Public Libraries News : 8th August
Editorial | “If the pie is too small, the answer is to make the pie bigger”

Reading Agency to release dyslexia help books

This Is Derbyshire : 9th August
No more cuts plea from library customers

Wimbledon Guardian : 8th August
Letter Council want to invest in, not close, Wimbledon library

South Wales Argus : 9th August
Volunteers determined to re-open Stow Hill library in Newport
The group needs at least 25 volunteers and must present a draft business plan to Newport council by August 15, the meeting heard. Councillor David Fouweather, member for Allt-yr-Yn ward, compared the council closing the library to save £12,000 to “a paracetamol in the River Usk”.

heart book

CILIP have announced that National Libraries Day will round off a week’s worth of celebrations in public, school, college, university, and workplace libraries on Saturday 8 February 2014.

National Libraries Day shines a light on the people that provide access to knowledge in our communities, workplaces, schools, colleges and Universities; librarians and information professionals. Every day they are improving literacy rates, connecting people with the information they need to succeed and helping to build a fair and prosperous society. Saturday 8 February 2014 and the week leading up to it will be a chance to say thank you, to witness first-hand the vital work that they do and to show decision-makers that our libraries and librarians are assets to be treasured.

For National Libraries Day 2013, thousands of people took part in over 500 events in libraries across the country, including author visits, live music performances, book clubs, family history days, stand-up comedy and behind the scenes tours. Highlights included record-breaking school librarians, Dalek invasions and pole-fitness classes.

National Libraries Day is a grassroots campaign with leading charities, local authorities, library campaigners and library staff involved. The Steering group is made up of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the Reading Agency, the School Library Association and the Society of Chief Librarians.

CILIP logo

CILIP President, Phil Bradley said, “In the 21st century libraries are more necessary than ever. We are in the middle of an information revolution and librarians and information professionals are central to it. Their contribution to society is immense and wide-ranging and includes helping people to find work, supporting the government’s digital by default agenda, improving literacy and encouraging reading for pleasure. National Libraries Day is a celebration of what is great about our libraries and librarians I urge everybody to join the fun and send a clear message that they are much loved and much needed.”

The Twitter hashtag is #NLD14

The inaction of the DCMS has been highlighted by national campaigners.

The Bookseller: 11th July 2013

Library Campaign wards of library ‘slaughter’

The Guardian: 12th July 2013

Library Campaigners predict 1,000 closures by 2016

The Independent: 12th July 2013

Campaigners warn of libraries in crisis across England 

Ms Swaffield said library users had appealed “time and again” to culture minister Ed Vaizey to intervene against the mass closures, “but he does nothing. And he does nothing about libraries that stay open but now provide a far worse service.

Iran Book News Agency: 14th July 2013

Library campaigners predict 1,000 closures by 2016 in U.K.

Ode to Libraries

Making Waves choir sing their protest at the savage cuts to public libraries, written for the National Libraries Day February 2013, first performed at Newbiggin Hall Library in Newcastle under threat of closure by the council. This recording was made at “Great North: A celebration of 40 years of Iron Press” at the Cullercoats Fishermans’ Mission on 19 May 2013.

The original song is from the Sound of Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein and the updated lyrics are by Making Waves choir member Cathy Bream. Making Waves is a local cooperative community choir based in Cullercoats, North Tyneside.

The lyrics are:

Stories and pictures and books on all topics
Novels and poetry, romances and classics
Large books for reference and biographies
These are a few of our favourite things.

CDs of music and drama to borrow
PCs to use for your homework tomorrow
Papers to browse and the best magazines
These are a few of our favourite things.

But when the cuts come and the axe falls
And the libraries close
We’ll simply remember our favourite things
And then we shall be – so sad.

Story time sessions for children and babies
Writing groups, book clubs for folk of all ages
Local history and poetry readings
These are a few of our favourite things.

