Libraries news

International news
Netherlands – “Community Libraries”: a Dutch Model – Artefacto. “… Occupying a large, window-fronted corner building, its name also situates the space as a “reading room” (“leeszaal”) rather than specifically identifying it as a library. Similar, however, to volunteer-led English efforts, this space also came about via the dual factors of local branch library closures and a neighbourhood community unwilling to allow the local departure of a much-loved public service. Thus, in November 2012, Leeszaal was born.”

Australia – Lego lovers unite: Library taps into toy’s popularity to boost literacy, numeracy skills among children – ABC. “Broome Public Library has tapped into the timeless popularity of Lego to encourage creativity and a passion for reading among its youngest members. The obvious appeal of Lego to parents — which has helped maintain its popularity over generations — is the toy’s ability to foster creativity in young minds. But the library’s Build Up Lego Club is also using the bright toy bricks to encourage children to improve their literacy and comprehension. And it is so much fun, the kids do not even know they are learning while playing”

Global – Why I believe less technology is more’ – The Day. “A recent report from think tank theOECD made pretty grim reading for tech fans. Educational systems around the world that have invested heavily in technology, it said, have seen ‘no noticeable improvement’ in tests for literacy, numeracy and science. The world’s best performing countries, meanwhile, have been ‘very cautious about using technology in their classrooms,’ according to the OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher. What’s going on here? Wasn’t technology supposed to transport schools into a 21st century of learning bliss? Well, kind of. The trouble is, it’s easy to boast about providing 2,000 new tablets or software subscriptions for use in a school – but it’s very difficult to work out what it means to use these devices well”

Global – Next Library: From global inspiration to local action – Jan Holmquist. “We need to know how people learn, unlearn and relearn – and we need to have our own agenda about how we learn on a global level so we can be one step ahead as information professionals – and be even better to support the learning of our communities … The examples I shared was Buy India a Library where four information professionals (Including yours truly) set up a crowdfunding project to build a library attached to a school in Mysore, India. More than 100 wonderfully generous people from all over the globe supported our effort – so though we (at that time) we enabled people to fund a brand new library …”


CILIP’s Executive Briefing – Developing a digital strategy for your library: embracing mobile technology ‏- CILIP. “With the opportunity for an anytime, anyplace, anywhere connection to your customers, mobile phones and tablets have revolutionised digital engagement. However, such a fast paced explosion of developments can lead to organisations jumping on the mobile bandwagon and, as a result, deliver poorly planned digital strategies. This CILIP Executive Briefing on 13 October will ensure your organisation makes the right decisions and takes the proper steps when considering mobile devices and takes a strategic approach.”

Local news by authority

Kirklees – Fate of dozens of Kirklees library staff sealed as radical shake up plan approved – Huddersfield Daily Examiner. “Kirklees Council’s cabinet members have approved the plan to fully control only eight of its current 26 libraries and to vastly slash opening hours.” … “The council will support communities to run a further 16 small libraries with one member of paid staff on hand to advise volunteers. But the axe has come down on two libraries – Thornhill Lees and Lepton – which will close in April 2016. The six-vehicle strong mobile library service will also go as it is not used by many and deemed poor value for money.” … “Council leader, Clr David Sheard, said 478 libraries had already closed across the country, not one of which was in Kirklees.” … “It is hoped that the remaining 16 libraries, largely in small villages or suburbs of Huddersfield, will be run by one council employee backed by community volunteers. Some may have their premises transferred to community ownership.”

Hampshire – Warning that the human face of libraries will be lost as Hampshire moves to automate library service – CILIP. ““We are deeply concerned at the news that 74 members of the library profession are to lose their jobs in Hampshire. A library isn’t a supermarket. Library users need support and expertise in an accessible, safe and trusted environment, which is what qualified librarians are trained to provide. A kiosk can’t deliver a book club or lead a parent and baby group or help people gain access to the online services they need. They can’t welcome a school group, talk to you, offer you kindness, information or support. It is simply wrong to suggest that you can adequately replace a librarian with an automated system and still deliver a quality service”.”