Tag Archives: United Kingdom

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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Threatened library gets its patrons to clear the shelves

Boing Boing – “The library in Stony Stratford near Milton Keynes, England, urged its patrons to check out every book on the shelves as a way of proving to the local council that its collection and facilities provide a vital service to the community.”

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Price Increases Put U.K. Libraries in a Bind

WSJ.com – “Deborah Shorley, the head librarian at the U.K.’s Imperial College London, is worried about balancing her books. She says her budget has been capped, just as publishers stand to increase the price of her library’s journal subscriptions 3% to 6%. "It’s a complete mismatch," said Ms. Shorley, who says her libraries spend over £4 million ($6.31 million) a year on research resources, most of them related to the sciences. The big publishers haven’t comprehended the new reality among U.K. libraries: "They don’t seem to understand that we just don’t have the money," she said.”

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Library cuts and job losses condemned by leading authors

The Guardian – “Councils are expected to look to volunteers in attempt to balance budgets hit by the government’s spending review”

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Hunt proposes closure of the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council

Guardian – “The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) would be abolished under new proposals put forward today by the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to cut the number of public bodies the government funds. A statement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) proposed that the MLA – which works to promote best practice in the UK’s museums, libraries and archives – would be wound up as the department focused its efforts instead “on front-line, essential services and ensur[ing] greater value for money” in the area. “Government support for museums, libraries and archives will continue,” it added.”

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UK Political Database

Telegraph – “Telegraph.co.uk’s UK Political Database helps you find all the information on your constituency and its candidates in the forthcoming 2010 General Election and beyond.”

Direct to the database. More here and here

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Opposition mounts to UK’s Digital Economy Bill

BBC – “The government has published a new draft of a controversial clause in the Digital Economy bill, in an effort to ease its progress through parliament. The Liberal Democrats said they will oppose any plans to rush the Digital Economy bill into law.”

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