chronicle. “Library campaigers say they have ‘grave fears’ about the future of some of the 17 Northamptonshire libraries which will be handed over to library groups. Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet made a decision yesterday (May 14) to move ahead with a plan to only keep 14 of its 36 libraries and hand over another 22 to community groups, five of which will be given statutory protection.”
  • Oxfordshire – Winners revealed in Oxfordshire Libraries’ short story competition – Oxfordshire County Council. “A love story triggered by a provocative car sticker and a tale of magic and suspense involving a necklace with spiritual powers have been chosen as the winners of Oxfordshire Library Service’s Short Story Competition 2019. Burford School sixth-form pupil Becky Davies won the Young Adult Category with her intriguingly-titled entry, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Bacon Lover. And Jane Cammack, from Witney, captured the Adult prize with her story about The Talisman. Both stories will now be available for any library user to read for free on the Overdrive eBook service – the county’s digital library which sits alongside its network of 43 libraries.”
  • Redbridge – Plug pulled on Redbridge mobile library service – Ilford Recorder. “Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure confirmed it was decommissioning the borough’s mobile service as its 14-year-old bus was in need of replacement and it can’t afford the £300,000 price tag. Angela Banner of Redbridge Pensioners’ Forum said the news is sad for older housebound people and risks creating greater isolation after the borough’s meals on wheels service was axed in 2017.”
  • Staffordshire – Project to transform church into new Lichfield Library wins architectural award – Lichfield Live. “The £1.4m project saw the in Grade II* listed former church building converted into a library and tourist information centre on the ground floor, with a versatile gallery, heritage and performance space on the first floor.”
  • Wakefield – Changes to library fees in Wakefield as new charges brought in -Wakefield Express. “Businesses will now have to pay a £20 fee for displays and exhibitions advertising their activities, while a separate £3 charge for putting up posters within libraries has also been brought in. “Non-commercial organisations” will also have to pay for displays and posters, at half the prices charged to businesses, but community groups will not have to pay anything.” … “However, late fees for books are not increasing, and neither are charges for printing.”
  • Worcestershire – Latest ‘save our library’ protest takes place this weekend – Worcester News. “The group is calling June 6, ‘Library D-Day’, as this is when the authority’s libraries consultation goes to the county council cabinet for consideration. Ahead of this, the group’s latest protest is to be held tomorrow, which is going to include a march through St John’s beginning at 11am, and returning to St John’s Library, Glebe Close, by 11.45am for speeches.”

EveryLibrary and Digital Hubs

Editorial

A quiet week locally due to the elections but two things stand out. One is the partnership with CILIP and EveryLibrary, partly ACE funded, to advocate for public libraries. EveryLibrary are a US campaign group that runs campaigns there to boost library funding, with some success. How their style will work over here is interesting. I’ve already received an email from them asking for money for the project, something which I’ve not seen in the sector before. Perhaps this is something we need. The other thing is digital health hubs. This is the NHS rolling out some services into the high street, including public libraries. The sector has been eyeing NHS cash for years and, with our neutral/welcoming and everywhere selling points, we have something to sell. Hopefully this will be the start of a nice friendship.

Changes

National news

  • Advocating for public libraries – Arts Council England. “As the Arts Council takes the lead on the work of the Libraries Taskforce, its Chair Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council, looks to the future of libraries and how the Taskforce partners can help shape it.” … “The Libraries Taskforce partners are working together more closely than ever before to achieve an impact on the sector that that will drive the core agenda and help library services to grow and develop. We are adamant that libraries must remain a focus for the decision makers in local and national government and that, in working together by harnessing our collective expertise and brokering power, we can help achieve this.”
  • British Library teams up with ten London boroughs to support entrepreneurs across the capital – London Post. “The British Library’s Business & IP Centre today celebrates the launch of a major new initiative, Start-ups in London Libraries, a three-year project to support London’s entrepreneurs from all walks of life to get their business idea off the ground. This coordinated network of free support for start-ups will officially launch in over 60 public libraries this month, in partnership with ten London borough”
  • CILIP and EveryLibrary Institute announce new partnership for libraries  – EveryLibrary Institute. “CILIP, the UK’s library and information association and the US-based Charitable Non-profit, the EveryLibrary Institute have announced an innovative new partnership to help librarians and information professionals across England build political support and improve future funding for libraries. The new partnership will harness the skills and networks of both organizations to transform the ability of public libraries to engage and demonstrate public support. Thanks to a generous grant from the Arts Council England, the project will allow CILIP to provide a new GDPR-compliant digital advocacy platform for library supporters. The EveryLibrary Institute will collaborate with CILIP and library sector organizations to allow them to:”
  • Digital health hub rolled out across more areas following pilot success – NHS Digital. “A digital health hub piloted in Nailsea has proved to be such a success that the NHS is scaling it up across England, as demand increases from councils in North West London, the Wirral, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Stafford. 65 High Street, known as ‘Nailsea Place’, is a digital health and wellbeing learning centre. The local venue, which was established in 2018, has become a trusted place on the high street where staff and volunteers can help people to improve their digital skills and confidence, so they can engage with online services. ” … “This second wave of hubs will be in Blackburn with Darwen Library, Staffordshire Refugee Centre (ASHA), a community centre in Saltburn and the Grenfell victims support centre in NW London. “

