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Meanwhile in Sheffield, the bizarre scheme to sell the central library to the Chinese as a luxury hotel in a £1 billion development has hit the buffers of reality: there may a £20m scheme for the library instead, although there is support for simply refurbishing the existing building.Good to see a new library – delightfully named “Cat and Mouse” opening in Islington and also that Gateshead, faced with charging the unemployed for seeking work online, ending computer charges. Changes “No wonder the government is reluctant to release long overdue data collected by its Libraries Taskforce (see last Eye).Many surviving libraries have suffered severe cuts to opening hours and their ability to buy new stock. “though Dewey championed women in library science, he also seemed to think that harassment came along with the job—and his obsession with female students’ sexuality was so overt that rumors circulated he asked them to submit their bust measurements along with their applications.” Editorial Some more coverage on the dire recent CIPFA figures, which are analysed further (for yet more depression) and shown to be incomplete, meaning the real picture is (joy! The potential economic and political impacts oif this are explored (admittedly, partly by me) of this are explored in a article. Changes Editorial Some more generally good news for libraries this post, with a couple of new co-located buildings being planned and various library improvements being reported.That would be awful enough if that was a one-off but it isn’t: there’s been real cuts to expenditure every single year since 2009/10 and there’s inflation in that period too (of 17%) to account for. And this is for the library profession, which should be fairly good on information. All of the organisations (well, apart from, presumably CIPFA but I don’t know) involved (SCL, Taskforce, CILIP etc) are keen on improving on the current mess. Then we’ll be able to tell for free and in real-time how fast budgets are declining. But at least it’s not downright embarrassing, unlike the current situation.
The long-running legal fight in Darlington will continue, with the judge saying there’s just enough evidence to move the review on to the next level.
The public support for libraries was shown on Twitter by a double whammy from Dawn Finch – first the “tweet heard around the world” (see below) and then the #Thank ALibrary Worker hashtag. There’s also a couple of volunteer libraries taking advantage of the season to ask for more volunteers, including one which is worried about the cost of its building becoming too much for it.
Abroad, the decision by the USA to end net neutrality will start pressuring libraries (and a lot of other people) while a Canadian library takes an interestingly thoughtful stance on room hires to extremist groups.
Changes Editorial Congratulations to those voted in as Trustees for CILIP, especially public libraries blogger Leon Bolton whose blogging career I have watched with great interest.
There’s a few ongoing fights in various library services, including an interesting suggestion from Warrington’s auditors about the need to consider other bidders for library services.