But when the cuts come and the axe falls
And the libraries close
We’ll simply remember our favourite things
And then we shall be – angry!

Lyrics by Cathy Bream & Making Waves choir, Cullercoats, UK Original by Rodgers & Hammerstein, from The Sound of Music Version 2 May 2013

Oh dear!

ACE logoAfter the live webchat today with Brian Ashley, all I can say is – thank goodness there’s a chance to do it properly at our meeting with him on 29 June…

A lot of questions went unanswered – and that’s just the very few that made it into the chat session!

We don’t need a second Ed Vaizey. Yet too many of Brian’s answers are just like Ed’s. They boil down to: ‘Everything’s fine. And if it’s not, it’s nothing to do with us.’

The other ACE answer, used alternately, is ‘Yes, we’ve done loads of research, which indicates that there’s some truth in what you’ve all been trying to tell us for years. We’re going to start thinking about it sometime soon.’

I’m still not even entirely assured that ACE sees library users, and those who have been forced to try to run libraries, as its explicit concern.

And I have seen rather little, today, to change my opinion that ACE has wasted time and money on things that didn’t need doing – while ignoring things that desperately DO need attention.

The Library Campaign wants to work with ACE on the real issues. We will approach the meeting on 29th June with goodwill, and make a genuine effort to understand ACE’s attitude.

But this must be a working meeting.  So much needs to be done – and soon. Our members get precedence… but anyone who cares about public libraries’ future is welcome to join us.

Don’t miss your chance to meet with Brian Ashley and pose all those unanswered questions!

Laura Swaffield
The Library Campaign

And if you really care about libraries it’s the ideal time to take action and join us!

Details here.

Many thanks to eminent library campaigner and The Library Campaign member, Shirley Burnham, for the following links to today’s libraries news.  Follow her on Twitter @ShirleyBurnham and us at @LibraryCampaign.

Twitter 7.50 pm. 29th May
Dan Jarvis ‏@DanJarvisMP 1m

Well placed sources in Whitehall saying that #CSR13 may scrap @DCMS – with Culture, Media & Sport going to other Govt depts

Save Sheffield Libraries

CILIP rebrand sparks controversy

CILIP : 29th May
Phil Bradley | Rebranding CILIP
with comments

Express & Star : 29th May
£1m to cover repair bill for Wolverhampton library merger

Dan Jarvis MP

Libraries event and AGM – 29 JUNE, 2013


Library Campaign members get priority booking, as places are limited, but anyone is welcome to attend.

TLC AGM final

MEET Brian Ashley, the new libraries director at Arts Council England (ACE).

The Library Campaign welcome the opportunity to work with ACE to protect library services.

JOIN the Q & A session led by prominent library campaigners including Ian Anstice, Desmond Clarke, Trevor Craig, Alan Wylie – and you!


University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7H

Meeting: 2-4.30pm

AGM (members only): 4.30-5.15pm

Travel details

Northern Line: Euston, Warren Street, Goodge Street stations.
Piccadilly Line: Russell Square station.
Victoria Line: Euston and Warren Street stations.
Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City Lines: Euston Square station.
Buses: Gower Street (10, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390); Euston Road (18, 30, 91, 205, 253, 476); Woburn Place/Southampton Row (59, 68, 91, 168,188).

Places are limited!

Priority will be given to members of The Library Campaign, but all are welcome to book.

Email the secretary, Elizabeth, on to book a place or call  020 8651 9552.

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 : 23rd May
Editorial |Adapt and survive: Arts Council England’s stark message under the gloss
… what the report means for any remaining idea of a national public library service is terrifying in its extremes.  Each library is a low-lying island is the underlying philosophy and you’d better build your sea barriers up now because the tide is rising and it’s your fault if you drown.

