A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham.   If you are on Twitter she is definitely worth following! Find her @shirleyburnham

THE BOOKSELLER : 31st January
SCL announces ‘universal offers’ for libraries

THE BOOKSELLER : 31st January
SCL Cox: Libraries ‘must do more with less’

BBC Radio 4 : 31st January
World at One | Libraries feature
includes Biddy Fishy and an interview with Ed Vaizey (23.42 minutes in)  

THE GUARDIAN : 31st January
GPs to prescribe self-help books for mental health problems

Public Libraries News : 30th January
National Audit Office highlight libraries as suffering from cuts

LGA : 30th January
Press Release | LGA response to NAO report on council sustainability

Phil Bradley’s Weblog : 31st January
A ‘Friends of’ library response

Camden New Journal : 31st January
Warning from teachers fighting planned closure of Regent’s Park Library: ‘Pupils’ access to books
and computers is vitally important’ 


Doncaster Free Press : 31st January
Glimmer of hope for Denaby’s old library 

Barnet & Whetstone Press : 31st January
Residents on the verge of sealing official takeover at Friern Barnet Library


THE INDEPENDENT : 31st January
The medicinal power of literature: Books on prescription to be introduced
“The big concern, as well as the closures, is that services have been hollowed out. Opening hours are shorter, and they have got rid of professional librarians for volunteers. There’s a lot of anger out there.


There’s now a set of four ‘universal offers’ from public libraries – information, resources and support on (1) reading, (2) health, (3) finding information and (4) coping with the digital world (including benefits claims).

It’s a fantastic piece of work, but…. says The Library Campaign, the only national body representing users and supporters of public libraries.  This has been needed for years.

It’s a great achievement: –

  • A joint project by the miscellany of agencies confusingly involved in libraries.
  • A clear picture of what public libraries can give people – and that’s a lot
  • A coherent framework where library staff can access – and use! – masses of already-developed successful schemes, toolkits, promotion materials and research data.

Brilliant work has always been done by public libraries.

But it has been popping up all over the place, never properly harnessed, never publicised. It all badly needed pulling together, so everyone gets equal benefit and maximum use is made of resources.

We congratulate The Reading Agency, the Society of Chief Librarians and the Arts Council on a major piece of work. We wonder why it wasn’t done years ago by the agencies most responsible – the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport) and the now-defunct MLA (Museums, Libraries & Archives Council).

BUT… This comes just as cuts are going deep into the bone, expert staff are being sacked, basic equipment (especially digital) becoming a huge expense. And hundreds of libraries are being turfed off into ‘the community’, each to survive as best it can. They can’t offer a universal anything.

SO… It’s great to have such a clear statement of the fantastic service that libraries offer, to all kinds of people. It’s needed more than ever.

It’s tragic that it all comes together just as public libraries are being cut to ribbons. We wish public libraries luck! They really deserve it.

See www.goscl.com/libraries-of-the-21st-century-scl-launches-four-national-offers-for-public-libraries/


A press conference was held this morning at the British Library, where Janene Cox, President of the Society of Chief Librarians (SLC) set out their vision for the future of libraries.  Janene Cox was joined by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, Miranda McKearney OBE, Director of The Reading Agency, and Nicky Morgan, Director of Libraries at Arts Council England.

The four ‘Universal Offers’ – Health, Reading, Information, and Digital – are the four service areas which modern users regard as integral to public libraries. They were developed by the Society of Chief Librarians and partners including Arts Council England and The Reading Agency.

The SCL believe that the new national approach will, for the first time, clarify what the public should be able to expect from their library.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said:

“Libraries continue to be an essential part of our local communities. They entertain and educate, and act as meeting places and important sources of local information.

The four Universal Offers clearly shows the range of services libraries now offer and this national approach will help ensure all libraries keep pace with these changing demands.

The public library service is in good health. There were 256 million visits to England’s 3,243 libraries in 2011-12 with three quarters of children and 40 per cent of adults using our libraries. These are phenomenal statistics that show the strength and relevance of public libraries.”

You can read The Bookseller article here: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/scl-announces-universal-offers-libraries.html,

the SCL press release here: http://www.goscl.com/libraries-of-the-21st-century-scl-launches-four-national-offers-for-public-libraries/

and the Universal Offers Media pack here: http://www.goscl.com/libraries-of-the-21st-century-scl-launches-four-national-offers-for-public-libraries/launch-of-the-universal-offers-media-pack/.

