Tag Archives: United Kingdom

The great British library betrayal: Closures bring national network to brink of ‘absolute disaster’, reveals official inquiry

“Library services are on the brink of disaster and can only be saved if they become more like coffee shops with wi-fi, sofas and hot drinks, a report will recommend on Thursday. A combination of funding cuts and declining attendance threatens the viability of the library network unless urgent action is taken, according to the Independent Library Report for England, which was commissioned by the Government. “We’re at a critical moment for the libraries and if we’re not careful we could lose so many,” William Sieghart, who wrote the report, told The Independent. “I and a lot of people think it would be an absolute disaster.” (via The Independent)

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Campaign to free our history – reform copyright

“During the First World War Centenary, a collection of leading museums, libraries and cultural organisations have launched a campaign to provide greater access to important historical works through copyright law reform. Display cases in the Imperial War Museum, National Library of Scotland and University of Leeds sit empty. They should contain letters from the First World War; from a young girl to her father serving as a soldier and from soldiers to their families back home. Because of current UK copyright laws the original letters cannot be displayed. At the moment the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works is to the end of the year 2039, regardless how old the work is. The Free Our History campaign wants the term of copyright protection in unpublished texts to be reduced to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.” (via CILIP)

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Libraries see surge in erotic book borrowing

“The borrowing of erotic fiction from UK public libraries has leapt by 500% over the past 12 months, in what is being called the “Fifty Shades” effect. Last year’s most popular erotic fiction title, Indigo Bloom’s Destined to Feel, was borrowed almost 11,700 times. The surge is attributed to EL James’ bestselling novel, which took third place in the most borrowed titles list.” (via BBC News)

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Public libraries get online access to research journals

“Hundreds of thousands of research journal articles are to be made available on computers in public libraries. The Access to Research initiative will give the public access to articles on health, biological research, engineering and social sciences for the first time More than 8,000 journals from around the world are included. It is hoped this will encourage more people to use public libraries. The Publishing Licensing Society (PLS) is behind the scheme.” (via BBC)

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Libraries: are they better with wine? Or much, much worse?

“There is a lot of chatter about new forms and uses for libraries in and out of Library Land these days. The strange part about it is that it’s often framed in abstract, lofty terms: “reinvisioning,” “reimagining” and other appalling “re-” formations. But behind it is the terrifying, entirely non-abstract Lack Of Money, as government budgets for libraries have gotten tighter and tighter.  England has had it especially bad, and there’s no improvement in sight…” (via MobyLives)

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What libraries do for us – and me

“‘A city without a library is like a graveyard.” Those were the words that Malala Yousafzai, the inspirational Pakistani women’s rights activist, used to open Birmingham’s new £189m library this month. A poignant statement, considering the continuing tide of public library closures announced recently. To paraphrase a famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, what do libraries do for us? Well, they introduce many into the world of literacy and learning and help to make it a lifelong habit; they equalise; they teach empathy and help us to learn about each other; they preserve our cultural heritage; they protect our right to know and to learn; they build communities; they strengthen and advance us as a nation; they empower us as individuals.” (via The Guardian)

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BT digital archives to celebrate UK’s telecoms heritage

“A £1 million project to digitise BT’s historical collection of photos and documents has brought 165 years of UK telecoms heritage to the public’s fingertips today, with the launch of an interactive online archive. BT has teamed up with Coventry University and The National Archives to create a searchable digital resource of almost half a million photographs, reports and items of correspondence preserved by BT since 1846. The project has been funded by Jisc, which provides digital services for UK education and research.” (via Jisc)

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Academics will need both the physical and virtual library for years to come

“Ask someone to describe an academic in the throes of research and there’s a good chance that description will include a physical library (or at least a collection of office shelves not dissimilar to a library) with books and journals open on the desk, and a notebook – whether hard copy or digital. The reality may be somewhat different. Jisc and RLUK’s recent survey of around 3,500 UK academics highlighted that while academics primarily look to the library to provide the journals and books necessary to their teaching and research, they spend much less time in the physical library than the virtual one.” (via Guardian Professional)

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Bishop Grosseteste University is first UK institution to go live with OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services

“Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln is the first institution in the UK to go live with OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services (WMS) having successfully implemented the services on Monday. Bishop Grosseteste University is now among the more than 100 libraries worldwide using OCLC’s cloud-based library management services that easily integrate with institutional systems to help libraries become more efficient with print and electronic workflows.” (via OCLC)

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Sweet & Maxwell Launches First Online-Only Encyclopedia of U.K. Law

“Sweet & Maxwell, a Thomson Reuters business and a leading provider of legal solutions, today announced the launch of the first online-only encyclopedia that aims to cover the entire law of the United Kingdom. Westlaw UK Insight is specifically designed to offer timely guidance on the law and to promote greater collaboration through its integration with social media platforms. Westlaw UK Insight is a dynamic, web-based encyclopedia that features interpretation and analysis of the law written by experts. Designed to be easy and simple to use, the encyclopedia features an intuitive, topic-based index that allows users to efficiently navigate from broad overviews of a topic down to more detailed statements and research materials, enabling them to get up to speed on a point of law quickly, and then move on to more high-value work.”

via MarketWatch

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