Melville House Books : 24th May
What’s the future for the UK’s local libraries?
I’d love to see a list with gusto; one that didn’t seem to contain a strong feeling of defeat within its objectives. Each point seems defensive, as though answering a number of criticisms: libraries don’t do enough for their communities, libraries haven’t embraced technology, libraries aren’t working hard enough, library staff aren’t right for the job. And yet …

Lead Story | ACE Envisioning: “wake up call to government”
good comment from Laura Swaffield

WMF panel: libraries need national e-lending model

Save Croydon Libraries Campaign : 24th May
Shh! Laings win Croydon Libraries

Hereford Times : 24th May
Protestors arrive in Hereford 
Councillors will later today vote on a new budget that could signal the end for many of the county’s libraries and museums. The Hereford Times will be carrying a live blog from the meeting – due to start this afternoon.

They Work For You : 21st May
eBook lending and Audio – Rewarding Authors

Croydon libraries ship

With thanks for permission to reproduce his reply here,  in response to the press release of Dan Javis MP,  Justin Tomlinson MP writes,


What a load of marketing guff, stating the blindingly obvious – well except (as expected) no mention of whether they would provide any additional funding or reference to the swathes of libraries decimated during the Socialist Utopian Government years / Socialist ruled Councils.  (I’m not saying any Party is perfect on libraries, but I wouldn’t have put my name to this 2nd hand car-sales brochure if it was in dashing blue either!)

The world of libraries is changing / evolving – come up with concrete suggestions (hey maybe funding?) not flannel.  Could of, should of, would of, dear me…

To those actually doing the graft on the coal-face, more power to you.

Me, I’d have a library Tsar with a commercial background (Tim Coates etc!), focus on numbers and customer experience.  Share this best practice, rejoice in being the thriving hub of communities – this would make local Government appreciate (and pay for) the services we want.

Be spikey, float radical ideas, hey even get it wrong – but get it done.

Cheers, Justin

Justin Tomlinson
North Swindon Conservative MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

Dan Jarvis MP, Shadow Culture Minister, has today called for a message to be sent to the Government demanding that they act to save Britain’s libraries.

A new report, “Envisioning the library of the future”  has been released by the Arts Council England demonstrating that much more should be done to support these important community services. Recommendations include making the most of digital technology, ensuring librarians have the necessary skills, placing the library at the hub of the community, and importantly, ensuring that libraries are resilient and sustainable.

Jarvis stated, “This report is a welcome insight into the value placed on libraries by the public, and the staff who work in them. I am pleased that it shares many of the conclusions found in Labour’s report Libraries – Innovation, Colocation and Partnership. It should be yet another wake up call to David Cameron that more needs to be done to ensure our libraries are sustainable.

“Libraries are trusted spaces which are open to all. Their potential is unlimited and across the country local authorities have been looking at innovative ways to save and improve our libraries. Despite this hard work, the latest figures demonstrate that in 2011/12 201 library service points were lost and a further 293 are now under threat. The responsibility for oversight lies firmly at the door of David Cameron and Ed Vaizey and they need to act now.

In December, Labour launched Libraries: Innovation, Co-location and Partnership. This report also looked at the future sustainability of libraries, and what a future Government should do to support the service.

Today Arts Council England has published the final part of its ‘Envisioning the Public Library’ research. The Library Campaign comments:

This duplicates research that has been done many times before – not least by the Arts Council itself.

What’s missing is action.

It is heart-breaking that time and money has been wasted in this way.

Libraries are closing at an unprecedented rate. Others are hacked to pieces.

Desperate communities are trying to take them on to save them – and are getting no help or advice.

We are trying to fill the huge gap left by DCMS and Arts Council inaction. Unpaid, in our spare time.

If they can’t see this is a crisis – and won’t do anything to help – please can we have their money?

You can read the report here :  The Library of the Future.

ACE logo

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.