How feasible and realistic is it?

What are the advantages and pitfalls?

We’d love to know your thoughts.

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter

BBC News : 30th January
Council budgets: Watchdog warns of front-line cuts
The National Audit Office (NAO) said there had been cuts to libraries and social care, and some councils faced a “challenge” to meet their obligations while avoiding financial difficulties.

ACE : 29th January
The Arts Council’s Director, Libraries talks about the recent community libraries research

THE GUARDIAN : 29th January
Beware Eric Pickles’ quiet revolution

THE INDEPENDENT : 29th January
Arts organisations braced for belt-tightening as Arts Council passes on Government cuts 

East London Advertiser : 30th January
Tower Hamlets | Public invited for sneak peak of new Watney Market Idea Store

Cambridge News : 30th January
Library visitor totals drop after budget cuts
An investigation by the News has found that fewer people are using libraries as savage cuts bring hard times to the institutions.  Even the state-of-the-art Cambridge Central Library in the Grand Arcade has seen visitor numbers fall by 20,000 in a year from 873,175 in 2010/11 to 853,000 in 2011/12.

Local Government Chronicle : 30th January
York pioneers library mutual
The report said the council could not afford to retain the service and there was “little evidence” of any private sector market in library provision, while neighbouring councils had not been interested in a shared service.

York Press : 30th January
York leaders in libraries pledge 
Coun Nigel Ayre, Liberal Democrat culture spokesman, said:  “Labour need to actually ask residents who they want to run the service and explore all options before taking this step, as I think there are genuine issues with these plans.”

Streatham Guardian : 29th January
Upper Norwood Library’s future resolved

THE BOOKSELLER : 29th January
Amazon ‘to put advertising on Kindles’ 

Southern Reporter : 30th January
Scottish Borders | New chapter opens in library provision 

The Library Campaign

A little later than expected due to a glitch with our website. Here follows a digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter

THE BOOKSELLER : 29th January
Cabinet office pays £100k to York library scheme

Minster FM Radio : 29th January
Government Backing for York Libraries
City of York Council’s library and archives service will be the first service in the country to secure its future by developing a mutual organisation, using £100,000 advice and support from the Cabinet Office, they say.

York Press : 29th January
Government cash for York libraries plan

Public Libraries News: 28th January
Around three or four mea culpas

Cotswold Journal : 29th January
Attack on ‘inadequate’ new Gloucestershire mobile library service

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries : 28th January
Press Release | Gloucestershire cuts adrift county’s most isolated communities from its mobile library service

Brent & Kilburn Times : 29th January
Preston Library campaigners ‘let down’ by Brent Council
Members of Preston Library, one of six closed down by Brent Council last year, say they met with council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt several times and claim he had agreed to ask Brent’s library service to let them run a community library allowing them access to Brent’s libraries stock.  ……  However, they now say they were told by Town Hall bosses following a meeting, that there are ‘legal and budgetary’ issues and they would not be able to use any Brent Library services or run a homework club using the council’s library service.



News From Crystal Palace : 29th January
Lambeth to take control of library prior to community trust move
Lambeth Council is to take over control of Upper Norwood joint library – prior to it being run by a community-based trust.

Express & Star : 28th January
Fifth of Wolverhampton library posts will go in restructure


York Press : 29th January
Darley Community Library celebrates birthday
In the last year of its operation, the mobile library to Darley was used by only 36 people and issued less than 900 books and other items. But the new Darley Community Library now has more than 100 members, and has issued more than 1,200 books in the first year of its operation.

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter
Public Policy Exchange
Event – 16th April The Future of Local libraries and Cultural Services

Civil Society : 28th January
Arts Council executive’s paid sabbatical ensures eligibility for redundancy payout

Third Sector : 28th January
Locality report criticised for encouraging ‘rush’ into community management of libraries
The president of a support group for librarians has criticised a report published last week by the local infrastructure body Locality …

Express & Star : 28th January
20pc of library jobs lost in cost cutting restructure in Wolverhampton
The moves will meanwhile include the closures of Spring Vale, Warstones, Ashmore Park and Collingwood libraries and the relocation of services.

Save Croydon Libraries : 28th January
Croydon still paying for library they tried desperately to ditch! 
It has been announced by Lambeth Council that they will take over responsibility for the 112-year-old Upper Norwood Library in a deal with Croydon Council which they claim will safeguard its future. The library had been threatened with closure.