“In view of  the publication of these documents , the development of “65 High Street, Nailsea” and the forthcoming  creation by Govt.  of a Taskforce on “The Future of the High Street”,, CILIP could do well to bring together a few like minded  Health and Library  Professionals  via the internet  to  prepare  to make a positive contribution to the Taskforce on The Future of the High Street  once it is  formed”. Dr Malcolm Rigler (via email. Contact him via email m.rigler at nhs.net).

  • Digital Public Service Innovation of the Year – Digital Leaders. One of the organisations one can vote for is Somerset Libraries. “The Somerset Digital Skills Talent Academy has delivered eight inspirational hands-on workshops in Taunton Library, showcasing digital skills and cutting-edge technology to groups of secondary school students. Delivered by the private sector in partnership with Somerset Libraries, sessions included film/animation; Robotics and coding; Virtual and Augmented Reality and 3D Printing and Scanning”
  • Libraries Week 2019: Why this year’s event is more important than ever – Lorensbergs. “This year’s Libraries Week will be Celebrating Libraries in a Digital World and it couldn’t be a more timely theme. For the second year running, our public library survey results indicate that libraries are seeing more and more people come in for help with digital skills and services. Almost 50% reported an increase, with most of the remainder seeing stable demand for this support (only one library authority reported a decrease).”
  • Telephone red kiosks become home to mini-libraries, information centre and defibrillators – Denbighshire Free Press. “BT is offering communities across Wales the opportunity to adopt their local phone box for just £1 to turn them into something inspirational for their local area. ” … ” exciting new ventures include conversions to mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres. “

International

  • Australia – Lost Property clothing library is a brilliant solution to wasteful fashion – Treehugger. “Lost Property is one of these brilliant new clothing libraries. Based in Fremantle, Australia, it is on a mission to fight fast fashion and conquer wardrobe clutter, while still allowing people to indulge their desire for new and trendy styles. “
  • Canada – Halifax Public Libraries cooks up new approach to tackle food insecurity – CBC. “Dahl said for a long time, many librarians kept a box of granola bars in their desks for children who were hungry … The libraries now offer healthy snacks for kids after school and to adults through their “Snack Social” events. … Two kitchens are also going to open later this spring at the Halifax Central Library and the Sackville Public Library to better equip the facilities to offer food workshops.”
  • Global – Building Global Networks for Libraries with Marie Østergaard and R. David Lankes – Princh. “Marie starts the conversations by stating that libraries do not compete with one another, neither for money nor for visitors. As such, a global network is a great opportunity to gather knowledge and ideas from other libraries on how to serve your community better. She also draws attention to Public Libraries 2030 (PL 2030), a Europe-wide attempt to make libraries connect easier.”
  • Malaysia – 10 Stunning Libraries In Malaysia That Will Make Every Book Lover Happy – Says.
  • USA – Library Systems Report 2019 – American Libraries. ” The public library sector has not yet experienced a significant new cycle of innovation. It remains reliant on ILSes that are modified to fill in the gaps required to support critical integrations in ebook lending and other digital offerings. One of the key concerns for public libraries is whether they are poised to enter a disruptive cycle of innovation or if the current pattern of incremental advance­ment will continue.”
  • USA – Jessamyn West on Intellectual Freedom, Creepy Basements, and the Library as a Safe Space – Bookmarks. “libraries also act as a public space, where you can interact with all the public, in a society that is increasingly stratified and where people may only be interacting with people who are “like them” in some regard. You can get things you want to read/watch/view or do, in addition to just having access to things you need. And we’re paid for, public libraries are, by the public. We’re here for you. We won’t rat you out to ICE, we let you read whatever the heck you want, even if you’re a kid, and we offer a warm and safe space with wifi and a clean bathroom where you can be yourself. Obviously not every single library is like this, but it’s what we as a profession aspire to.

Local news by authority

  • Cornwall – Future of Launceston Library safeguarded for the community – Holsworthy Post. “The future of Launceston Library has been safeguarded for the community after a new agreement which will see it transferred to Launceston Town Council on May 1.” … “Launceston Library is remaining part of the countywide service meaning customers will keep their existing library cards and can still visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.”
  • Denbighshire – Denbigh and Ruthin libraries urge residents to get creative – Free Press. “A series of libraries in Denbighshire are set to take part in Get Creative Week, the annual celebration of cultural activity in Great Britain which encourages people to try their hand at something creative and new in their community.”
  • Essex – Families call for ‘community hub’ to be spared the axe – Clacton Gazette. Despite major protests, Essex still pushing for volunteer libraries. “The campaign continues to positively reach out to Essex County Council and hopes it will change its mind when analysing the value for money the library provides.”

