Archive for August, 2019

Diversity under attack in Devon, council’s ploys seen through in Essex and a look at the library as a perfect place to work


I am sorry to see that Devon has suffered attacks from various quarters about have a drag queen story time or two in their libraries, although with the critical responses being thankfully less overtly religious or fanatical than those in the USA. I see such story times, and the willing embrace of diversity in the sector, as a definite highpoint of the last decade and hope that services do not bow to pressure and take the seemingly easy way out.

The public response to the deep cuts in Essex have been uniformly reassuring since they were first announced. First they protested in force and, now that the council has retracted its plans slightly, have noticed that they’re still trying to force local groups to replace paid staff. Such groups are saying clearly that they do not wish to do so. Hopefully, what is already a partial defeat for Essex will become a complete one and will show that closures or large-scale forcing of libraries to become volunteer is not an unavoidable conclusion when cuts are announced. Indeed, let us hope that the only way to respond to library cuts in future is Essex.

Finally, thank to Alex Klaushofer for her excellent review of a few public libraries in Europe. There are some stunners out there and the need for such places to offer quiet study spaces as well as shiny innovations is explored well. So have a sit down quietly some time in your library and have a read of it.

Changes by authority

National news

  • 12 incredible libraries in the UK that need to be on every bookworm’s bucket list – Mirror. Includes the normal big public libraries – Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
  • Britain’s infrastructure is breaking down. And here’s why no one’s fixing it – Guardian. ““The library really is a palace. It bestows nobility on people who can’t otherwise afford a shred of it. People need to have nobility and dignity in their lives. And, you know, they need other people to recognise it in them too.”
  • Build the library of the future – Libraries Week. “Participants should use LEGO to form the structure of their library build but are free to get creative and use other materials to bring your library to life. ” Prize includes trip to Legoland and £500 for local library.
  • Digital Development In Libraries with Pamela Tulloch And Lindsey Henderson – Princh. Experience in Scotland of barriers and opportunities.
  • Lee Child’s Night School named UK’s most borrowed library book – BookSeller. “Figures released today from UK public libraries, compiled using Public Lending Right (PLR) data, showed the Jack Reacher thriller was most popular. In all, 101,636 loans of the book were made, well above the 71,000 recorded by the previous year’s most borrowed novel, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Transworld).” Child was followed by John Grisham’s The Whistler (Hodder), with both writers appearing twice in the top 10. Continuing the trend for thrillers, Michael Connelly had two books in the top five, with The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Orion) at number three and The Late Show (Orion) at number five.”
  • National public library data – Libraries Hacked. “ational library statistics provide high-level comparative stats. For example, issues per year, per authority. Not much about individual libraries. The problem with this data is that it has no obvious use. No local authority would accept data without the detail of each library. So why compile such data at a national level? Although the end goal is to have national data, the starting point needs to be local data in a standard form …”
  • Paradise Found: In search of the perfect Library – Public Libraries News. Alex Klaushofer argues that, in the 21st-century, the public library has a vital role to play as a place to be and work. Spending some time as an itinerant researcher, she unexpectedly finds her perfect library workspace in a far-flung European city.
  • Practical solutions for a single digital presence – CILIP. “The report, Digital Transformation for UK Public Libraries: five approaches to a ‘single digital presence’ published on 6 June, explains how it selected five of the most likely ways to deliver ‘a single digital presence’. It then goes further, whittling it down to three. And more work is being done: “We’re doing a second scoping piece at the moment, a bit more user testing of what people want and will provide some more actionable recommendations that can very much start to move this forward. The sector has been waiting quite a while now and we’re conscious of that.”

