The last week has basically been a period of mourning for the Queen, with most, but not all, public libraries closed for the funeral on Monday. So not much news apart from that Martin Lewis has commissioned CILIP to create guidance on how best to set up warm banks. The speed with which the public libraries sector (notably Libraries Connected and CILIP) have seized on the warm banks idea is really impressive and is having instant political benefits. Council are realising that libraries – buildings with heating and, crucially, staffing already in place in local communities – are perfect for this sort of thing. This has taken the pressure off, and indeed added potential funding streams, to many public libraries which otherwise would be worried about the reduction in usage many have experienced compared to before lockdown. And, wow, there’s books in them too.

National news

  • Drag queen called ‘groomer’ by vile protesters says anti-royal arrests expose a double standard – Pink News. “A drag queen who faced death threats from far-right protesters says it’s “insulting” to see police arrest anti-royal demonstrators when they did nothing to protect her.” … “Aida says one officer told her people are only arrested for breaching the peace “as a last resort”.” … “For Aida H Dee, the arrests prove something she’s suspected for a long time: “It’s one rule for us, another rule for them.””
  • Nosy Crow to Launch U.S. Company – Publishers Weekly. ““Of course, the North American market is bigger,” Wilson said, “and there is a more lively and better-funded institutional market in the U.S. In the U.K, libraries are lamentably underfunded. “
  • The Power of Pictures: the illustrations that inspired our new Writer in Residence Nick Sharratt – Book Trust. “, these are some pictures that really resonated with me as I was growing up. The memory of them is precious to me for numerous reasons. Were there pictures in the books you looked at that have the same kind of power for you?  I bet there were. And isn’t it important that all children have the opportunity to develop their own picture-linked memories like ours?”

International news

  • Global – A monthly newsletter to explore all the magical facets of libraries – Of Course, Libraries. Free newsletter including “Stories about uncovered sides of public libraries; Interviews, opinions and facts; Inspiring projects and future trends; Thought-provoking things to read, listen, watch”
  • Iran – Public libraries and crisis management: Iranian public libraries and the dust crisis – Sage Journals. “The findings show that public libraries can take on educational, cultural, executive, and informative roles in the pre-crisis stage, executive and informative roles in the during-crisis stage, and executive and documentation roles in the post-crisis stage.”
  • USA – Book ban efforts surging in 2022, library association says – Independent. ““I’ve never seen anything like this,” says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.”
    • Banned Books Week Censors Dissent – Catholic Vote. “Banned Books Week has become a thinly veiled propaganda campaign. Ironically, in fact, it’s a campaign that is itself very much in the spirit of censorship, and demonizes Americans who dissent from Leftist dogma.” but ” parents simply want input on what books go on their schools’ shelves” … “The ALA expects parents and patrons to either celebrate progressive ideology or stay home. But every American taxpayer has a right to inhabit the public square and bring his or her convictions to the debate floor.”
  • Huntsville residents push back after city removes ‘Read With Pride’ display from public library – Houston Public Media. “We are ashamed of and concerned by the fact that any city leader or employee would be involved in censoring a book display or the books themselves without due process and hearing from all sides on the matter,” Huntsville Texas Pride said in its statement. “The library is a place for everyone and one or two individuals should not and cannot be allowed to dictate what can or can’t be done in a public space based on their own beliefs or prejudices.”
    • Librarians go radical as new woke policies take over: experts – New York Post. “Libraries, for decades the ultimate safe spaces, have become ground zero in the ongoing culture wars, with battles over banned books, drag queen story hours and free access to porn raging all over the country … “The average person has no idea of this but librarians have been targeting children in recent years and trying to turn them into political activists,”
    • Library exhibit shows ‘glimpse of humanity’ in lost items in books – SBS. “Over a period of 10 years, a team of librarians has been collecting little items found in returned library books. There are now more 350 items which are being featured in a physical and online collection.”
    • US libraries face ‘unprecedented’ efforts to ban books on race and gender themes – Guardian. “The challenges came from conservative parent groups and others. In some cases, the group says, librarians and elected officials were threatened with violence by members of the Proud Boys and armed activists at school board and library board meetings.”

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