November News Round-up

November News Round-up

Posted by Anton Schultz  |  21st Nov 2012
A lot has been happening in the world of community libraries in recent weeks so, here's a round up of: • National News • New Community Managed Libraries • News from the Network • Resources and Opportunities.

National News

Community Libraries - Report due in January
Locality played host to its second annual convention earlier this month, attracting 600 delegates from across the globe. Nicky Morgan, Arts Council England, introduced some of the initial findings from research due to be published in January. In particular, she revealed that there are >170 community libraries already in operation or due to open their doors over the coming months, representing around 5% of all public libraries in England and many library authorities have plans for further such libraries over the next few years. See her presentation below


Right to Bid Goes Live
The community right to bid came into force on the 21st September. The legislation affords communities the opportunity to nominate libraries as “assets of community value”. This allows communities up to 6 months to prepare a bid to purchase these buildings in the event that they are offered for sale. For further information and advice about using the Right to Bid, see Locality has received 2000 enquiries since April 1st

Select Committee Publishes Report into Library Closures Report.
Published earlier this month, the report concludes the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s enquiry into library closures. The report highlights concerns that closures mean some authorities are in danger of failing to comply with their statutory duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library services. Whilst the report states that the wholesale transfer of library branches to volunteer groups is unlikely to meet the statutory criterion of providing a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ library service, the committee said volunteer-run libraries can be "valuable additions to the service”

E-Lending Review is Underway

The panel will consider issues such as the benefits of e-lending, current levels and expected future demand, and possible consequences for libraries, publishers and the public.

New Community Library Launches

A host of libraries have been opened by communities in recent weeks, including:

Friern Barnet Library was re-opened by direct action - Barnet Council has started legal proceedings to evict the occupants and wishes to pursue its plan to sell the building and surrounding land in the near future.

Preston Community Library, Brent - an office reception has been turned into a reading room with books from Preston Library in Wembley. It's located around the corner from the building shut down by Brent Council when it decided last year to close 6 libraries in the Borough.


The Friends of Barham Library are busy trying to raise £25,000 to reoccupy their former home in Wembley and have urged local businesses and residents to help them on their way. Brent Council is exploring the potential to lease the building to new tenants.

Wing, Buckinghamshire - the latest launched in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council - the library is run by volunteers led by an eight member management group.

Chalk Farm Library was handed over to Primrose Hill Community Association and Friends of Chalk Farm and opened by Alan Bennett in October.

Gloucestershire Communities have taken over libraries in Lechlade, Berkeley, Bream, Brockworth, Mitcheldean and Painswick. Minchinhampton and Newnham libraries are due to be taken over in January. Each library will receive an annual grant of £10,000 from Gloucestershire County Council towards running costs, and a council officer will provide support for three hours each week.

• Drighlington Community Library, Leeds - re-opened under the control of the Friends of Drighlington Community Library on November 12th. Members of the group are planning a busy programme of fundraising to help with running costs.

• In Dorset, Burton Bradstock Library has been handed over to the local community. Burton Bradstock Parish Council and the Friends of Burton Bradstock Library have taken the lease for the building. Wool Village Library is about to transfer to the Friends of Wool Library group. The move has also seen the local parish council move in to share the library space, supporting the business plan put forward by the Friends group.

Catshill Library, Worcestershire - plans will see the current facility closed and moved to a volunteer-led service at the Meadow Lane-based school.




News from the Network

Kensal Rise Library to be Sold to Developers
Kensal Rise Library will be sold for flats after its owner, All Souls College Oxford, decided to reject the bid of campaigners who wanted to save the building in its entirety for the community. The college has nonetheless offered a compromise plan which would allow the Friends of Kensal Rise Library to operate a library service from an area of the ground floor of the building. View their campaign video in our previous blog.

Wooler library and TIC Wins Nationwide Community Award
Congratulations to Locality members Glendale Gateway Trust who beat competition from across the UK to become overall winner of the 2012 Action for Market Towns (AMT) Awards. The award recognises their success in saving their LIBRARY and tourist information centre from closure by taking on the services, increasing opening hours by 300 per cent whilst saving its local authority 30 per cent in costs. The new library has seen a 20 per cent increase in book lending, 95 per cent increase in visitor numbers and 150 per cent increase in membership – and its opening hours have increased by 300 per cent. And the relocated tourist centre has seen a 70 per cent increase in gross income.

Fresh Horizons Community Cinema Established
A community in Kirklees has launched a creative partnership and a community cinema based in the local library using a grant from the Arts Council’s Library Development Initiative which aims to place libraries at the heart of arts and culture in rural and urban settings.

Funding Opportunuties

NESTA launches Digital Makers Fund
Nesta and Nominet Trust, in partnership with Mozilla, are pleased to announce an open call for ideas to significantly increase the number of young people who participate in digital making activities. They are looking to support initiatives that invite mass participation and use young people's interests and passions to drive demand from new audiences to become creators, not just consumers of digital technologies - in their thousands.

The first call is backed by a fund of £225,000 and they expect to make a small number of grants between £20,000 and £50,000 alongside a package of tailored non-financial support. Deadline is 17th Jan 2013. We welcome enquiries from people about the scope for a joint bid across the network. Please contact us if you are interested.

Grants for the Arts Libraries Fund
The Grants for the arts Libraries fund will invest £6 million of the Arts Council's Grants for the arts National Lottery money in projects delivered by public libraries or library authorities working in partnership with cultural organisations across all art forms.
Public libraries can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 covering activities lasting up to three years. The fund opened to applications on 27 September 2012 and will run until March 2015

Community Owned Civic Buildings
Last week Locality played host to this event focussin on how communities can successfully take on the management of Civic Buildlings. See the casetudies and presentations.