International news

Local news by authority

  • Anglesey – Holyhead Library begins new chapter with move to historic market hall – North Wales Chronicle. “The ambitious project to revitalise Holyhead Market Hall is set to be completed later this year. However, the town’s new library opens its doors to the public on September 2, after the old library, on Newry Street, closes on Saturday, August 17” … “An exciting new event space is found at the heart of the library, where an array of activities and events will be held. Visitors to the library can also take advantage of the flexible social space to meet friends, take part in reading groups or just enjoy a chat. “. Includes Changing Places toilet.
  • Bradford – MP enters debate over cuts to Bradford museums and libraries – Telegraph and Argus. “Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West has criticised Bradford Council’s plans to slash the budget for the services, reducing the department’s budget by 65 per cent over two years. Details of what the cuts will look like will not be revealed until September, but the Council has announced that it will be cutting its museums and galleries budget, currently, £1.8 million, by £500,000 in 2020/21. “
  • Bromley – Library staff and union members united in protest to Bromley library cuts – London News Online. “There are currently 50 library workers at GLL’s 14 libraries across Bromley who have been on strike since June 6. The dispute began when library workers across Bromley said that GLL had let members of staff go without replacing them, creating an increase in workload which was not reflected in their pay.” … “A spokeswoman for GLL said: “Once again we refute the allegations made by Unite. We operate a fair deal on pay and consider the union’s inflation busting six per cent pay claim unrealistic and unaffordable”
    • Demonstrations planned at Bromley libraries as workers continue to strike – Bromley Borough News. Demonstrations to be held. ““We have had a constructive meeting with GLL to discuss our main priority – staffing. During the consultation before the contract was handed to GLL, Bromley’s Tory councillors were quoted that there would be no loss of professional staff. We are now awaiting staffing proposals from GLL which we expect to reflect this commitment.”
  • Cambridgeshire – MP Steve Barclay celebrates successful 4th year of Read to Succeed with £18,000 of donated books handed to every Year 4 & 5 child in NE Cambs – Cambs Times. “”Read to Succeed aims to help combat this. In the back of every book donated is a library token which each child can take to their local library and take part in the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge.”
  • Camden – Transforming Kentish Town Library – Ideas Day – Camden Council. “Camden Council is investing £1.5 million to make sure that libraries best meet the needs of our communities now and in the future: This work is being piloted in Kentish Town Library, where over the last few months the Council has been talking to local residents, library users and partner organisations about their ideas for the library. The Ideas Day aims to share initial design ideas developed from these conversations, and get residents’ help in choosing the ideas to take forward and make happen …”
  • Croydon – Revamped Selsdon Library has officially re-opened – Guardian series. “As part of a refurbishment of the library in Addington Road, Selsdon will be the first library in Croydon to trial Open+ technology. ” … “Next on the list to be upgraded are Norbury and Thornton Heath libraries.  Norbury Library in will temporarily close for a £1 million refurbishment on August 31, reopening in Spring 2020. “
  • Cumbria – Barrow wins £2m grant as it bids to become UK destination of culture – The Mail. “The Barra Culture team is made up of Women’s Community Matters, Brathay Trust, Natural England, Art Gene, Signal Film and Media, Full of Noises, and Ashton Group Theatre, as well as Cumbria Libraries, and Barrow Borough Council. “
  • Derbyshire – Only half of council’s libraries handed to volunteers have groups to run them – Derbyshire Live. “A council has revealed that only 10 out of 20 libraries it intends to hand to volunteers have community groups fit to take them on. This comes eight months after Derbyshire County Council finalised its proposals to stop running 20 of its 45 libraries in order to save £1.6 million. It formally invited community groups to come forward to take on the 20 under-used libraries in March. Since then, only half the libraries set to be moved out of county council management have had community groups come forward with robust enough plans to take them on.”
  • Devon – Drag queen teaches kids to ‘twerk’ at library story hour – Lifesite News. “A drag queen in the United Kingdom was caught on camera teaching small children at a library story hour how to perform the sexually-suggestive dance move called “twerking.”
  • Dudley – Blackheath and Cradley libraries to host free breakfasts this summer – Cotsworld Journal.
  • Durham – Bishop Auckland Town Hall closes to become cultural hub – Northern Echo. “Improvements will include the creation of a new café, bar and contemporary art gallery space on the ground floor, as well as enhanced library facilities.”
  • Essex – Campaigners: Libraries boss ‘put gun to people’s heads’ – Harwich and Manningtree Standard. “Save Our Libraries Essex has condemned County Hall’s revised libraries strategy, which will see volunteer groups given a small grant over three years to keep services running, as “closure by stealth”. Groups, including those in Coggeshall and Holland-on-Sea, have withdrawn their offers to run libraries. The campaign group has produced an information pack which it has sent to town and parish councils warning of the “impossible job” community groups would face. “
    • ‘Our libraries must be saved’ – Braintree and Witham Times. “Mr Coates said: “The really essential part of a library strategy in Essex – or anywhere else- is to reverse the decline in use. “It is perfectly possible to do that by concentrating on the strengths that libraries have in the eyes of people who might use them.”
    • ‘Stealth closures’: Essex groups back away from volunteer-run libraries – Guardian. “On Monday, Tracey Vickers, who led a bid by Coggeshall residents to take over a branch, said they had felt pressured into submitting an expression of interest in order to secure a meeting with the council, which had “repeatedly refused on the grounds that they were ‘too busy and couldn’t meet every community group’”.”
