Good to see three new, but very different, national campaigns for libraries. The first is the VoteLibraries campaign by LibrariesDeliver which aims to raise the profile of libraries in time for the general election. The second is the library aspect of the 100 Novels That Shaped the World BBC series. Finally, the poet laureate Simon Armitage, has announced a ten year campaign to visit a library for every letter of the alphabet from A to Z. This should make for some very creative entries towards the end. Hmm, does Zennor have a library?

Changes by authority


National news

  • BBC panel reveal the 100 novels that have shaped their world – Reading Agency. “We are excited to be working with BBC Arts and Libraries Connected on their year-long celebration of literature, as an expert panel reveal the 100 English language titles that have shaped their world. From January until the culmination of festival during Libraries Week in October 2020, resources will be available for readers and reading groups around the 100 novels, divided into ten categories. These resources will provide information about the chosen themes, questions to spark discussion and further suggestions to widen your reading. “
  • The Economic Case for Supporting Libraries – Book Riot.
  • CILIP pushes for library support in election campaign – BookSeller. “VoteLibraries.uk, library supporters across the UK can sign a “#VoteLibraries” pledge, download social media elements, posters and campaign materials to use in their local area, and email their local candidates to encourage them to show their support. It is part of Libraries Deliver, an advocacy project from CILIP with the EveryLibrary Institute and follows on from research published last month, “Public Libraries: The case for support”, highlighting the positive impact of libraries and calling for investment.
    • Campaigners want you to vote for libraries in this general election – Big Issue.
    • Vote Libraries – Libraries Deliver. “Do you #LoveLibraries? Show your support for your libraries this December with our #VoteLibraries toolkit. We’ve made it easy for you to help spread the word using the resources below. The more of us that commit to voting for libraries, the more power we’ll have in the fight to keep them open.”
  • Head of Engagement (Adults) – Reading Agency. Max £42k, London based. “The Reading Agency is looking for an experienced strategic manager, to shape and lead an exciting new phase of its work with adult readers, particularly those less confident readers aged 16 and above.”
  • Libraries Taskforce: six-monthly progress report (April to September 2019) – Gov.uk. A summary of what is going on nationally in the sector including: ACE; LibrariesDeliver; DCMS digital access; data; building the case for public libraries; national guidelines on subjects like volunteer libraries, outsourcing libraries, benchmarking; peer reviews; skills strategy; leadership fund; innovation and BAME networks; BIPC Network; continued work on the single digital presence; living knowledge network; universal offer review; etc.

Medici (YouTube)More information on this service is available via this (sponsored) link.

  • NAG Public Libraries Forum Manchester – National Acquisitions Group. 20 November. “NAG Forum events are informal discussion days with a range of lightning talks and longer papers with plenty of time for group discussion following each presentation. Feedback from previous forum events has confirmed that the opportunity to network with other professionals from across the country is the most valued part of the day. The events provide a friendly, supportive atmosphere where people feel confident they can speak freely amongst their peers.”
  • Ten year library tour for Poet Laureate Simon Armitage – BookSeller. “Over a week in each spring for the next decade, Armitage will give readings in libraries across the UK, in a tour  supported by the T S Eliot Estate and his long-time publishers Faber & Faber. Using the alphabet as a guide, his Laureate’s Library Tour will involve local communities, poets and students at each stop on the journey, to celebrate libraries. ”
    • The Laureate’s Library Tour – Simon Armitage. “So, if your library’s name or location begins with the letters A or B, do get in touch if you would like him to help celebrate your library during the A-B Libraries Tour in 2020. This will take place during the week Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20 inclusive. “