Gazette Series : 27th January
Berkeley’s community volunteer library Berkeley Books hopes for charitable support

Gloucestershire CC : 28th January
Official launch of county’s new mobile library service
and Background reading (for Info) : 
FOGL : 13th Dec 2012
Gloucestershire CC tell mobile library user to travel 40miles to use a static library 

Library Journal : 28th January
Pole Dancing @ Your Library 
No, you might say, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with strippers. If not, then why is the class not available for those under 17? Exactly.  For all I know the economy is terrible there, so I guess it’s good for young women to learn some job skills. This class could be the start of a whole new life for them.  This would probably fit in with my old idea of Library Spa 2.0. It’s the culmination of the drive to make libraries everything to everyone, which is great except for the people who need libraries. Massages, manicures, pole-dancing classes, the list is endless.

Evesham Observer : 25th January
Pershore | New library plans revealed

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.
Camden Public Libraries User Group
Community Libraries – The Arts Council Report
It appears that the researchers have simply reproduced the local government version of the truth (unsurprising, as the Local Government Association was one of the sponsors of the research). In the Camden case, it needed only a little delving into what was available in the public domain (websites of local newspapers & library campaigners) to establish that what was claimed by Camden Council was suspect, at the very least. Of course, it is too much to expect that these Arts Council documents would criticise any council, but it is not too much to expect that very obvious bias would be avoided.  Specific information is provided

Skegness Standard : 26th January
Alford Library in appeal for volunteers to extend opening hours 

The Scotsman : 26th January
Lothians art funding slashed by councils 
East Lothian library staff face a cull, with planned reductions to branch posts and a major reduction to the mobile library service.

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.

Phil Bradley’s Weblog : 26th January
When is a volunteer not a volunteer?
So we’ve now got a private company making money – the money that the tax payers are paying for a service that they’re not actually getting any longer – out of people who are being given no option but to work or starve.   ……….  This has been an entirely insane week in the world of librarianship, with this nonsense following on hard from the ridiculous ‘report’ produced by the Arts Council, which is a total disgrace.

Don’t Privatise Libraries : 26th January
Is Harrow going to privatise its Library service? 
Harrow responds

Local Government Lawyer : 25th January
Court of Appeal agrees to hear Doncaster libraries case 

Public Libraries News : 25th January
Arts Council England decision to give its outgoing Exec £200k for a “sabbatical” attracts ire

Arts Professional : 17th January
Stark facts on ACE severance package

Journal Live : 26th January
Newcastle | Libraries sell old stock 
Library books, CDs and DVDs are being sold off in Newcastle this weekend, although the city council says it has nothing to do with proposed library closures.

The Scotsman : 26th January
Letter | Taken as read – from (Cllr) Bob Constable, Leader, Midlothian Council

Save Croydon Libraries : 25th JanuaryWake up New Addo! 
Croydon’s New Addington Library is back in the news but the ‘facts’ and even the headline are seriously questionable.

Lucy Marcovitch : 24th January
What has the library ever done for us?


We want ACE to explain how it spends its money – and how it justifies research that has infuriated the whole public library world. An alleged scandal tops off a week in which Arts Council England (ACE) – and by implication its funder, the government – have been shot down in flames by public library users and librarians.

ACE is said to be paying £200,000 to a former executive who has a well-paid job elsewhere yet its new report is all for cheapo ‘community libraries’ run by volunteers. They are, says ACE, a viable future model, if a little common sense is used. This is just what ACE’s funder, the government, wants to hear. But it’s NOT the message coming from people actually involved in running such libraries.

The Library Campaign says:

“Nobody has a clue how best to run a community library. It’s an uncontrolled experiment, on a vital public service, in the middle of a huge crisis. ‘Community libraries’ have mostly been created in haste and panic and conflict… by communities desperate to do anything to avoid closing down their library completely. Their only choice was: ‘Lose it or run it yourselves.’”

Source: www.librarycampaign.com/community-libraries-guidance-from-arts-council

The Women’s Institute says:

“The number of community managed libraries has grown rapidly, largely through a piecemeal approach where many volunteers have found themselves in impossible situations… This heavy reliance on volunteers risks threatening the very foundation of library provision in the UK.”

