Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Public Library News

 National and Professional News

7.9.10 "How relevance killed the public library" interesting blog post.
7.9.10 Royal Society of Literature, Society of Authors and ALCS start petition to protect Public Lending Right.
7.9.10 Parliament debated Public Libraries today - full Hansard report. Meeting in Westminster Hall with seven MPs present including he Minister, all very pro-library but in a context of cuts.  "Public library statistics state that only 7.5% of library expenditure for 2008-09 was spent on book stock" - reduce corporate structure, more power to library managers. Many MPs unhappy with proposed library closures in their constituencies. Ed Vaizey seems to suggest Libraries should be represented by the Arts Council. Very upbeat discussion.
7.9.10 British Library stops microfilming.
6.9.10 Future of public libraries to be debated in parliament tomorrow 1.30 to 2pm.
6.9.10 Library lending is different to book-buying - more fiction, more thrillers, less non-fiction.
6.9.10 CILIP supports Public Lending Right.
6.9.10 Germaine Greer in the Guardian has written article stressing the need for the to be quiet places and free of children.
6.9.10 "Voices for the Library" website launched - dedicated to campaigning for public libraries.
5.9.10 The death of books is much exaggerated.  While ebooks are likely to replace reference and perhaps non-fiction, children's books and fiction are likely to remain as many refuse to be sold on the new technology. Bookshops need to embrace change or wither on the vine. Observer article.
4.9.10 School libraries and school library services fall victim to cuts - Kent school library service to close,
Cambridgeshire, Solihull and Southwark have halted their school library services and Sutton is expected to follow suit next year. First link from Mail, this link from Telegraph. 7.9.10 Alan Gibbons on the cuts in Kent, 
BBC on the cuts in Kent - schools allowed to borrow 100 books from libraries.
3.9.10 Amazon sells Tony Blair Ebook at £6.99 (70% discount). This looks to be a loss-leader to promote ebook sales.
1.9.10 Guardian reports on Frank Skinner's anti-public library article in the Times. Phil Bradley also comments on public library's new worst friend.
31.8.10 Reading Agency defends public libraries, especially the Summer Reading Challenge... "as they were not focussing on the actual reading of the words, they developed a love of reading books."
26.8.10 The public library is a medicine for the soul, as long as they are quiet and concentrate on books. Michelle Allison blog. 

Regional News
7.9.10 Cambridgeshire - Community Trust suggested for Libraries.

7.9.10 Dorset - Council suggests 13% cut in library service on annual £929k budget, plus further  £295k "reconfiguration" savings. Dorset considered closing 13 libraries 3 years ago.

7.9.10 Swindon - MP says libraries should be made safe by savings on "behind the scenes" spending.

7.9.10 Manchester work begins on £170m library and town hall revamp for Cental Library.
6.9.10 Cambridgeshire pays £17000 to consultants to report on how to cut £200k overspend expected next year so job cuts/increase in charges recommended. One library recommended for closure.  Campaigners not impressed consultants were used.
6.9.10 Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk) - library reopens after £2.4m refurbishment, including a social-enterprise coffee shop and children's centre. "An instant review was provided by young brothers Sam and Tim.
"I like the colours and it's nice and fresh and clean. I heard on the radio that lots of libraries were closing down, so it's good that this one isn't," said Sam."
6.9.10 Cullompton (Devon) - plans approved for new £3m library. 
6.9.10 Barnet - review of libraries is suggestive of less public libraries, more "pop up" little libraries.
5.9.10 Manchester - issues up 17% in 5 years
4.9.10 Crawley - new 2500 house development has library included in its plans. 2.9.10 Wiltshire - authority aims for combined leisure centre, community centre and library in Melksham.
4.9.10 Somerset - 1500 jobs (out of 6500) to be cut, 1000 from voluntary redundancy. Council aims to be "business-friendly" with second year of no council tax increase - Services to be cut include temporarily shortening library opening hours and closing Bruton library. UNISON comments "This is the latest in a long line of job cuts in councils across the country. Earlier this month, 3000 job losses were announced at Nottingham County Council. In Lincolnshire, 1,400 full time posts are facing the axe, and a further 500 are set to go in Bolton.". The Bookseller six other Somerset libraries affected. The Leader of Somerset hopes that volunteers will come to the rescue.
4.9.10 Cheshire claims to be in a good financial situation after major reductions in 2009/10
2.9.10 Dorking - new bigger library to move closer into town centre
1.9.10 Cheshire East says Middlewich Library is safe.  One-Stop Shop for council services is one of the reasons.


29.8.10 "The public library is a place where we can embrace our tax dollars in a difficult economy and a fast-moving and ever-changing digital information age. The library remains free - and open to all". Manager of Toledo-Lucas public libraries writes long article in defence of public libraries.
1.9.10 USA has a national sign up for a library card month
3.9.10 Thought-provoking piece on the role of the professional librarian - The phrase “I didn’t know you needed a master’s degree to be a librarian" sounds eerily familiar.
5.9.10 Success in hard times, interview with "county's top librarian" - big increase on use coupled with reduction in staff/budget by (a) self-service, (b) "fine-free fridays" amnesty means increase in business on Friday and no overall reduction in income, (c) floating collection where books reserved by a branch stay at that branch, (d) teenage volunteers. Authority is community-branch, events/community-centred model rather than large-central-library model.
5.9.10 US use many volunteers and here's a handy guide on how to get the best out of them.

7.9.10 Counterfeiting and fights break out as New York mums queue up to 90 minutes for storytime tickets. 
2.9.10 Zombies attack Collingswood Library - fundraiser film for teen area of local library.
2.9.10 How to open a book.

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