Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Current Awareness 31.8.10

Major media attention

20.8.10 Library usage has gone down from 48.2% in 2005/6 to 39.4% in 2009/10 according to DCMS report.
24.8.10...This is seen as a softening up of the public for preparation for cuts by some.  . Coverage in Telegraph, BBC, Radio 4, LocalGov and Guardian. The Guardian argues that falls are due to decline in investment and in the number of books on the shelves. Norwich is doing the best in England, Burton is doing well, as is Northampton - all agree the traditional books-only approach is a failure. A theory for the decline is that libraries do not cater to those who read.
25.8. 10 UNISON is also not happy. Reading Agency agrees libraries must not be a soft touch
27.8.10 Supportive BBC blog. Any Questions discussed Libraries (at around 32 minutes on) including moving other services in, big cheer when libraries were described as "incredibly important", worry over volunteers.
28.8.10 Any Answers discussed Libraries with supportive calls apart from one who called them worse than banks due to high late charges. Today programme says "too many libraries live in the last century" and should have more investment, turning them into "knowledge centres" like the Ideas Store.
30.8.10 Telegraph readers think libraries should be quieter and clean their keyboards more.
31.8.10 Quentin Letts examines libraries on Radio 4 interviewing Alan Gibbons, Tim Coates, the late Bob McKee, the Adam Smith Institute etc.... his conclusion appears to bethat we should be quiet places.
The Guardian has run an editorial on public libraries - the comments after the article are excellent.

The Government has announced its library support programme, with 10 groupings of library authorities working on different initiatives.
17.8.10 The text is positive if vague.  Lewisham, which is proposing the closure of five libraries, is among three dozen local authorities which will participate.  "The huge fear is that 1,000 libraries could be lost in the budget cuts and this programme has done nothing to reduce that risk," says Tim Coates.
18.8.10 Lincolnshire is wanting books to be taken out in one authority to be returnable in another partner authority. Increase in online usage. May mean less libraries/staff in unprecedented economic climate but certainly means thinking differently and smarter.
20.8.10 Do you hear what I hear? It is the sound of a back door being quietly opened to the privatisation of the library service. The 1964 Act is being dismantled by stealth.  The Future Libraries Programmes is starting to worry people says the Independent
24.8.10 A lot of the emphasis is often on using volunteers, opening up "libraries" in supermarkets and pubs. 25.8.10 The Telegraph (25.8.10) visits the library pub but stresses the need for adequate funding and books.

Public Lending Right 
26.8.10 Authors sign petition against the withdrawal of Public Lending Right.  Bookseller article and Guardian article

Job Losses and Branch closures
Southampton - strikes in libraries as council proposes bringing in volunteers to replace library staff . Nottinghamshire - council seeks 3000 job losses.
24.8.10 Doncaster mass read-in in protest against library closures as three libraries earmarked for closure.
31.8.10 London - Library campaigner Tim Coates writes letter to London libraries suggesting joint working and reduction in bureaucracy could save £50 million.

25.8.10 protests about poor state of Canton Library in Cardiff.seems to have resulted in new fund being found. Library usage is up in Wales by 6.8%, the Welsh Assembly trumpets.

25.8.10 Scottish libraries have launched an free online service to give fully researched answers within 48 hours.

29.8.10 Evesham Library will share its building with the registration service (including weddings) after construction work and investment.


31.8.10 Clueless patrons keep us employed. Orland Libraries keep up to date with ask-a-librarian like online queries, computer training for kids and other things.
31.8.10 Unprecedented use of volunteers at budget-hit library means branch can open for an extra day.
26.8.10 Jay-Z and Keith Richards to talk at New York Public Library.
24.8.10 Newsweek gives depressing overview of US libraries in decline.
24.8.10 Pro public library campaign Geek The Library goes national.

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