Source: http://www.thewi.org.uk/news-and-events/volunteers-cannot-continue-being-used-as-sticking-plasterin-the-library-service-says-wivolunteers-cannot-continue-being-used-as-sticking-plaster-in-the-library-service-says-wi

And Phil Bradley, president of CILIP, the librarians’ professional association, says:

“I am disappointed by the report and the government’s headlong rush to set up more community managed libraries without understanding the consequences. I am deeply concerned that this report will be used to justify further library closures and our communities will suffer greater damage.”

Source: www.cilip.org.uk/news-media/Pages/news130125.aspx

CILIP adds:

“The results of the research used to justify the [ACE] report are not set out fully in the report. As an example of evidence-based policy it is important that they should be made available. CILIP calls on Arts Council England to make them available on their website.”

Source: www.cilip.org.uk/news-media/Pages/news130125.aspx

The Library Campaign agrees!

We have already complained several times to ACE about its refusal to ask library users or volunteers when consulting on the future of public libraries.

It has repeatedly declined.


Laura Swaffield

The Library Campaign

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.

CILIP : 25th January
Chartered Institute warns of dangerous “headlong rush” to create more community managed libraries

CILIP – Wales : 24th January
Welsh Government Minister speaks powerfully in support of public library services 

Public Libraries News : 24th January
Meanwhile, in England …

The Welsh Minister in charge of libraries has spoken strongly in favour of libraries and directly contrasted this with the less-than-forthright approval shown in England. This continues the trend where Wales and Scotland are notably different in their handling of libraries to that of Westminster. Indeed, one senior librarian in Scotland has told me that Scottish librarians “look with horror” at what is happening south of the border and think something approaching mass madness is happening.


Sky News : 25th January
Writers Take Over Libraries Under Threat Of Closure On National Libraries Day

THE BOOKSELLER : 25th January
Lewisham library volunteers on workfare scheme

EADT 24 : 25th January
Suffolk Bury St Edmunds: Older residents are affected by loss of mobile library service

The Argus : 25th January
Long campaign to save Brighton and Hove mobile library is lost

Book Trust : 25th January
Libraries keep us human
It has also made me wonder if many people – on both sides of the argument – might be slightly missing the point as to why libraries are so essential.

South London Press : 25th January
Lambeth | ‘Friends’ row: leisure supremo under attack
The Friends of Streatham Library (FoSL) group has written to council leader Cllr Lib Peck to emphasise the non-partisan nature of the groups.  …. chairwoman Laura Swaffield said the row was a “storm in a teacup”.  She said: “Many of the groups have been opposed to Lambeth’s silly plans for libraries, but I could not tell you what political parties they come from. We are bending over backwards to keep party politics out of the groups.”

Good eReader : 25th January
Bilbary’s Tim Coates’ Panel Notes Call for eBook Lending Reform

Infoism : 24th January
The death of the library?
But we have already seen, as noted above, that such a situation has already taken hold in deprived areas.  What makes anyone believe that, in the light of this report, authorities will be dissuaded from threatening communities in deprived areas with closure of their local library unless they run it themselves? I have seen nothing in my experience to suggest that they would be.

Don’t Privatise Libraries : 25th January
The ‘Disneyfication’ of public libraries

Harrow Times : 25th January
Harrow residents are London’s third highest book borrowers
“Harrow Council wants to ensure that our libraries continue as thriving community resources, whilst also bringing them into the 21st century, and Harrow’s libraries are set to see some great improvements very soon.”

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.

Save Doncaster Libraries : 24th January
Reason to stay cheerful…. Appeal Granted!!!
Below is the Press Release from our Lawyers, Public Interest Lawyers, released yesterday.  Carol Buck has been granted leave to appeal the travesty that saw the campaign lose the initial Judicial Review into the decimation of Doncaster’s Public Library Service.

The Star : 24th January
Doncaster | Hope in library closure battle 
If she is successful, the Court of Appeal will have the power to quash the Mayor’s decision and restore previous council-funded library services.

ACE : 24th January
CE Alan Davey | Live Chat

Sky News : 24th January
Anti-Cuts Campaigners Set Date For Sleep-In At Newcastle City Library

The Scotsman : 24th January
Tiffany Jenkins: Libraries are on a slippery pole 
The serious point is these kinds of stunts devalue libraries. A significant amount of the activities on offer take people away from books and the reading of them  …. libraries have abandoned their raison d’être in a quest to be relevant – relevant that is to politicians, not the people.