International news

Local news by authority

  • Bristol Librarians are left stunned after book was returned 42 years past its due date – with £10 and an apology – Mail. “A library book has been returned 42 years late along with two £5 notes and an apology. The children’s title was taken out from a library in Henleaze, Bristol before Christmas in 1976 and was due back on January 5, 1977. But it was never returned and began racking up overdue fines – while missing for a staggering 15,644 days.”
  • Bromley – Plans to relocate Beckenham Library met with opposition – News in Beckenham. “More than 2,000 local residents have strongly opposed plans by the council to move Beckenham Library from its current location by the Spa Leisure Centre to Beckenham Public Hall in an effort to make way for new housing. Labour councillor for Clock House ward, Ian Dunn, set up a petition opposing the move which was signed by more than 1,000 people in just 24 hours. Bromley Council estimate that 46 housing units could be accommodated on the site with “no net loss of the surrounding green space” and it is anticipated that the development would consist of 50% affordable housing. However, it is unclear whether there will be any social housing made available as part of the move. “
  • Cornwall – St Just Library has been devolved to town council – Falmouth Packet. “Under the agreement the library transferred to the town council on Friday after alterations were completed. The changeover will also include the relocation of the town council office into part of the library building in January so visitors will have access to a range of services in one place. Completed improvement work included re-roofing the central flat roof, replacing the entrance porch, remodelling the library space and creating new office space for the town council. ”
  • Devon – Library offers books and much more – Tavistock Today. A look at Okehampton Library. “Wren is just starting out on Book Track, a popular scheme at the library in which children are challenged to work towards reading 100 books, with incentives of badges and a £5 book token from the Friends of Okehampton Library on completion.”
  • Inverclyde – Comic creators hone their skills in special library sessions – Greenock Telegraph. “The new comic club is called Splash Panel and it’s open to 11 to 15-year-olds. Paul Bristow, of local heritage group Magic Torch, is leading the project. Paul, a digital storyteller in residence at the library, says interest in the group is high.”
  • Lambeth – New library scheme to lend smart clothes to jobseekers for interviews – The Extra Mile. “To support our local community, ihateironing has been in collaboration with the Brixton Library, to help unemployed residents and ex-offenders look and feel their best for their job interviews. We have been cleaning and donating formal attire for them to wear, which we hope may contribute to a life-changing moment for someone in need.”

“It’s as easy as borrowing a book. Just show us confirmation of your job interview, and the outfit is yours for up to four days. Then, when you’ve landed your dream, pop back in to drop the clothes off, and give someone else the chance to change their life too.”

  • Lancashire – Lancashire libraries invest in digital for the futureLancashire County Council. “Starting in November and continuing during the next few months the rollout of over 500 new public access computers with the latest Windows 10 software will be installed in some libraries to replace the current equipment, whilst the remainder will have their software upgraded.”
  • North Lanarkshire – Monklands libraries to start closing earlier on two weekdays – Daily Record. “Airdrie and Coatbridge libraries will be closing two hours earlier on Mondays and Wednesdays from later this month. It follows a public consultation during the summer, asking users to choose when the current hours of opening until 7pm four days per week should be retained and which two evenings should be cut as part of a savings package.”
  • North Yorkshire – Pick up a free comic at the library – North Yorkshire County Council. “The giveaway is in conjunction with Thought Bubble, the Yorkshire Comic Art Festival, which this year is taking place in Harrogate for the first time, with a two-day event at Harrogate Convention Centre on Saturday and Sunday (9 and 10 November).”
  • Northern Ireland – Tackle the winter blues in your library – Banbridge Leader. “Libraries NI is inviting all members of the community to come and relax in front of a light therapy box, designed to help ease the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is now in place in Banbridge and Rathfriland libraries.”
  • Nottinghamshire – Retford library to close next month ahead of major refurbishment works – Worksop Guardian. “The library will close on Saturday, December 4, to undergo a total transformation which is expected to be complete in spring 2020. Nottinghamshire County Council, its cultural charity Inspire, and contractor ARC Partnership plan to make the library more visible and accessible to the local community.”
  • Rochdale – Read all about it as free library scheme launches – Rochdale News. “All four and five-year-olds will receive a free card, which can be used to borrow books at the borough’s 17 libraries”
  • Somerset Late Library Hangouts – Somerset Libraries. “Libraries in West Somerset now offer a regular ‘after hours’ club where you can sit in comfort, meet with friends, blitz that homework or just relax”
  • Suffolk – Changing the library narrative – Libraries Connected. “As real incomes, statutory services and community-based support are reduced, these events, activities and experiences have become increasingly important, even as libraries suffer from the same spending cuts. Talking about how we provide social value through statistics and real-life examples of socio-recreation will help us change the library story. “

2018/19 Visits = c. 5000,000 ; Loans = 586,767
2017/18 Visits = 592.313  ;  Loans = 645,118
2012/13 Visits = 1,091484  ;   Loans = 1,070,181
2007/08  Visits = 1.008.071  ; Loans = 982,04

Swindon – Usage statistics, sent in via Shirley Burnham.

  • Wrexham – Have your say on the future of Wrexham’s libraries – The Leader. “Wrexham Council is inviting anyone who has not yet put their views forward to have their say – either via an online consultation survey or at one of the forthcoming roadshows where questions can be asked to council officers. So far the authority’s roadshows – held at the public libraries and other community venues, have seen more than 350 people attend. Andrew Atkinson, lead member for libraries, said: “Wrexham Council is facing its toughest financial challenges in living memory and we have some difficult decisions to make. “