CILIP has got in trouble over the last few days due to an article it published on Dominic Cummings and his views on libraries. To be honest, I did not really take much note of it myself other than thinking it was a quite interesting piece on the viewpoint of a very important advisor. But, wow, Library Twitter took a different view, with even what I consider moderates laying in to the professional association for the piece, and several saying they will cease their membership because of it. See the links below and make up your own mind.

I do completely like the joint CILIP and Big Issue campaign to help public libraries, though, and I don’t see any one else out there who could feasibly have done it. Other than that, it’s been another good week for libraries, with Bradford reducing its proposed cuts even further by spending £200k on putting its shelves on wheels and Edinburgh getting rid of a £300k cut.

Changes by authority

National news

  • Bobby Seagull is taking a petition fighting for library funding to Number 10 – Big Issue. “The Libraries Champion is working with CILIP and The Big Issue to return library funding to 2010 levels – and the petition has already attracted more than 1,000 signatures in just two days”
  • “Do People Even Go To Libraries Any More?” – The Public (Film Review) – Vulturehound. “There’s talk about “Johnny Steinbeck” being staff member Jena Malone’s “tenth grade crush” and a clueless patron querying why she can’t find a “life-size globe of the Earth” to study. Estevez’s script is at its strongest in these scenes, sketching a sort of mundane stupidity that brings the laughs in a cosy way.”
  • Dominic Cummings: Libraries are “desperately needed” – CILIP. “… special adviser, Dominic Cummings, has no such conditions attached to his support for libraries. He sees them as fundamental to the survival of the country – as one of the few things that should permanently survive in institutions that manage complexity, government departments in particular. “
    • CILIP response to discussion surrounding Dominic Cummings article – CILIP. “In this instance, we considered the article, its tone and approach very critically and carefully prior to publication. Nothing in the article – including the fact of its publication – endorses Cummings or his views, or the Government’s policy on libraries.”
  • End library austerity – secure revenue funding for public libraries in the Chancellor’s Budget – Libraries Deliver. “CILIP and The Big Issue call on the Secretaries of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Communities, Housing and Local Government (MCHLG) to bring an end to 10 years of library austerity and to work together to invest in the future of our towns and communities by reinstating revenue funding for libraries to its pre-austerity level in the forthcoming Budget.” 4155 signatures at time of accessing on Sunday 23 February 9.25am.
  • How ebooks and libraries help bring people together – Big Issue. Pro ebook article by ebook provider Overdrive.
  • Make Google work for you – Koios UK Library Webinar. “In this 45-minute webinar, Trey from Koios will explain the basics of how your library can qualify for up to £7,500 a month worth of free online advertising from Google.”. Includes 50% discount on how to apply.
  • Picture books on prescription – Guardian. “Rosen’s book depicts his grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 18. “These books will start conversations with children about how they’re feeling and show them that others have felt the same way,” he says. “Public libraries have long been places where people have sought answers and comfort; this scheme combines the safe space of the library with inspiring children and families to read for pleasure and wellbeing.””
  • S&S strikes partnership with Library Link – BookSeller. “Library Link is a dedicated resource for public libraries and librarians, enabling them to communicate directly with Simon & Schuster’s fiction editorial team about books, authors and events. The service will include suggestions about how best to serve and engage libraries’ local communities, a monthly newsletter and dedicated Twitter feed.”

International news

Local news by authority

“We are delighted that Simon Armitage has agreed to include Abington in his library tour this year. It is a real coup for our library to have been selected and we will be using the occasion as a ‘thank you’ event to our loyal supporters and helpers who have come along to meetings, coffee mornings and other events and encouraged us to keep going during the very uncertain period since autumn 2017 when Northamptonshire County Council first announced its major library review plans and indicated that Abington Library was at risk of closure. We are now in the process of transferring to being a volunteer-run community library in partnership with Abington Community Centre. There is a clear need for this much-loved local library to continue to serve people of all ages in Abington and the surrounding neighbourhoods and to have recognition of our library by this well known literary figure is a real boost for us.”

Northamptonshire – Jan Anderson, Chair of the Friends of Abington Library (Quote received via email)