    • Volunteers urged to pull out of offers to take on libraries – Braintree and Witham Times. “Sole condemned County Hall libraries boss Susan Barker’s proposal, claiming community groups would not only be responsible for staffing and fully running libraries, but housing them as well. A spokesman said: “The purpose of our information pack is to ensure every single community group thinking of volunteering knows they no longer have to as a last resort to save their library.”
    • Villagers ditch their bid to run libraries – Braintree and Witham Times. “Groups in Coggeshall, Holland-on-Sea, Chigwell and Harlow have pulled their offers in a move which has been welcomed by campaign group Save Our Libraries Essex (Sole). “
  • Fife – Dunfermline-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie would be ‘sad to see decline of libraries’, says museum on centenary of death – Courier. “Our busy exhibition and library events programme continues his ethos of enriching the lives of people through culture and it is a privilege to manage the first-ever Carnegie Library in the world – one of 2,800 worldwide – and have it housed in the award-winning five-star visitor attraction that is Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries.”
  • Flintshire – Employee-owned leisure centres and libraries welcome over 1.5 million visits in one year News from Wales. “Providing culture, sport and leisure opportunities to the region, the social enterprise recorded an impressive 1.1 million visits to its leisure centres and 600,000 visits to its libraries in the last 12 months.”
  • Hertfordshire – Having charity running libraries deprives councils of business rates – St Albans Review. “… it is estimated it will cost the 10 districts and boroughs – who each receive a chunk of the business rates collected – hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost income. Liberal Democrat Cllr Sara Bedford – who is a county councillor and leader of Three Rivers District Council – estimates that Three Rivers will lose £22,000 a year as a result of the change – adding up to £110,000 over the five-year library contract. “
  • Kirklees – Almondbury Library holds fun filled open day in exciting new dementia-friendly building – Kirklees Together. “The lighting, acoustics, furniture, walls, carpet and signage were all considered and there are cues and clues to help people use the library as independently as possible. The aim is for all staff and volunteers to be Dementia Friends …”
  • Lancashire – New chapter beckons for Lytham’s library service – Blackpool Gazette. “The new library is in the Assembly Rooms in Dicconson Terrace following the closure of the service in its long-time home, the Institute building in Clifton Street, by the County Council’s previous Labour administration in September 2016. The Assembly Rooms has been let on a long lease to the County Council by Lytham Town Trust and will feature more than 4.300 books along with facilities for baby bounce and rhyme, toddler rhyme time and digital support sessions.”
  • North Lanarkshire – Airdrie MP criticises plans to reduce opening hours at Monklands libraries – Daily Record. “ast week’s Advertiser told how evening opening at Airdrie and Coatbridge libraries is to be reduced from four nights to two and Chapelhall library will close on Friday afternoons and Saturdays. Chryston library will reduce to opening on three days per week instead of the current five and will lose its late night, and Moodiesburn will close on Friday afternoons, as part of a Culture NL programme to find required savings of £400,000.”
  • North Yorkshire – Author embarks on library-joining marathon – North Yorkshire County Council.
  • Northamptonshire – Northamptonshire school takes over library from cash-crisis council – BBC. “Northgate School Arts College, which already runs a cafe and sweet shop, will take over Northampton’s Kingsthorpe Library. Its head said pupils would “love the structured environment” of a library.” … “Head teacher Sheralee Webb said the library, which will pay £15,300 per year to lease the building, would be supported by crowdfunding for up to the first two years.” … “Ms Webb said running a library would be a “learning curve for all of us” but that it would be “ideal” for pupils who might find a traditional work placement difficult.”
  • Perth and Kinross – Poet-on-a-mission picks up library card at Pitlochry – Courier. “Joseph Coelho has challenged himself to join more than 200 libraries up and down the country, in an effort to highlight their importance to local communities. The aim is to sign-up to libraries in each local authority area and hopefully encourage others to do the same.”
  • Perthshire – 3D facilities will be available in Perthshire libraries – Daily Record. “AK Bell Library in Perth already has a Digital Maker Space, which has already proven to be extremely popular, with visitors, artists and local entrepreneurs taking advantage of the superb digital resources.” Another one to be added at Strathearn.
  • Sheffield – Poor choice of magazines in libraries, says councillor – Sheffield Telegraph. “A councillor has questioned why Sheffield libraries no longer stock political magazines but do offer random ones which are of “no interest” to people.” … ““For example, there is little choice of magazines covering politics and current affairs in Central Library, which no longer stocks magazines such as Private Eye, but stocks magazines of little to no interest for most people such as Football Stadium Management Magazine.”
  • St Helens – Moving library into one of our best exhibition spaces seems a strange way to go – St Helens Star. “… as an artist moving the library into one of the best exhibition spaces in the North West (The World of Glass) seems a strange way to go.  The large exhibition space as you go in is second to none for flexibility for so many art mediums and exhibitions with the wonderful floor to ceiling windows.”
  • Warrington – Stockton Heath Library to reopen next month – Warrington Worldwide. “Stockton Heath Library is to reopen on Monday September 2 following a 12-week, £195,000 redevelopment – that includes dementia friendly design throughout and more flexible activity and events spaces. The library, on Alexandra Road, is the first of the town’s libraries to benefit from Warrington Borough Council’s £1m library investment programme.