“To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has received on Essex county council’s proposed closure of its libraries. Tom Watson, Shadow DCMS

“DCMS has received a number of representations from local people and bodies about Essex County Council’s proposed Future Library Services Strategy for 2019 to 2024. The Council consulted on this from 29 November 2018 to 21 February 2019. DCMS officials are in regular contact with Essex County Council officers to discuss its libraries proposals and the importance of it meeting its statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. We understand that the Council is currently analysing the responses to the consultation and their aim is to finalise the strategy and present to their Cabinet in Summer 2019. Michael Ellis MP, DCMS”

  • Manningtree streets filled with library protestors – Harwich and Manningtree Standard. “Hundreds of people took the streets of Manningtree to take part in a noisy protest march against proposed cuts to libraries. The Young People’s march saw children, their parents and other campaigners join together to march from the methodist church in South Street to the town’s library in High Street. Protestors donned fancy dress costumes and musical instruments to make their voices heard.”
  • Mum praises ‘amazing show of community spirit’ in children’s march against library closures – East Anglian Daily Times. “… hundreds of children turning out on the streets, with 400 people taking part in the march in Manningtree. Mum-of-two Holly Turner, who organised placard-making workshops before the Manningtree march, said: “Owners and staff from businesses lined the streets to cheer us on and on return the children filled the stage to chant and sing.
  • Will councillor you vote for fight to keep Essex libraries open? – Halstead Gazette / Letters. “Although I realise Colchester borough councillors have no power or control over Essex Libraries, I appreciate that many local people are outraged at Essex County Council’s proposal to close about 60 per cent of our Essex libraries including Prettygate, Stanway, Wivenhoe, West Mersea and Tiptree and wish to elect local councillors who share their views and will fight to keep these libraries open. With this in mind, I emailed all the group leaders of the political parties that are fielding candidates in the forthcoming Colchester Council elections, plus the independent candidates, to ask them to endorse the above aims of Sole so the electorate know this when deciding to whom they should cast their vote on May 2.”
  • Herefordshire – Library launches new ebook service – Bromsgrove Advertiser. Borrowbox.
  • Lancashire – Harris creates special space in heart of city – Lancashire Post. “Time does not quite stand still, but as befits its location, the city’s Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library, the step back in time allows you to enjoy spacious surroundings and a new view of the city. The cause for celebration? None other than the library’s one time reading room and more recently its community history library. It officially reopened last Friday as the re-named Heritage Reading Room and the change for those who will remember the former reading room is immense.”
  • Lewisham – The Library: An oasis for me and my daughter Save Lewisham Libraries. “Recently, on a trip to the opticians, my daughter had a complete meltdown. I stood while tears and snot and shouting happened. These events can leave you feeling drained and helpless. Once she had calmed down she elected to go to the library, a place where she feels safe and secure and where she can read, her mechanism to help her cope with life. I walked in and was greeted by a smiling face of a lovely librarian who knows both of us. She had been thinking of us as she had recently checked in a book that she thought my daughter would enjoy. Suddenly, the world felt a much better place. It may have been a small event for the librarian, but it was life affirming for me.”
  • Northamptonshire – Update on library consultation and future service – Northamptonshire County Council.
  • Sheffield – Thousands of pounds in fines for overdue library items – Star. “Since 2011, the council has collected £511,786 in overdue fines for books, DVDs and music.” … “Green councillor Martin Phipps asked about the charges through a written question to the council. He said: “Trafford Council recently abolished late fee fines to try to make their libraries more accessible and well-used and I think this is something we should definitely be looking at.”
  • Suffolk – Skulduggery in Stowmarket could be back in 2020, Suffolk Libraries confirm – Bury Free Press. “Library chiefs are hopeful of attracting more readers into crime fiction after ‘amazing feedback’ from the second Skulduggery in Stowmarket. More than 300 attended talks at Stowmarket Library last weekend from authors including: Charlie Haylock, Jaqueline Beard, Barbara Nadel and Kate Rhodes.” 
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Facelift for Penarth Library – Glamorgan GEM. “Changes to the library’s first floor will include replacing water-damaged carpets and wall plaster, as well as repainting the walls. The area will be reshaped to improve its study facilities, and new furniture and shelving will be introduced. Essential maintenance is also due to be carried out during the refurbishment, including the creation of an exit onto the roof so that gutter may be cleared and inspected regularly. This is following a recent drone investigation, which revealed that gutters overwhelmed with debris were the cause of significant water damage to the library’s interior.”