ACE: Libraries should be ‘hub’ of communities 

Campaign for the Book : 23rd May
Newsletter | “Envisioning” the decline of the public library service

Library Campaign : 23rd May
ACE Libraries report launched – Missing in action? 
inc. link to Report

CILIP : 23rd May
Press Release | Call for political leadership on Libraries

SCL : 23rd May
SCL Welcomes Arts Council’s Envisioning Report : 23rd May
Libraries must remain community hubs despite technological change, report says
inc quote from Ed Vaizey MP 

BBC News : 23rd May
Sefton Council approves plans to close seven libraries

Liverpool Echo : 23rd May
Seven libraries to close by end of year, confirm Sefton Council
Council still open to community groups taking over, but campaigners fear being too late to act

Crosby Herald : 23rd May
Sefton | Council report recommends closure of libraries in Crosby and Litherland

Evesham Observer : 23rd May
Broadway More details given to help decide library future 
“It’s now up to the community to pull together to maintain the building and create a flexible exciting hub that really meets the needs of our community.”


ACE logo

Liverpool Echo : 22nd May
Sefton | Merseyside library cull could lead to 40 (frontline) staff redundancies
A report to councillors tells how between 16 and 19 full-time posts would be lost, but because the bulk of library staff are part-time that would put up to 40 people at risk of redundancy.

Telegraph & Argus : 22nd May
New library to be built in Bradford city centre

Telegraph & Argus : 22nd May
Leading Article | New chapter for library services

BBC News : 22nd May
Business | Paperless public libraries switch to digital

Brent & Kilburn Times : 22nd May
Council agree to work with campaigners in Kensal Rise Library battle
During the meeting the council conceded they had made mistakes in their previous running of the libraries but insisted they were keen to work with the community going forward.

The Save Kensal Rise Library Survey : 22nd May

Ealing Gazette : 22nd May
Private company set to run Ealing libraries

They Work For You | Hansard 20th May
Public Lending Right (PLR) – the Minister responds to a Parliamentary Q from Dan Jarvis MP 

They Work For You | Hansard 20th May
Audio-book loans – the Minister responds to a Parliamentary Q from Dan Jarvis MP


Thanks to Shirley Burnham for these links. You can follow her on Twitter @shirleyburnham and follow us @LibraryCampaign

school library

Laura Swaffield, chair of The Library Campaign, says it’s time to stop arguing and call for ACTION. She has presented this list to the Society of Chief Librarians. Comments – and additions – please!

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1. The Library Campaign is getting a constant stream of requests for help & advice from communities trying to take over libraries (with or without council support). It is hard to give them what they need.

2. Moreover, we have the absurd and wasteful situation where many library services are having to deal individually with a large number of new problems that are, in fact, common to all. Some could be answered by an expert panel, and standard fact sheets. Others need proper agreements at national level.

3. Also needed is a means of maintaining awareness of what a proper library service is, especially among those who now can only easily access a “community-run” facsimile.

We suggest a checklist of what a full service offers, to be ticked at each site, so that all can see what is available on site, remain aware of what is available at the ‘central’ library, and perhaps aspire to
restoring a full service in time.

A good example of the genre is the ‘model of service’ checklist-cum-development-plan produced by the Reading Agency in 2007 for their improvement programme for youth libraries (Fulfilling Their Potential).

See pp 7-10. Campaigner magazine Winter 2007-8: No 75 on our home page.


1. Need for proper access to/analysis of CIPFA figures.
2. PLR (relationship to national system, possible extra costs to non-statutory libraries, etc).
3. Real implications of /requirements under legislation covering health & safety, equalities, human rights, TUPE, copyright (eg, photocopying), licensing for events/music/films/alcohol, data
protection, etc.
4. Insurance
5. Protection of children & vulnerable adults, CRB etc.
6. Handling cash/security.
7. RFID.
8. LMS – small individual or linked to council system.
9. IT systems – as above.
10. Access to borough/national catalogues & inter-library loans.
11. Status of the Universal Offers & other national reading schemes, eg Summer Reading Challenge.
12. Ability to help with online benefit claims, job applications etc (IT provision, staff training, ethics/legality of volunteers handling personal information).
13. Access to national schemes like the Reference Online discount deal.
14. Access to reading groupsets music & playsets.
15. Training required to deal with all the above.
16. Organisational kit – draft constitution etc.
17. Volunteer policy.
18. General advice on funding/sustainability;
19. Safeguards for communities that can’t run their own library.
20. Guidance on support by that is needed by volunteers.
21. Advice on which general model to adopt in running a “community” service.
22. Stock management (eg, dealing with additions, exchanges and withdrawals for stock provided by the library authority).
23. Not least, numerous health & professional issues for trained staff having to train/work with large numbers of untrained staff.