A few cans of library worms


There are subjects that one learns not to talk about in uncertain company. At the moment, Brexit is most certainly that in the UK while I imagine Trump and gun control (or in their incredible lack of it) serve the same role in the USA. But there are specific library subjects where one has learnt that raising them runs the risk of exploding the room. So, in the proud PLN tradition of never knowing when to shut up, here’s a few that will get you angry, nodding or groaning.

The first is library visitor numbers and how inaccurate they are. Few libraries even have a proper system for counting patrons and even they often shrug when asked what happens if you get a member hanging around by the door, walking in and out. Then you get the question of what actually is a library visitor. In the old days, it was simple – someone who came in was using the  library – but not any more. That person could be visiting to access a council service embedded in the library. Are they still using the library then if they’re reporting a death? Really? What if they’re using a post office inside it or a college? One suspects they’re also counted as visitors. Which makes me worried as, if that is the case with all the extra services being shoehorned in then, well, library visits should be going through the roof in the UK. But they’re not. One fears that this problem amongst library services (and don’t get me started on the joke that is CIPFA) about visitor numbers and why we should not to question them that is hiding an even deeper malaise within the system.

The second can is about what we should actually call those visitors to the library. But first, let’s say I am deeply embarrassed about many things the library sector has failed to get to grips on. The lack of a national website is especially pitiful as is the absence of anything resembling a UK or even England-wide promotional campaign for the service. Both those failures have at their core the atomisation of public libraries into 200 or so different  bodies in the UK who, while willing to work together, are all unable to actually do so on a grand scale, even with Libraries Connected received hundreds of thousands of pounds. So that’s explainable. What isn’t is the failure of the library professional worldwide to actually work out what to call those who use their services. The  words borrowers, patrons, clients, members, readers and – shudder – customers are all used and many more. I’ve used several deliberately in this article already.  What one calls those using your service probably says more about you and your standpoint than anything else. Being neutral as heck, I’d go with “user” (it’s not an IT term really, not any more, so get over it) but wow is there a lack of a common front on this issue. Get it together, librarians.

Oh, and while I’m at it, that term “librarians”. It’s clear what it means inside the sector, or used to be, but outside of it it means anyone who works in a library. Get over that. Many professions have such divides in staffing and don’t have that lack of understanding – the public knows the difference between an officer and a soldier, a doctor and a nurse – but they signally often do not know that about librarians. That they don’t is not their fault but ours. And it stands little chance of changing now. So accept that the public calls all of us librarians and don’t criticise them for it. I use the terms interchangeably myself on many occasions. Like all of this editorial.

Right, there’s a few cans of worms to start your week with.  Got any more. Answers on a postcard please if you are still one of those who refuse or are not allowed to use social media … ooh heck, there’s another.

I’ve just been told about the danger of thermal paper – the sort many front-line library staff use in receipts – causing a health risk if it contains something called BPA. It could be worth checking on the till rolls at your branches. There’s a lot of information online but it was news to me. See here and here. It looks like it’s a small risk but something that one needs to be careful of and yet another reason to wash your hands before eating food if you don’t do so already.


