Local elections have resulted in a several changes of control, with perhaps the most significant one for libraries being in Barnet, which has experienced a lot of cuts over the years, has changed from Conservative to Labour. It will be interesting to see if this results on any changed to libraries. Pulling back to see the bigger picture, the results suggest that the Conservatives are increasingly vulnerable, making possible a Labour (and thus higher spending on public services) government is at least possible this decade.

Change-wise, one more library service going fines-free, with 38 now not charge any late fees in the UK, two branches have had an extension of opening hours, one had had a refurbishment and a last library is moving into a new co-location. So on the face of it no bad news there. Across the water, the campaign by some to turn the USA into something close to The Handmaid’s Tale continues with moves to censor what library users are allowed to read.

Changes by local authority

National news

  • Communicate Your Library’s Value through Partnerships – Infobase. Webinar, Wednesday 18 May 8pm. “You know how much your library has to offer. But does your community? The secret isn’t marketing—it’s partnership. In this webinar, Dr. Audrey Barbakoff, an experienced public library leader and founder of Co/Lab Capacity, will discuss how to co-create services and programs that will authentically engage and inspire your community.”
  • Partnership between DMU and UK libraries ensures more young people learn about the legacy of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence – De Montfort University. “The landmark Library of Birmingham – Europe’s biggest public library – is being lit up in orange in honour of Stephen, while all 16 libraries across Leicester have book displays of titles that celebrate diversity and a positive vision for the future.”
  • Who is using public libraries’ digital collections in England? – Kevin J Bolton Ltd. “The study demonstrates that in terms of SEC, education level, age, and ethnicity that those using digital collections are not as representative as those who visit in person. Therefore, library services need to think carefully about developing their digital services to reach a broader range of people.” … “The study also demonstrates the importance of visiting a library during childhood on adult library use.” … “, this study shows the importance of going beyond descriptive statistics and using inferential statistical analyses to understand library use.”

International news

Local news by authority