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Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions.

A petition has been launched to save Herefordshire libraries from savage cuts. The petition reads:

We call on Herefordshire Council to oppose the proposed 75% cut to Herefordshire’s Library Service and the subsequent closure of all but one of the county’s libraries. One library can not provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons in the area that want to make use of it, as required by the Public Libraries and Museum’s Act

Why is this important?
Many people, all ages and from all backgrounds, are adversely affected when a local library is closed:
• As well as a place from which to borrow books, the local library provides information and free ICT. It’s a place to meet friends and join social activities such as, reading groups, bounce & rhyme sessions, storytelling sessions etc.
• Children need libraries to support their literacy and reading development. The library also provides them with a place to study, with staff that can help them with their homework. .The Summer Reading Challenge ensures that children continue to develop their reading skills during the long summer break.
• There are many people, especially the elderly, and those living alone, who value the opportunity offered by the library and its staff, for conversation and companionship.
• The local library is a place where vulnerable members of the community feel safe and receive support.
• There are very few indoor, public spaces which are warm and welcoming, where one can linger without spending money.
• People visit the local library if they need help; for example with form filling, letter writing, using ICT etc., or when they need information that they are unable to find elsewhere. There are still large numbers of people who do not have access to IT, other than in their local library.
• Job seekers, make use of the library’s ICT to look for and apply for jobs; they also borrow books on job seeking techniques, writing CVs, interview skills etc., and books to help them improve their work based skills. An economic downturn is the worst time to close libraries.
• When Universal Credit is introduced applications will have to be made online, those without cat home will need to make use of ICT in their local library.
• Many visitors to the county use the libraries for tourist information; they also value the ICT for communicating with friends and family back home and for printing airline, coach and train tickets for their return journeys.
• The provision of ‘Books on Prescription’ supports the work of the health service
• Researchers in, for example, Family History and Local History rely on the library to provide them with the relevant source materials.

To sign the petition and read the comments of others click here:

Follow the campaign on Twitter @savelibservices 

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.

Don’t Privatise Libraries : 30th April
Sold to the highest bidder; a trip to the Public Sector Show! 
a simply brilliant piece of writing

Ashley appointed ACE library director

THE GUARDIAN : 29th April
Teething troubles on day one of universal credit pilot scheme
many comments feature *libraries*

Don’t Privatise Libraries : 29th April
An update on the proposals to privatise the Library of Birmingham 
If this can be taken at face value then it’s good news but why was the procurement process started in the first place? If it was due to doubts about being able to manage the operational costs then what has changed?

THE GUARDIAN : 29th April
£188m Birmingham library project ready for finishing touch – 2.3m books

Ubergizmo : 30th April
Rural Libraries In China Abused And Turned Into Internet Cafes


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.

DCMS : 24th April
Testing times: Fighting culture’s corner in an age of austerity
Keynote Arts Speech by Culture Secretary Maria Miller

ACE : 24th April
Press Release Arts Council England responds to the Secretary of State’s speech on arts and cultural funding

Public Libraries News : 23rd April
Editorial | “A pretty turbulent time”: BBC News covers public and volunteer libraries

THE GUARDIAN : 24th April
Ebook anxieties increase as publishing revolution rolls on

This Is Nottingham : 24th April
Libraries or potholes?

telephone box libary

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