There’s quite a lot of special Days and Months at the start of October – Black History Month, National Poetry Day, Fun Palaces and Libraries Week all on at the same time. The one with the hardest time in these Covid days is Fun Palaces which normally relies on face-to-face demonstrations and crafts. The organisers have done a valiantly good job but it’s impact will be far less this year. The others are more in keeping with having Zoom events and things on social media.

Changes by local authority

National news

  • Black History Month in Libraries – Libraries Connected. Lists what various library services are doing: so far Hertfordshire, Lambeth, Manchester, Newham and Oldham and mainly (obviously) online events.
  • Books for the future: why we need copyright libraries – Book Riot. “copyright libraries are such an important part of our culture and our national heritage. Preserving knowledge and stories in a way that makes them accessible for future generations is a worthy task, and something the librarians in these libraries take incredibly seriously. “
  • National Library of Wales’ finances need ‘urgent attention’ – BBC. “The Welsh Government-commissioned review concluded the library faced a threat to its financial viability. Up to 30 jobs could be lost if the review was ignored, the head of the library in Aberystwyth warned.” … “The report said the library’s income had declined in real terms by 40% between 2008 and 2019. It had also cut its staffing by 23% in that time.”
  • National called to verse on National Poetry Day – National Poetry Day. “‘The interactive National Poetry Day map features hundreds of poetry celebrations across the UK, led by local libraries, schools and bookshops: care homes are connecting with school children via Gyles Brandreth’s #PoetryTogether2020 initiative and English Heritage has seized
    on poetry to celebrate untold stories in an unprecedented link between National Poetry Day and Black History Month.”
  • Public Library Apparel – KickStarter for public library clothing to support the sector.
  • Service recovery toolkit – Libraries Connected. Updates to take into account Track and Trace, facemasks and “rule of six” for group of activities/events.
  • SoA calls for increase to ‘meagre’ PLR – BookSeller. “Sheila Bennett, head of libraries strategy and delivery at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has written to the SoA to pass on the recommendation that PLR is increased from 9.03p to 9.55p. The increase reflects a reduction in the estimated number of loans of books that are registered for PLR”
  • Solus UK acquires Boopsie Mobile App Division from Demco, Inc – Library Technology Guides. “All Boopsie customers will be migrated to the latest Solus Library App at no additional cost to their existing subscription.”
  • UK Libraries have loaned out 3.5 million ebooks during pandemic – Good E-reader. “It is estimated that all branches lent an additional 3.5 million ebooks from 13th March to 14th August.  Chrys Mellor, libraries general manager for North Yorkshire County Council, said ebook and audio were up 78% and 3,000 new members have signed up for cards during lockdown.”
  • Webinar – Children, wellbeing, and libraries: an expert-led discussion – Libraries Connected. 22 October 2pm. “Education, primary care, and mental health experts discuss the impact of the pandemic on children’s wellbeing and how public libraries could support recovery.”
  • World Book Day plans outreach with book club and library collaboration – BookSeller. “A new monthly book club and greater outreach to public and school libraries are among the World Book Day plans for 2021, the charity’s c.e.o. has revealed at this year’s Bookseller Children’s Conference. “

International news

  • Global – Ebook loans, book dispensers: how are libraries adjusting to the pandemic? – Yahoo. US/UK/Singapore.
  • USA – Publishers Worry as Ebooks Fly off Libraries’ Virtual Shelves – Wired. “orrowers like Adler are driving publishers crazy. After the pandemic closed many libraries’ physical branches this spring, checkouts of ebooks are up 52 percent from the same period last year …”
    • American classics among most ‘challenged’ books of the decade in US – Guardian. “Marking the start of Banned Books Week, the American Libraries Association (ALA) has reviewed all of the censorship reports it has received over the last 10 years to come up with the 100 books that readers and parents have most frequently tried to have removed from libraries and schools in the US.”
    • Goodnight Nobody – 99% Invisible. Podcast looking at New York children’s librarian who introduced the children’s library but also censored books, bossed everyone around after retiring and, yes, carried a puppet around with her that she pretended was human.
    • A mysterious librarian is the breakout star of Netflix’s “Hilda” – I Love Libraries. “Two years ago, the animated series Hilda premiered on Netflix, and a minor character called “The Librarian” (voiced by Kaisa Hammurlund) quickly became a fan sensation. Although she only appears in about three minutes of the show’s first season, this feisty librarian has been mentioned in 20 fanfiction stories on Archive of Our Own and has a Tumblr blog dedicated to her.”
    • Reopening, Reimagining – Brooklyn Public Library podcast. “This episode, we ask how the pandemic can help us re-imagine what we use libraries for. Plus, we talk to LA County Library about how extreme weather is impacting their reopening, and dig into the science of how we are keeping you (and your books) healthy.”

Local news by authority