Glasgow continues to dominate this blog’s local authority news, with a truly impressive amount of text from multiple sources about the leisure trust’s decision not to reopen a few of its branches. It is being used to attack not just local politicians but also Nicola Sturgeon herself, who until now has been a bit of a shining beacon of public library support. As mentioned last week, the coverage is notably more intense than a similar story would have been south of the border, ironically showing the national differences some of the politicians attacking her may not have wish to be highlighted. After all, I don’t remember Boris Johnson facing direct criticism for what happens in Croydon or Lambeth, for example. Having said that, it’s clearly a big thing in Bristol, though, as the local mayor made the point of given libraries prominent coverage in a paid-for news article.

In perhaps lighter news, a community book exchange has received major attention due to a bigot (or a comedian) protesting about some of the stock in it and there’s also a story from the USA about a chap with an extreme addiction to Summer Reading Challenge goodies. Hmm, I do like a good fridge magnet myself. Have a good week everyone.

Advert for Niche Academy from DCA

Changes by library service

National news

  • British Library Single Digital Presence Update – CILIP. 12 May, 12:30 online. £25+VAT for non-members. “Staff members from the British Library will give a presentation on the Arts Council England and Carnegie UK Trust funded ‘Single Digital Presence’ project. The project began in 2018 to explore digital transformations in public libraries and what a national online presence for the sector could look like. We have recently reached the end of the project’s research and development phase. As well as explaining its drivers, methods and findings, we will also outline the next steps for development and answer questions from attendees.”
  • Coming back greener – BookSeller. Nick Poole of CILIP. “Libraries are unique multi-functional spaces, offering comfort and respite while supporting a wide range of uses. We would like to explore how these spaces can co-exist more sustainably with their local ecosystems, communities and economies, using sustainable materials and local skills”
  • Intellitec – “Three former senior managers from Bibliotheca, Simon Peacock, Jim Hopwood and Phillip Sykes have now formed Intellitec. With over 50+ years’ experience in the Library Sector, Intellitec has been formed to offer advisory services to libraries. Intellitec would welcome enquires from any library service with a strategy to change or evolve or simply bring new ideas to their users.”
  • Julia Donaldson: ‘I worry some children will be unable to sing’ – Guardian. “While the reopening of libraries will be welcomed across the generations, their closure was a pressing matter well before Covid: in Donaldson’s role as children’s laureate from 2011 to 2013, she campaigned passionately against library cuts, writing articles, meeting ministers and (with Malcolm) embarking on a six-week tour of UK libraries. Her newest book in the Acorn Wood series, Cat’s Cookbook, is set in a library; Cat is looking for a recipe book, but is side-tracked by the many literary tangents on offer until she finds what she is looking for under the direction of Frog, the helpful librarian.”
  • The Library Campaign Zoom 24 April 2021 – Library Campaign. “The Library Campaign’s first online meeting discussed what the Campaign could /should be doing to promote and protect public libraries. Speakers include Laura Swaffield (Chair of the Campaign), Elizabeth Ash (Save Croydon Libraries) and Liz Miles (SOLE – Save Our Libraries Essex.)”

International news

  • Australia – Public libraries about ‘more than just books’, say South Australians fearing funding cuts – ABC News. ” negotiations were underway for a new agreement and, if it went ahead as currently proposed, it would mean “less books on shelves” and “probably less content online”. The SA Government would not be drawn on the topic, but simply said it allocated “significant funding to libraries each year”.”
  • Canada – Park Passes have arrived at WPL – Waterloo Public Library. “Each kit comes with a park pass, binoculars and nature guidebooks all packed in a cross-body pouch so you can take everything with you on your outdoor adventures. Kits are loaned out for 7-days. “
  • Finland – JKMM Architects extends 1980s library to create “public living room” for Kirkkonummi – De Zeen. “The studio doubled the size of the previous library and wrapped it entirely in a copper facade to create a counterpoint to the town’s medieval stone church.” – Church and library are described as the “heart and brain” of the town.
  • France – Building Knowledge: New French Libraries Designed for Cultural Exchange – Arch Daily. “France has built many new libraries across the country, buildings that embrace new technology, media, and collection formats. Combining mixed programs and civic amenities, contemporary libraries are rapidly evolving to meet modern demands and anticipate future trends. Libraries are one means by which architects and designers can make space for learning and foster cultural exchange, creating room for education and new ideas. The following work takes a closer look at libraries across France, building upon iconic examples like the National Library of France to ground new ideas on how shared values are discovered, reimagined and expressed.”
  • Global What do you want to share with the library field?  – Next Library. “Next Library Festival 2021 will be a free online event. It will run 24 hours on June 3 starting at 8 am (UTC+2) following the sun around the planet to the next morning 8 am (UTC+2). There will be keynotes, inspiration talks, participatory sessions, ignites, online happenings, The Next Room (drop-in-talkshows), singing, announcement of the winner of the Joy of Reading Award, surprises and much more. “
  • Pakistan – Roshan the camel brings books to Pakistan’s homeschooled children – Al Jazeera. “Raheema Jalal, a high-school principal who founded the Camel Library project with her sister, a federal minister, says she started the library last August because she wanted children around her remote hometown to continue learning despite schools being closed.”
  • USA – Aaron Yang: Voracious Reader Or Giant Pain To Librarians? – NPR. “There are more than 9,000 public libraries in the U.S., and Aaron Yang has been trying to win summer reading prizes from as many as he can. Not all librarians are happy about it.” … “By his count, he’s now contacted around a thousand libraries and acquired untold numbers of pencils, stickers and awards.”. Aaron is 20. “Thanks to one of his librarian fans, you can now buy a T-shirt online that reads, We Are All Aaron Yang.”

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