National news

  • Closing libraries means abandoning society’s most isolated and vulnerable – Guardian. “A passion for books and reading first drew me to library work, but empathy, belief in human rights and the importance of social activism kept me working in them. I’ve worked in libraries of all sizes, from large city ones to tiny mobile ones, but what they all had in common was how much they meant to the most vulnerable in their communities.”
  • The Guardian view on librarians: guides to life, not just to books – Guardian / Editorial. Librarians can be much more than book experts. Libraries are community as well as knowledge hubs, and should promote and harness civic activism. The 50,000 people now volunteering in English libraries have much to offer. But any government with a serious commitment to expanding educational opportunities for young and old would invest, not only in libraries, but in the people who work in them.”
  • How public libraries in England are engaging with their communities to decrease levels of loneliness – Aberystwyth University. “My name is Sharon Wright.  I am an undergraduate student at Aberystwyth University, studying a BSc in Information and library studies by distance learning. As part of my dissertation I am undertaking a research project under the supervision of Dr. Anoush Simon. The project is investigating how public libraries in England are engaging with communities to decrease levels of loneliness and social isolation and improve well-being and social inclusion.”
  • Tourism’s missing link – Central Library’s astonishing visitor numbers – Manchester Confidential. “Despite John Rylands Library being included in the top eleven of Manchester visitor attractions (with 242,892 guests) the most visited of all the Manchester region cultural tourist attractions is strangely absent. This is Central Library in St Peter’s Square which now attracts a staggering 1.6m visits. Since reopening in 2014 the figures have been continually improving” … “Birmingham Library shades Manchester’s Central Library with 1.8m visitors as the biggest visitor attraction outside London. Both prove that the most traditional of establishments, the library, still lies at the heart of what it means to be a civilised city, at the centre of the definition of ‘civic’. If you’ve not been recently then have another go.” compare with How libraries became tourism hotspots – Conversation.

International news

  • Global – Public Libraries and The Community – Princh.”Creating a public library that “speaks” to the community’s needs, allows the public to see the library as “theirs” which will make it the desired place for all age groups. Something library professionals and advocates fight to achieve.”
    • Customers, Members, and Users oh my – R David Lankes “For me it all comes back to how we think about the communities we serve and our relationship with them. During this most recent discussion I have heard the phrase owner and client. We will probably never have the perfect word, because we are seeking to encapsulate such a broad set of circumstances. Further, at the end of the day, so long as we are working with the community, and we are seeking to make our communities better we are doing it right.”
  • USA – A librarian’s case against overdue book fines – TEDx. “Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don’t actually do what we think they do. What if your library just … stopped asking for them altogether?”
    • Almost 100,000 signatures against drag queen events for kids – Christian Institute. “Nearly 100,000 signatures have been delivered to the American Library Association to protest against a programme for children involving drag queens. Drag Queen Story Hour, in place in libraries across at least 20 US states, is where men dressed as women read stories to children as young as three. Parents have highlighted the lack of age appropriateness, with one mother telling CBS: “There is a sexual side to drag queens, to what they are trying to teach”.
    • Libraries Act as Cooling Centers in Heatwaves – Book Riot. “Ana Raquel Nunes, a public health researcher at the University of Warwick in the UK, recently referred to visits to libraries and community centers as a wider support action during heatwaves. This is especially useful for people who are both particularly vulnerable to heat and less likely to have many resources to beat the heat. These include children, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, and rough sleepers”
    • Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books – CNN. “Librarians to publishers: Please take our money. Publishers to librarians: Drop dead.” … “For the first two months after a Macmillan book is published, a library can only buy one copy, at a discount. After eight weeks, they can purchase “expiring” e-book copies which need to be re-purchased after two years or 52 lends. As publishers struggle with the continuing shake-up of their business models, and work to find practical approaches to managing digital content in a marketplace overwhelmingly dominated by Amazon, libraries are being portrayed as a problem, not a solution. Libraries agree there’s a problem — but we know it’s not us. “

