Well, I was going to do a review of the year this post but that will have to wait as it’s just so great to see so many people connected with public libraries receiving a mention in the New Year’s Honours List. All in all, I count fifteen such people – all mentioned below, don’t worry – on the list. Whatever one may think of the honours system, it is lovely to see so many deserving people mentioned. It can only help those people push for libraries and be an aid to the sector generally. For more on this, see this post I did back in March for Libraries Connected on the subject.

Changes by local authority

New Year’s Honours

The following figures connected with public libraries received a mention in the New Year’s Honours List:

National news

  • ‘An early Christmas present’: NPOs get 1.84% funding boost – Arts Professional. “More than 800 arts and cultural organisations across England will receive a 1.84% increase to their funding in 2020. Arts Council England (ACE) CEO Darren Henley said DCMS has confirmed it will receive an extra £7.5m in the next financial year, giving National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) an above-inflation funding boost rather than the planned 0.4% reduction on 2019/20 levels of grant-in-aid.”
  • Christmas appeal: ‘School librarian cuts are a catastrophe for young readers’ – I. Tom Palmer: “Around 8,000 jobs have disappeared in UK libraries since 2010, some replaced by volunteers. One in eight schools do not have a designated library space, with a higher proportion of poorer children more likely not to have one.”
  • CILIP says libraries need £250m in demand to Johnson government – BookSeller. “Recent figures released by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) showed funding for the service has fallen almost 30% during a decade of austerity, with analysis demonstrating library loans have plunged by 43% over the same period. CILIP called on political parties to make a commitment to libraries during the election campaign. It said the government’s planned £25m investment, through its Cultural Investment Fund, was “roughly one-tenth of the capital investment we need to deliver a world-class library sector over the lifetime of this Parliament”. An extra £250m would bring the funding close to its 2009/10 level of £1bn. The CIPFA figures show the sum is currently £744m, a slight improvement on the previous year.”
  • CILIPS in 2019 – Year in Review – CILIPS.
  • Jack Monroe: My manifesto for rebuilding a truly broken Britain – I. “Thousands of preventable deaths. 11,000 fewer firefighters. A 40 per cent cut in the number of Police Community Support Officers. 800 libraries closed. “
  • Library loans down 43% in 10 years, new analysis shows – BookSeller. “Analysing the full figures, which are not made freely available by CIPFA, together with past results, Coates said loans of printed books in English libraries stood at 150 million in the past year, adding to a total drop of 43% in the last decade and 59% since the turn of the millennium. There were also 371 libraries run by volunteers in 2018/19, up from 272 the previous year.”
  • New programme to help libraries to raise income – Libraries Connected. “Libraries Connected has been awarded £150,000 by Arts Council England to plan a programme of training and mentoring to help library services to develop strategic approaches to income generation. The Future Funding programme will be designed and delivered by Libraries Connected in partnership with expert partners from the public, third and commercial sectors. The programme will help libraries to generate income in new ways by using the skills and resources they’ve built up as centres of knowledge and information.”
  • Libraries Connected to launch income-generation funding scheme – BookSeller.
  • Rakuten OverDrive in buyout deal with KKR investment firm – BookSeller. “Investment firm KKR has signed a deal to buy digital reading platform OverDrive from Rakuten for an undisclosed sum. OverDrive is known in the UK for providing e-books to public libraries and has a worldwide network of 43,000 schools and libraries spanning 75 countries. KKR has a string of investments in related companies including audiobook firm RBMedia, which it bought in 2018, and Nielsen.”

International news

  • Canada – Radon gas detector kit wait list growing at P.E.I. libraries – Journal Pioneer. “Despite only being made available starting in late November, there is already a 74-person waiting list to access one of the devices. Each of the 15 units available can be signed out for a maximum of six weeks. Which means some people could be facing a wait of up to eight months. “
  • USA – Ten Stories That Shaped 2019 – LIS News. “1. Whither Late Fees? The movement to end library late fees seemed to reach the start of a tipping point this year. Whether or not your library continues this practice, it should at least justify the current policy in place.”
    • Island libraries eliminate late fines – MV Times. “Joining a movement across the country, all Martha’s Vineyard libraries will eliminate overdue fines for materials starting Jan. 1, 2020 for a fresh start to the New Year.”
    • Looking at Libraries – The Atlantic. A long look at the best US public libraries and activities. “Continuing the photo essay about public libraries, which showed many examples of children’s rooms and adult spaces, this collection shows some of the multitude of activities happening at public libraries. It also includes some of the kinds of collections besides books, and some of the public places where books are available to borrow besides at traditional libraries.”
    • Make Way For Books At Your Library – Princh. “As of right now, we have established a wonderful partnership with the Pima County Public Library in Tucson, AZ, focused around the Make Way for Books App. As an early literacy non-profit organization, we value libraries as one of our most important resources, providing support and equitable access to information for the community.”

Local news by authority