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.
Voices for the Library : 16th January
An open letter from the staff of Westminster Libraries to their local councillors
THE BOOKSELLER : 16th January
Libraries ‘fundamental’ says Hurd, as TRA celebrates Reading Challenge rise
New Statesman : 16th January
Nick Forbes: Newcastle’s king of cuts
Then the conspiracy theories started: the figures are exaggerated to give Forbes a political weapon; the libraries are being cut ahead of other services because it’ll provoke the most publicity (Andrew Gilligan suggested that in the Telegraph); ambitious Forbes is using the cuts to raise his profile and climb the Labour ranks. So now everyone is attacking Forbes, rather than the Government. So I asked him for an interview and he said yes.
BoycottWorkfare.org : 15th January
Another Public service filling the cuts with workfare
Workfare to fill the void in a heavily cut library service
This week Boycott Workfare has been alerted to the use of workfare to fill the void in a heavily cut library service.
Lewisham’s transfer of 3 public libraries to Eco Computer Systems was done under the premise of engaging the local community with the library service in the face of huge cuts. However there is no hiding the scale of the cuts as the outsourcing has seen a 66% fall in books issued at Sydenham community library. The only community engagement there now appears to be is forcing people to work for free.
BBC News : 16th January
Gloucestershire council spent £238,000 on library closure case
Alan Gibbons Blog : 15th January
Libraries are statutory, councillor
ivo.org : 16th January
Women’s Institute believes community managed libraries are unsustainable
This could mean according to Bond “the creation of a two-tiered system of library provision that undermines the benefits of skilled and trained library staff and underestimates the role that they play in both delivering an effective public service and supporting communities.” Whilst the WI admits volunteers bring a “tremendous contribution” to the library network it does not believe they are an acceptable alternative to paid library staff.
Bournemouth Echo : 16th January
Dorset | Future of Wool library handed over to new volunteers
THE BOOKSELLER : 16th January
Children still prefer reading physical books, finds Scholastic
Manchester Evening News : 16th January
The cuts pain goes on: 830 jobs to go at Manchester town hall and council tax to rise
Six libraries will shut, but council bosses plan to move five of them into existing community buildings such as SureStart centres.
Click-manchester.com : 16th January
Manchester City Council publishes proposed budget
It is proposed to replace six smaller libraries with outreach libraries or community book collections in alternative community premises, with some ICT provision as we have already done in Clayton and Northern Moor and are doing in Barlow Moor. These would be managed by a community group or partner organisation. The libraries affected are Burnage, Fallowfield, Miles Platting, New Moston and Northenden. Levenshulme Library is proposed for closure but a new library facility for Levenshulme will share a building with the new leisure centre.
Postcode Gazette : 16th January
Sheffield | Library review: politicians’ war of words over closures
The timetable for community groups and businesses to come forward to help keep local libraries open has been slammed as “hopelessly unrealistic” by a leading councillor. Council chiefs this week began a two-month search for organisations and individuals willing to help in meeting the running costs of Sheffield’s 27 community libraries, in a bid to keep them open.
Get Surrey : 16th January
Virginia Water library alive with community spirit
There was proud talk of community spirit as Virginia Water’s library was reopened at the weekend with more than 50 villagers already fully trained for their volunteer duties.
FINANCIAL TIMES : 16th January
Sound of silence is yet another sales tool
Refuges of tranquillity are under siege as peace and quiet becomes an increasingly rare commodity
Socialist Worker : 15th January
Libraries | Packed Newcastle meeting shows mood to fight for services
South Wales Argus : 16th January
Councillors disappointed by Newport libraries closure
“It’s a short-sighted move and the cabinet member needs to reconsider.”
Publishers Weekly : 15th January
Influence of Bookstores and Libraries Eroding for Children - Study by Bowker
On the topic of digital, a surprising shift back to print was seen since spring 2012, and for the year e-book adoption growth was flat among teens, with some evidence that teens are like print more in the fall than they did in the spring. One possible reason for this, according to Bookigee CEO Kristen McLean, who presented the results of the report at the Children’s Publishing Goes Digital conference put on by Publishers Launch on Tuesday, could be the “shininess” wearing off new devices and, as people become accustomed to what digital can offer, they are making more nuanced decisions regarding reading habits.