UK Libraries face their biggest shake-up

The Guardian Reports UK Librarians could be stripped of their 144-year-old right to choose books under plans to reorganise the public library service disclosed yesterday.

A national agency would be set up to run libraries, largely replacing current control by a patchwork of 149 local authorities. Staff would be redeployed from back offices to deal with the public. Book choice would be privatised by wholesale suppliers; the savings could help extend opening hours or pay for popular titles to win back book borrowers.


An odd ILL plan for Erie County libraries may help save costs

mdoneil writes "The proposal to leave a book at the library where it was requested (rather than returning it to the lending branch) was one of the ways of cutting costs suggested for Erie county libraries.

This proposal and some other not encouraging news is available from WGRZ.

The ILL proposal seems like a bad idea and it oversimplifies the ILL system (I don't think one employee drives one book around) but if libraries were run like a manufacturing business it would be plausable."


MLA issues Call to Action for public libraries

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has presented England's public libraries with five major challenges to be met over the next three years.

In its response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's report on public libraries, published today, MLA is calling on local authorities and other funding bodies to back its improvement programme for libraries by:

extending opening hours, particularly at evenings and weekends
diversifying both the library workforce and the services on offer and involving the community in service development programmes sustaining free internet access in all public libraries co-ordinating book procurement, reducing overheads and increasing the range of resources available to users establishing a major investment programme to renovate and sustain public library buildings.
More @


D.C. Facility Offers Audiobooks, Equipment Tailored to Needs of Blind Patrons

Stephanie Holbrook sent over This Washington Post Article on the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Located within the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at Ninth and G streets NW, the special needs library serves more than 1,250 readers and institutions, according to Phil Wong-Cross, chief of adaptive services.
Some library systems, including the District's, began offering services for blind and physically handicapped patrons in the 1930s, and the D.C. facility was opened in 1973, according to Wong-Cross and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.


LibraryCity to help libraries cut costs, improve service

David Rothman writes "In John Steinbeck's hometown of Salinas, California, the cash-strapped library system has received at least $1,000 from San Quinten prisoners. Most Americans, murderers included, already love public libraries. But how can libraries use high-tech to deliver even more value to the taxpayers and stretch scarce tax dollars further? And just how can we bridge the gap between ill-funded libraries and the Google generation in an increasingly wired--and wireless--world?

Lori Watrous-deVersterre, executive director of the new LibraryCity, a nonprofit collaboration between creative librarians and innovative technical people, will speak on the above topic and more on July 28--at a virtual library conference session on "Book, Ebooks and Audiobooks."


Canada Post book rate for libraries extended by Minister

Cabot writes "The CBC is reporting that Canadian libraries will continue to benefit from a special shipping rate from Canada Post, after an announcement from National Revenue Minister John McCallum Friday.

McCallum, a former Dean of Arts at McGill University and the minister responsible for Canada Post, issued a statement about the subsidy program, which allows libraries to mail each other books for rates substantially lower than commercial rates – usually less than a dollar a book."


Saturn brings new library

mdoneil writes "The residents of Spring Hill, TN (where the Saturn cars are made) are getting a break on their property taxes ( a big break ) and a new library thanks to the growth in the area. The city ended the year 1/2 a million to the good.

For more information read the article."


Books galore, but membership tough here

Here's One From India on The library at Gujarat Vidyapith. It has an impressive collection of over half a million books, a fact that should be a matter of pride for any public library. However, stringent guarantee norms make sure that its membership to general public remains difficult. This despite the fact that Vidyapith Library receives State Government grant for being a public library and under the Copyrights Act, it also receives copies of books published anywhere in the country.


Two libraries for the price of one

Birmingham England's bookworms will get twin libraries fit for the 21st century within six years, at a cost of £147 million.

Council chiefs have unveiled plans for a split-site scheme in the city centre.

icBirmingham Has More


Stacks' Appeal

Jen_B writes "The Chronicle of Higher Education has a nice article by Thomas H. Benton on how love, but not necessarily the physical kind, can be found in the stacks.

The article not only speaks to all the wonders that can be found in a browsing collection, but directly comments on the growing trend of digitization. Interesting."



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