Local news by authority

  • Bradford – Union slams Bradford Council’s decision to back UK City of Culture bid– Telegraph and Argus. “A consultative ballot of approximately 50 Unite members working in libraries and museums is asking whether they wish to proceed to a full-scale industrial action ballot. Bradford Council has previously announced major cuts to its libraries and museums service, amounting to a £1.05 million cut to library budgets and £500,000 to the museums service in 2020-21.”
  • Bromley – Bromley library workers strike against running down – Socialist Party. “The long-running strike at Bromley libraries has not lost its enthusiasm. Once again there was a large picket outside the main library. These have been interspersed with protests outside other Greenwich Leisure Limited-run facilities such as libraries, sports centre and swimming pools”
  • Edinburgh – Opinion: Lord Provost loves Edinburgh’s virtual libraries – Edinburgh Reporter.
    • Essex – Decision on future of Essex’s libraries called in for scrutiny – Clacton Gazette. “Revised plans for the future of Essex’s libraries were approved after a storm of protest. Opposition councillors have now called in the decision. The place services and economic growth policy and scrutiny committee will be left with three options – to uphold the decision, refer it back to the decision maker or ask full council to review it.”
    • ‘Essex isn’t known as a hotbed of radicalism’: how protests turned back library cuts – Guardian. “Protester Andy Abbott said: “Essex is not really known as a hotbed of radicalism, and I think they probably thought people would take it lying down, I think they thought it would all go under the radar. It has really stunned them, the level of protest.” … “Liz Miles, who is coordinating campaigns, said: “This is why people are very angry. All we know is from the strategy document is said “Neither has Essex county council acknowledged that the expressions of interest came largely from the draft survey, which threatened to close 44 libraries (25 of them in September) unless people came forward with offers of interest. We hope that most of these will be withdrawn, now we have been promised that there is no danger of closure.””
  • Essex – Essex library campaigners prepare legal challenge – Chelmsford and Mid Essex Times. “Campaigners have instructed leading law firm Watkins and Gunn to give legal advice for a potential legal challenge”
  • Halton – The anti-drug spray set to stop cocaine users in their tracks – Liverpool Echo. “Drug users in Runcorn and Widnes may be in for a nasty surprise as a new anti-cocaine spray hits the streets. The clear spray, named ‘BloKiT’, can be placed on most surfaces and works by causing powdered drugs such as cocaine to swell and stick to the surface.” To be trialled in libraries.
  • Hertfordshire – Hertfordshire libraries handed to council-founded charity – BBC. “A council has awarded the contract to run its libraries to an organisation it set up, to save the authority £500,000 a year. Hertfordshire County Council, which runs 46 libraries, decided in October to contract-out the service. At the same time it set up Libraries for Life, a “public service mutual” organisation, to bid for the five-year contract, worth about £10m a year. It won the contract despite competition from other bidders. Councillor Terry Douris, responsible for the county’s libraries, said he was “delighted” that the organisation had won the contract following a “very detailed and robust procurement exercise”. … “saving an estimated £500,000 a year in business rates.”
  • Kent – New timetables will see Temple Hill and Dartford Library’s hours cut to save cash– News Shopper. “Temple Hill Library will suffer the most out of Dartford’s nine libraries as it will see its opening times shift drastically from 40 hours a week to just 17. This was followed by Dartford Library, which will see 15.5 hours chopped from its weekly operating schedule. However, other facilities across the borough will have their opening times boosted, including Greenhithe Library which will now open for 28 hours a week, an increase of 16 hours compared to its current schedule.”
  • Manchester – Poetry Library to host poem that aims to feature every language in Manchester – About Manchester.
  • North Lanarkshire – Cuts to library services in Newmains, Cleland and Shotts proposed by council – Daily Record. “Reducing late opening times and closing libraries on Saturday’s are just some of the plans as Culture and Leisure NL aims to save £400,000.” … “Proposals include closing Shotts and New Stevenston libraries on Saturdays, 2pm Friday closures at Newmains, New Stevenston, Shotts and Viewpark, and reducing late openings until 7pm at other centres around the region. The trust has also proposed scrapping late openings at Cleland and Newarthill libraries.”
  • Plymouth – Free lunches for Plymouth children at libraries this summer – Plymouth Herald. “Deputy council leader Peter Smith said: “Holiday hunger can be a real problem for many families in Plymouth and by joining in with Catered’s Big Summer Food Tour we can help those who may struggle to provide food and entertainment for children over the long summer holiday.”
  • Staffordshire – Harry Potter book bought for £1 sells for £28,500 at auction – BBC. “The 1997 book, published with two errors, was sold by Staffordshire libraries for £1 about 20 years ago.” … “Only 500 copies were published in the tale’s first print run, with 300 sent to libraries”
  • Suffolk – Surge in attendance figures marks seven years of Suffolk Libraries – Suffolk Libraries. “In 2018-19 there were 14,290 events and activities in libraries. These events saw attendances of nearly 201,000, an increase of over 14% from the previous year and 29% over the last four years.”