Oh my goodness, those first couple of days this week were hot. A very few libraries closed, especially volunteer ones, but most stayed open. A very very lucky few of those libraries had air-conditioning and made the most of it for their public. Those who had to work in the non-air-conditioned ones deserve our recognition. They were often able to at least offer shade and water but it wasn’t pleasant.

Something else unpleasant is the continuing fight over what is allowed in public libraries in the USA and in the UK. Drag Queen Story Time appears to be experiencing unprecedented criticism of their events. Many public libraries are worried about if their event choices in the future will spark social media furore and how to respond. And here’s a bit of speculation on my part: I suspect it’s only a matter of time before public library choice of stock comes under public attack. I am already aware of at least one attempt to remove a LGBT title and I’m half-waiting for the first attempt to remove books by JK Rowling. And when libraries have to defend their books not just on content but also their author’s political views, well, then things will get really hot.

Changes by local authority


  • ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ Floods UK with 70 Events, Parents Push Back Calling It a Form of Child ‘Abuse’ – Christian Broadcasting Network (USA). “In the U.K., many opposing Drag Queen Story Hour are speaking out by urging local councils and libraries to reject the events as distasteful and inappropriate. ” … “Family Education Trust is encouraging parents to get involved and find out if their local library is allowing a Drag Queen Story Hour. The group even provided a letter template for them to fill out, outlining their opposition to the events. “
  • Libraries and Ukrainian refugees – CILIP. “This briefing note presents the findings of a snapshot survey of 45 library services across England. It reveals for the first time the vast range of support libraries are offering to Ukrainian refugees, and their crucial role in the Homes for Ukraine scheme”
  • Libraries are not just for books – they can help in heatwaves too – Big Issue. [Written by me – Ed.]. “Libraries are about being local, with heat and light as standard. Wouldn’t it be nice if they also got the funding so we can provide cold as well?”
  • Martin Lewis warns next UK prime minister of ‘financial cataclysm’ – Guardian. “Lewis predicted that further gas and electricity bill price rises this autumn would require the provision of “warm spaces in public buildings” such as libraries, where people who can no longer afford to heat their homes can find shelter.” … ““This winter we’re going to need warm spaces in public buildings,” he said. “Local councils, universities and libraries will need to open their doors and invite people in to keep warm because they can’t afford to put their own heating on.”
  • Osman donates 1,000 copies of his books to libraries across the UK – BookSeller. ” “Books are for everyone, reading is for everyone and libraries are for everyone. I am very proud to support the library service, and I know the members of the Thursday Murder Club would be too.” “
  • Parents slam drag queen library tour… but organiser hits back and accuses ‘far-Right neo-Nazi group’ of block-booking 2,000 tickets – Mail. “Drag Queen Story Hour UK will hold nearly 70 classes for three to 11-year-olds in a summer tour. The group says the sessions ‘teach inclusivity’ and encourage children to ‘get fabulous'” … “The Safe Schools Alliance campaign group added: ‘Drag queens entering children’s environments is an abuse of power.'” … “A spokesman [for DSQH] said: ‘The performances are very similar to pantomimes, except they are explicitly literacy-focused and support inclusivity in communities and an interest in reading.’
  • Story So Far – Fine Free Libraries. [Written by me – Ed.] “Fines in public libraries were an unquestioned fact of life for over a century, possibly even since lending libraries began. It was something that was obviously right and all-pervasive. But that is not the case now. Just like the other cliché of public librarians going shush, the stereotype of the book fine is becoming less true in library service after library service, country after country. So, why? And what are the reasons to fine or not to fine?”
  • Why libraries matter for Britain – News Statesman. “These cherished spaces will play a crucial role in regenerating the public realm.” … “When I’m in the library, I’m not in prison,” an inmate of HMP Brixton told Nick Poole, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals. “That’s the library effect in a nutshell,” Poole said, as we discussed the outlook for public libraries following the collapse of visitor numbers during the pandemic. Poole is keeping a close eye on the rate at which visitors return, and working out how libraries reposition themselves in the post-Covid cultural marketplace. “We are still a long way from the public realm we need, and the public libraries we need,” he said.”

International news

  • Libraries are the Great Equalizers – Chronicle of Higher Education. “In a new Chronicle report, “The Library of the Future,” we examine the changes affecting this critical institution, which is at the heart of many campuses. Such changes are affecting the nature of librarianship, the way space is used in library buildings, and how scholarly materials are produced, collected, and made accessible.”
  • Montana rejects library logo over similarity to pride flag – AP News. Commission sees suggested rainbow logo through the prism of their own views.
  • Telling the Library Story on TikTok – ALSC Blog. Collaborate, engage, programme.
  • Texans seek refuge in public libraries as heatwave sweeps across US – Yahoo News.
  • Valuable and Timely Advice for Marketing from 5 of the Top Minds in Library Promotion – Super Library Marketing. Be customer-focused, flexible, have a good social media image, marketing plan and get involved in your community.
  • What’s Happening With The Vinton Public Library – Iowa Starting Line. “a handful of locals whipped up a controversy first over the library displaying books about prominent Democrats, and later about it displaying LGBTQ books and having LGBTQ people on staff.”. Staff forced out in various ways. e.g. “no longer felt comfortable living in the community.”
  • You Can’t Buy These Books – The Nation. “In a remarkable brief filed on July 7 in their ongoing lawsuit, four titans of corporate publishing (Hachette, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Wiley) accused the Internet Archive of stealing, “mass-scale copyright infringement,” and “[distributing] full-text digital bootlegs for free.” Those are pretty wild allegations—especially considering that the Internet Archive’s Open Library operates on the traditional terms that libraries in this country have abided by for centuries. “

Local news by authority

Lincolnshire – Sleaford Stanford, 20 July front page