THE BOOKSELLER : 24th January
ACE report: WI attacks while Vaizey defends

Information Today | Europe : 23rd January
If the profession fails to communicate its value, then the march of ‘amateurisation’ will continue, argues Ian Clark

Doombrarian : 24th January
What f**kery is this? The Arts Council and Community Libraries

Dorset Echo : 24th January
Libraries ready to turn page as keys are passed over to new volunteers
The library was closed on Monday for building work to begin following the transfer of the freehold from Dorset County Council to the Friends of Charmouth Library. Once it is re-opened on February 28, it will be officially handed over from the county council to Charmouth Central, a limited company set up specifically to take on the freehold.http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/10182729.Libraries_ready_to_turn_page_as_keys_are_passed_over_to_new_volunteers/

Wirral Globe : 24th January
Wirral library staff to be tasked with managing crisis cash handouts

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.
Public Libraries News : 22nd January
“Community Libraries: Learning from Experience” – The most important libraries report
of the year examined and summarised, with initial reactions


THE BOOKSELLER : 23rd January
Controversy over ACE report on community libraries

Voices for the Library : 23rd January
The Arts Council report on community libraries

Third Sector : 23rd January
Community libraries could soon make up 13 per cent of total, says report

DCMS : 23rd January
Arts Council and LGA publish principles for community libraries
Ed Vaizey said “The library service is changing to fit in with the different ways in which we experience the written word and our changing expectations for public services.  So this report provides a very welcome analysis of the different ways in which local communities are playing an active role in their local library services.  This research helps show how practical experience and best practice can be shared to the advantage of all.”

BBC News : 23rd January
Liverpool Central Library’s £50m refurbishment

This Is Leicestershire : 23rd January
Council’s library service for elderly set to be axed

Daily Post : 23rd January
Anglesey libraries face “spiral of decline” warn Welsh Government body
Acute concern was expressed at a cut in posts which will “significantly exacerbate” existing low staffing levels.  They added: “The reduced level of expenditure on books and materials impacts directly on the Service’s ability to meet specific Welsh Public Library Standards, again the planned reduction will further exacerbate the situation.”

Heart 102.6 : 23rd January
Somerset Council Announce Budget Plans
Making libraries part of the community, keeping them open and investing in new books.

South Wales Argus : 23rd January
Petition launched to save Newport library closures
Petition supporter, father of one and Maindee library user Ben Loughton, 30, said cuts were hitting the “average citizen in the teeth”, and expressed concerns about any closure’s effect on children’s education.

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.

Gov.uk : 22nd January
Press release | Community libraries: guidance from the Arts Council 
The Arts Council has published a report looking at how communities are getting involved in the running and management of local libraries.

THE BOOKSELLER : 22nd January
Blog – Desmond Carke | Checking out
The DCMS, Arts Council England and the Society of Chief Librarians need to take their heads out of the sand and confront the crisis facing the public library service.

THE GUARDIAN : 22nd January
Cornwall council’s privatisation compromise 
The west country council came perilously close to outsourcing a wide range of services to BT. Why did it change its mind?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/22/cornwall-council-privatisation-compromise?CMP=twt_fd … | @

Daily Echo : 22nd January
Southampton City Council to plough £100,000 in to library services after huge cuts

Bitterne Park Info : 22nd January
Southampton | Ray of hope for libraries

Brixton Blog : 21st January
Call for Labour Lambeth councillor to resign over libraries email
Residents, library users and opposition councillors have reacted angrily to an email from a senior Lambeth council member which appears to snub community groups not run by members of the Labour Party.

Brent & Kilburn Times : 22nd January
Wembley mothers back Barham Park Library campaigners
The mothers are often turned way by Children Centres in both Chaplin Road and Barham Park Wembley because they are full.  With nowhere else to turn, they went to campaign group Friends of Barham Library who have been providing them with free space for their activities.http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/wembley_mothers_back_barham_park_library_campaigners_1_1802771

The Arts Council has published a report looking at how communities are getting involved in the running and management of local libraries. We will add our comments shortly.

*Press release*

Community libraries: guidance from the Arts Council


Laura Swaffield, Chair of The Library Campaign responds:



I’m chair of The Library Campaign – the only national organisation that represents people who actually use (and support) public libraries.

I can save you the trouble of reading the new reports from the Arts Council on… ahem… ‘community libraries’.


