Category Archives: United Kingdom

Call for papers: ISKO-UK Biennial Conference (London, 13/14 July 2015)  

ISKO (International Society for Knowledge Organization) was founded in 1989. Today, it “counts about 600 members all over the world, from fields such as information science, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, as well as special domains such as medical informatics”.

 It has 12 chapters for different countries or regions around the world. ISKO-UK will be celebrating their biennial conference next 13th – 14th July 2015 in London. 

Call for papers is open, deadline for submissions has been extended from 29 November to 7 December). You can see all the details at  

CILIP Blogger Challenge

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) has launched a competition open to everybody (no need to be CILIP member or even to live in the UK) who has any professional relation with libraries (library staff, information science students, researchers, etc.). They have proposed a series of topics about which you’ll have to write a text and send it before 27 November.

 Find all the information in this page

Awareness in public libraries: 2 examples from the UK

The promotion of the social value of public libraries is vital for their survival as core institutions in our communities. Awareness must be targeted to users (and potential users) but also to decision makers.

Awareness campaigns not always come from libraries, sometimes they are independent institutions working with volunteers and organized nationwide: 

Since 1984, The Library Campaign has been working for the improvement of public libraries services in the UK. Amongst other things, they “send evidence to government consultations on behalf of library users” and “regularly issue press releases and comments to the national and specialist media”.

In their web page you’ll find a wide range of resources for supporting libraries, the newsletters they publish quarterly (and send to their members), the texts they send to the media, open letters, etc.

Another initiative in the UK is Voices for the Library, which “aims to provide the facts about the public library service in the UK, the role of professional librarians and provide a space for library users to share their stories about the difference public libraries have made to their lives”.

They have designed different campaigns like What can you do? (to get involved in saving libraries) or 10 things you need to know about library closures/campaigns.

Community Managed Libraries

Cutbacks in public spending in recent years have brought back the debate of the Community Managed Libraries, delivered by volunteers rather than paid staff. Though “widely considered in the literature to be bad practice”, arguments have been made on both sides.

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural Services at Pembrokeshire County Council, has carried out a study between 2012 and 2014 exploring “the effectiveness of community managed libraries in England”.

 You can find a Summary Report of this study here:

Are Community Managed Libraries Effective?

Support the campaign “Let Libraries Lend Books”

As we posted last month, Copyright laws are being studied in Europe for their updating to the new technological reality. The EU launched a Public consultation on EU Copyright rules that has resulted in reactions  from different library organizations (like the Right to E-Read campaign organised by EBLIDA).

Now, CILIP has started a campaign for libraries in the UK to be able to “lend ebooks free of charge to the public, as they do printed books”.

You can read all the information and support the campaign through this web page.

Manchester Central Library Reborn

Las September 2013 we published a post about Birmingham’s public library inauguration campaign after its spectacular renovation. Last March 21th, another UK Library has reopened its gates after 4 years of refurbish and £50m (according to The Guardian).

 At their web page you’ll find more details of the transformation.

World Book Day 2014

Last 6th March, and that’s the 17th year, saw the celebration of the World Book Day. It is a worldwide celebration (designated by UNESCO) of books and reading marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

UK and Ireland had launched a web page full of information and resources (they even have games!) about this day, aiming to “encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own”.

UK National Libraries Day 2014

Next Saturday 8th February UK will be celebrating their National Library Day with activities in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the country. We announced it in a previous post in which we wanted to compile the dates of this celebration throughout Europe. If you know about a Library Day not already included in that post, feel free to tell us so we can add it to the list.

Reading challenge

The Reading Agency from UK  has planned an activity for these holidays: they call it Christmas Mini-Challenge, and it’s an adaptation of the Summer Reading Challenge, that, as they put it, “helps gets three quarters of a million children into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence”.

 The challenge is simple: read three books during the Christmas holidays and collect your prize.

 Check all the details here

Liverpool Central Library, awarded

 Liverpool, the city that opened the first public lending library in Europe (at the Lyceum, a gentlemen’s club) saw its Central Library reopened last 17th May after the works to restore this historic building (it was built in 1860) were finished.

It has taken three years and £50 million but the results are already showing: in a recent interview, Central Library manager David Stoker said since the building reopened in May 15,000 new borrowers had signed up. The council said it expected more than one million visitors to come through the library’s doors in the first 12 months, more than double the previous average figure.

 Now, it has been awarded by the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) with the National Building Excellence Award. The judges highlighted the challenges the city faced in marrying the new build extension to the existing Grade II listed landmark.