It’s good to see Arts Council England emphasising public libraries in its new strategy. As the major “extra” funder of the sector, its influence has been felt over the last decade too often in the form of promising but, ultimately, quickly forgotten one-offs and innumerable small theatre shows. Recently this has changed with longer term and larger scale funding. Whether the new focus will mean more of that or, simply, we get yet more such flashes in the pan remains to be seen.

It’s also pleasant to see Libraries Connected moving forward with new appointments. I was lucky enough to attend training at Broadcasting House on Wednesday, as part of an ACE funded partnership with the BBC. The main takeaways from me from it was in terms of social media (it’s engagements not follows that matter, Instagram is the third platform we need to get into) and that we need to, gosh, think of the target audience when promoting events. By the way, if you’re looking for good library Instagram accounts, a quick enquiry on Twitter told me that plymlibraries, Bolton_library, toonlibraries, manclib_archives, dokk1aarhus, greenwichlibs, Christchurchlib, Redbridgelibs, Eveshamlib and leedslibraries are worth a glance. And also you can’t go wrong with BookFaceFriday pictures.

Finally, possibly the longest library strike in recent times is now over, with the Unite union claiming victory in Bromley.

Changes by local authority

National news

  • Arts Council England commits to library investment boost in 10-year plan – BookSeller. “: “We believe that England’s network of public libraries provides a vital resource for the development of creativity and the promotion of culture across this country. They are the country’s most widespread and well-used cultural spaces, sitting at the heart of communities and often providing the first point of access to cultural activity. They help to build stronger, happier communities, support social prescribing, develop readers and promote digital literacy. They will be central to our delivery of this strategy, and over the next 10 years we will increase our investment in them.”
  • CWA Dagger in the Library – Crime Writers Association. Your chance to nominate. “The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire. Only librarians can nominate authors for the award. It is one of the most prestigious crime writing awards in the UK …”
  • Radiohead launched an online ‘public library’ with rare tracks and a printable library card – Verge. “… the clever touch emphasizes how much the Radiohead Public Library (henceforth RPL) does feel like browsing a particularly chaotic research archive. And just like a library, it can point you toward some of the band’s lesser-known work — including its debut album Drill.
  • We’re growing – Libraries Connected. “We’re delighted to announce the appointment of three new roles within the Libraries Connected team to help us to deliver these pieces of work. The new roles are all home-based, which has allowed us to attract talented people from around the country.”

International news

  • Canada – Advocates stick up for libraries amid possible cuts – Chronicle Journal. “The Thunder Bay Public Library board, together with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3120 have responded to the city’s proposed cuts to the library budget, which may result in the elimination of an entire branch.  “Bad things happen when public libraries are closed,” said John Pateman, the city library’s chief executive officer and chief librarian, in a news release. Pateman says he has seen it before where “hundreds of public libraries have closed and thousands of library workers have lost their jobs” in the U.K.”

Local news by authority