Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Charge Amazon, Starbucks and Google unpaid tax to fund libraries, says Winterson

“A fiery Jeanette Winterson has called for the hundreds of millions of pounds of profit which Amazon, Starbucks and Google were last week accused of diverting from the UK to be used to save Britain’s beleaguered public libraries. In an impassioned speech at the British Library this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit said: “Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?”

via The Guardian

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UK government looks at ways to put ebooks in libraries

“Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has asked publisher William Sieghart to lead a review of e-lending with a panel of experts. While some libraries in the UK already lend books electronically, many do not. There is little agreement about the best way to make ebooks available and also how to remunerate authors and publishers.”

via BBC News

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Ed Vaizey says libraries ‘thriving’ and rejects prediction of 600 closures

“Crisis, what crisis? Despite a report earlier this week predicting that public libraries could disappear by the end of the decade, the culture minister, Ed Vaizey, hailed the “thriving library service that we have in England” as he announced a series of initiatives at Thursday’s Future of Library Services conference. Unveiling plans to boost cultural activities in libraries, automatically enrol primary school pupils in their local libraries and an ambition to put Wi-Fi in libraries across England by 2015, Vaizey claimed that the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’ prediction of 600 library closures “regularly quoted in the media… is very wide of the mark”

via Guardian

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Writers won’t lose out if libraries lend ebooks

The Observer – “Should public libraries lend ebooks? The Society of Authors has called on culture minister Ed Vaizey to address concerns that library e-lending is “undervaluing retail pricing” and encouraging piracy. The writers’ union says it remains “strongly of the view that remote lending of ebooks is not an essential or primary role of an efficient library service”. Many publishers share this coolness towards e-lending, with only Random House and Bloomsbury still signed up to OverDrive, the library ebook platform. Hachette’s CEO, Tim Hely Hutchinson, spoke recently of his worries that library lending could lead to “ebook giveaways for all”. The theory goes that if people can borrow ebooks for nothing, they will have no reason to buy them. The same argument was used against libraries until it turned out that library users spent more on books than anyone else.”

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The UK’s highest court launches a Twitter account to broadcast its latest rulings

The Next Web – “The highest court in the UK has launched a Twitter account and will begin tweeting news about its latest judgements imminently. The @UKSupremeCourt account has yet to tweet, but the court’s Twitter ‘broadcast service’ will kick-off by tweeting live coverage of the new justice Lord Reed being sworn in at the Supreme Court later today. It will tweet updates during the brief ceremony at the building in Parliament Square, London, to explain proceedings to those watching via a live Web stream. The ceremony start at 11.30am.”

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Pint of bitter and a juicy murder story, please, librarian

Independent – “As libraries close, their books may be moved into pubs, shops, and even doctors’ surgeries.”

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The secret life of libraries

Guardian – “They have always had a dusty image – and never more so than now – but libraries are at the heart of our communities. With the axe about to fall, Bella Bathurst reveals just what we’re about to lose.”

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Zadie Smith joins campaign to save her local library

Guardian – “Author makes clear her belief in community institutions and speaks out in bid to save branch at Kensal Rise.”

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Ssshhh! The noisy US revolution coming to British libraries

The Independent – “Public libraries could be set for a radical overhaul that could see books offered alongside coffee, murder mystery nights, poetry evenings and open mic sessions, should the plans of a private US company be given the green light. Library Systems & Services, a Maryland-based firm, owns 13 public libraries in the US. Its aim in Britain is to manage 15 per cent of public libraries within the next five years.

LSSI is in consultation with local authorities across the UK, proposing to transform libraries into “multifunctional spaces”. It hopes to have won contracts in at least four local authorities by the end of the year.”

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Ebooks and their ilk are no replacement for libraries

Guardian – “These community spaces provide so much more than just free access to books”

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