The gist of the reports goes like this:

The last time anyone did a report on ‘community-managed libraries’ * only a handful existed, all very different one from another.
So very little could be learned about this idea.

Arts Council England (ACE) has worked hard to find out what is going on now. But now, suddenly, there are hundreds of ‘community libraries’.
Scores have been created since this research was done, so it’s out of date already. Hundreds more seem set to happen in 2013.** All of them are so new that there is no information on how well they work, or whether they will last.

No two are alike. Even within the same borough.
There are lots of different ways of running them.
Nobody has a clue which might work best, where.
ACE has put them into categories and written up dozens of case histories.
This just underlines the fact that the variety is bewildering.

‘Community libraries’ have mostly been created in haste and panic and conflict.
They have mostly been created by communities desperate to do anything to avoid closing down their library completely.
Their only choice was: ‘Lose it or run it yourselves.’

The Library Campaign wishes these people luck.
They will need it.
Nobody knows what chance they have.

And we note that there is advice for councils who want to offload their library services any way they can. But there is no advice for local people who DON’T want their libraries to drift out of public service control,
DON’T want to pay their taxes but do all the work themselves and
DO want councils to listen to their views and suggestions.


* Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, 2011
** See www.publiclibrariesnews.com


school library 2

The 9th February, 2013 is National Libraries Day and CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) hope that it will be a “culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK.”

School librarians are keen to take part in the celebration of libraries on National Libraries Day 2013 so they are organising a simultaneous ‘Parallel Universes’ story writing workshop, and have applied to the Guinness World Records as they believe this hasn’t been done before and felt that such an undertaking should be recognised!

Award winning author, Matt Haig, who has just been appointed writer in residence at Booktrust , has agreed to write the start of a story. On Wednesday 6th February, that starter will be given to participating students who will then have to write the rest of the story. The event is targeting at students in Years 5 thoruogh to Year 9 so that Junior as well as Senior schools can take part.  Students involved will need to write a minimum of 250 words between 12 noon and 1pm, although they can write more if they wish to!

Barbara Band, Head of Libraries and Resources at Emmbrook School and CILIP Vice President says,

“We are hoping that all the stories will be gathered together afterwards and shared online so that everyone can read them, and see how you can take an idea and develop it in so many different ways.

As well as celebrating National Libraries Day, this is a wonderful way to involve the school library in an event that demonstrates how reading and writing can be fun and exciting, which hopefully will raise the profile of the library in school and create media interest thus advocating our profession!”

Over 70 schools have already signed up across the whole of the UK, with thousands of students taking part and this number is expected  to increase!
libraries should be the beating heart of the school

If you are interested, please email Barbara on barbara567band@hotmail.com so that she can send you the start of the story plus keep you updated regarding any news from Guinness World Records.

A digest of today’s news items, reproduced here, with kind permission from Shirley Burnham who collated it.  For up to date libraries news follow @ShirleyBurnham on Twitter.

THE GUARDIAN : 18th January
Privatised public services pose ‘significant new risk’ to public ethics

Public Libraries News : 20th January
A library is about more than books but a library without books is not a library

Henley Standard : 21st January
Official appointed to work with libraries
The co-ordinator will be paid £34,549 for “developing a working relationship” with communities and library friends groups in order to find volunteers to fill the shortfall in staff hours.

Get Surrey : 21st January
Community plans for Bramley library dragging on
Bramley Library was one of 10 libraries in the county to have paid staff removed as Surrey County Council cut costs in 2010. The parish council battled the Community Partnered Library (CPL) decision, but has since supported the community takeover due in April, only to wait months to hear back from the county council.

Express & Star : 21st January
Number of borrowers at Wolverhampton libraries dwindling

Postcode Gazette : 21st January
Sheffield | Campaign launched to ‘save Broomhill Library’ 
Broomhill Library, on Taptonville Road, was in the top three of the city’s most used in terms of books issued, with 121,341 books borrowed last year, just behind Ecclesall and ahead of Crystal Peaks.

Brixton Blog : 21st January
Call for Labour Lambeth councillor to resign over libraries email

Residents, library users and opposition councillors have reacted angrily to an email from a senior Lambeth council member which appears to snub community groups not run by members of the Labour Party.


A considerable number of comments have also been added to our post on Midlothian Libraries plans for their ‘Love Your Libraries’ National Libraries Day celebration. Take a look.  There are worse things in libraries than pole-dancing!

pole-dancing reader


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