There’s been some negative trends in the last decade in oh so many ways but one of the things I’ve most appreciated is the increase in the presence of characters of colour in children’s books. Someone pointed out a few years ago that covers of books used to contain all white children, then animals and then only children of colour when they were essential to the plot. Nowadays it is common to see non-white children on book covers, no matter the story. Long may this, and the not-so-unrelated rise in the number of children’s author of colour, continue. And let’s hope some more positive trends come into play as well. More funding for Hackney would be nice,, for instance.

Local news by authority

National news

Compare with Norfolk equivalent below
  • Children’s authors of colour published in UK rose to 11.7% of market in 2021 – Guardian. “New research has found that 11.7% of children’s book creators published in the UK in 2021 were people of colour, up from 5.6% in 2017. Despite the big improvement, though, “the UK’s body of children’s literature overall remains far from representative” said Diana Gerald, chief executive of BookTrust, in the report’s introduction.”
  • Everyday Philosophy: Why we need libraries – New European. “Community libraries are different from these. They serve multiple purposes. They are, among other things, a democratic resource providing free access to information for all, including guided access to the internet for those who might otherwise be excluded. They have huge symbolic importance too, representing a commitment to the common good, and are staffed by experts who can help people from a wide range of backgrounds find what they are looking for, as well as services that they didn’t realise they might be able to use. Increasingly they are becoming refuges for the cold, vulnerable and homeless.”
  • In the spotlight with Darren Smart – Solus. Interview with Darren The Viking, BEM.
  • It’s ok to fail. Creating playful learning spaces in libraries – Artefacto. ” staff need to feel supported to deliver these innovative programs. There are resources out there to help them, and we’ve picked out a few below …”
  • Libraries and Sanctuary: Supporting Refugees and New Arrivals – Facet Publishing. “; learn from practical initiatives, ‘what works’ examples and longer case studies; identify gaps in library provision; and find inspiration to start similar initiatives in their own institution. Drawing on the author’s decades of work in libraries and social exclusion, this is a book for anyone seeking to create an inclusive and welcoming library community.”
  • Libraries at risk of cuts despite ‘unprecedented’ rise in users – BBC. “One is Gainsborough Community Library in Ipswich, which is selling cut-price bags of fruit and vegetables for £2 and has seen its sales almost double since the summer.” … “The charity [Libraries Connected] believes the chancellor’s announcement will lead to cuts in funding for libraries and other frontline services.”
  • Library Campaign Newsletter – Library Campaign. Topics include RNIB, Lewisham (proposed £90k cut), Peacehaven and Redditch consultations, Nottingham, Westminster, Libraryon, Government funding.
  • LILAC Bursaries – LILAC. “To have a truly engaging conference, we need delegates who bring a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. The LILAC conference is therefore offering 5 free places for people working in the following under-represented sectors/communities in the UK:”
  • PLR consultation 2022 – Library Data Blog. “I object to the proposed rate per loan increase. This is primarily due to it being incorrect, but also due to it being unsustainable.” … “n 1982, at the beginning of the PLR scheme, the rate per loan was 0.5p. If the rate had remained stable, accounting for inflation, it would now be about 2p per loan. It has steadily increased. This resulted in a peak of 11.26p last year, roughly 6 times what was initially proposed.”

International news

“We just are doing what public libraries do,” Cremer said. “We don’t really judge information, we are a reflection of the world and things that are in the world. We have information that has been published and mediated and checked for facts. So it’s a safe place that people can go to get access to that information. It’s not like we are handing out or advocating it in any way. It’s just there.”

Judith Cremer, the library director, Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library, Kansas

Local news by authority

  • Aberdeenshire – Banff library to launch Dog Friendly Saturday sessions – Grampian Online. “Similar schemes have been successful in both Edinburgh and Perth and Kinross, and will be piloted in Banff and Stonehaven libraries for a six-month period. There are many benefits to making libraries dog friendly. It can help encourage people who are lonely, have low confidence or are isolated to come with their dog to the library and meet new people.”
  • Angus – Angus librarians to ballot on strike action – Angus World. “The ballot, which opens on November 30 – comes in response to changes approved by Angus councillors which could see some library staff have their hours cut and be required to relocate away from their home base. For the third time since 2015, staff in libraries and access services employed as Information Advisers by ANGUSAlive – an arm’s-length organisation set up by Angus Council to deliver leisure and culture services – are facing plans to cut their pay and/or terms and conditions. Angus Council met on Thursday, November 3 to approve ANGUSALive’s proposals which also included changes to opening hours of libraries across the council area.”
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Libraries bring Christmas cheer to the community – Bath and North East Somerset Council. “There will be a Lego Lab for free creative play, Christmas crafts and stories and another chance to enjoy the dedicated sensory space at Bath Central Library. A new Christmas chalet outside the Guildhall during Bath Christmas Market on December 5 and 6 will bring library services to the community and an opportunity to enjoy a spot of crafting. …”
  • BoltonTen public libraries used as ‘warm spaces’ for people seeking relief from cold homes – Manchester Evening News. “All 10 Bolton public libraries open as Warm Spaces, people can drop in to get warm and join in lots of free activities such as reading, group events or using wi-fi and computers.”
  • Bristol – Bristol Central Library could relocate to Debenhams’ site – BBC. “Bristol’s library service budget faces large cuts, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS). Bristol Central Library could be moved into the vacant Debenhams’ store building in the centre of Broadmead to help, council leaders have suggested. Leaders said relocating from College Green was “just an idea” as the council attempts to find £47.7m in savings.”
  • Central Bedfordshire – Cost of Living: Central Bedfordshire Council opens sites as warm spaces – BBC. “libraries offered free Wi-Fi and access to public computers.”
  • Cheshire East – Cheshire East Council proud to become Sunflower Scheme employer during UK Disability History Month – Cheshire East Council. “customers and visitors will have access to one of these lanyards to borrow on site from our libraries and customer service centres.”
  • Devon – Tributes to leading light in town life – Tavistock Times Gazette. “Jan Horrell senior library supervisor at Tavistock Library, said: ‘Richard Martin was a long-time friend of the Library in Tavistock, in more recent years, the valued secretary and treasurer to the Friends of Tavistock Library, whose fundraising activities he supported with quiz questions, raffles and even dressing up.”
  • Hackney – Protests at Town Hall over Hackney plans to cut library staff – Easy London Lines. “With a third of library staff warned that they face redundancy, supporters of Hackney libraries protested outside theTown Hall on Wednesday night to put pressure on councillors to readdress the cuts.” … “99 staff members from libraries in Hackney have received letters from the Strategic Director Stephen Haynes notifying them that their jobs were “deleted”. UNISON puts the figure of cuts made by Hackney Council at £445,000, £195,000 more than initially proposed at the beginning of the year. As an MP, Abbott said she would consult with the councillors to not go forward with the cuts. “
  • Hertfordshire – Free cyber crime advice at Bishop’s Stortford Library – Bishop’s Stortford Independent. “Organised and delivered by officers from the force’s serious fraud and cyber unit, the sessions will provide practical tips for avoiding the most common types of cybercrimes.”
Compare with USA one above

“In the current economic climate, when we are promoting our libraries as warm spaces for people to spend time in to save money, we believe it is the ideal time to remove our library fines and offer a little extra help for people during these tough times.”

Councillor Sandra Graham, North Tyneside Council