Hereford Library Users' Group


Libraries are crucial to our digital future…

Filed under: New Technology,Readers Forum,UK Libraries — hlug @ 11:16 am

So says Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library in the Guardian on March 30th.  She knows that libraries will adapt and survive because they have a crucial role to play in both fostering reading and commitment to learning, and in delivering vital digital skills and digital inclusion in an increasingly digital Britain. Meanwhile, the Hereford Library Users Group continue to press for an improved library service in Herefordshire, better broadband speeds and increasing interaction with other Council services. The recent DCMS report should go some way to supporting HLUG.

To read the full article go to:



The long-awaited DCMS report!

Filed under: Funding,Links,UK Libraries — hlug @ 8:31 pm

On March 22nd, Culture Minister Margaret Hodge published her long-awaited review of England’s public library service. A press release concerning this can be found at: There is a link from the press release to the actual report which is 64 pages long.

If you like to read and comment on this report – just click on the link above and read on!

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) has also commented in a press release which can be found at:


CILIP launches its Library & Information Manifesto

Filed under: Blogroll,UK Libraries — hlug @ 1:49 pm

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) launched its 2010 Manifesto on March 18th last. This lists six priorities for the next Government which are:

  • Make School Libraries statutory
  • Promote and protect the rights of users within copyright law
  • Build a successful knowledge economy
  • Preserve the UK’s digital cultural heritage
  • Fund and enable the effective co-ordination of health information
  • Develop a set of library entitlements for public library users.

CILIP want the next Government to commit to making information fundamental to the success of our society. The Manifesto is being sent to all parliamentary candidates for the 2010 asking them to support these six priorities. HLUG could also lobby our own prospective local candidates and we can contact local newspapers. For more information go to the CILIP website on


Birmingham’s proposed new library – will it show the way?

Filed under: Links,New Technology,Town Planning,UK Libraries — hlug @ 6:29 pm

The existing city library in Birmingham looks rather like an inverted modern ziggurat – built in 1973-74. Prince Charles famously referred to it as a place where books might be incinerated rather than borrowed. Certainly, it is not a pretty building, and as chunks of concrete regularly fall off it, and leaks develope with monotonous regularity, it will be demolished over the next five years and replaced with a more iconic building. This new building will be much more like the new Newcastle city library – with lots of glass and metal filigree covering some 33,500 square metres. It should house a few million books (the existing  Birmingham library houses some 2.5 million books at the last count) and contain much new technology. It is hoped that the number of visitors will double from the present 5000 per day to nearer 10,000. Certainly this happened when both Newcastle and Norwich were opened and their number of visitors shows no sign of declining. Birmingham’s head of Libraries, Brian Gamble sees the new building hosting business workshops, political meetings and poetry readings as well as lending books. He wants to engage people who are alienated by the current library provision – whilst making those who do use it feel better provided for.

All this is being encouraged by the leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby. He obviously doesn’t think that the £193 million building is overkill for a city of the size of Birmingham. Indeed it is a key component in the city’s bid to become the UK capital of culture in 2013. Birmingham already has other iconic buildings such as Selfridges department store and the Symphony Hall, as well as wonderfully restored ones such as Waterstones Bookshop situated near to New Street Station (the ceiling in here is a marvel) so the library will carry on the tradition of restoration and improvement of the city. I wonder if we might borrow some of Councillor Whitby’s vision for our small city of Hereford? You can read more and see a picture of the proposed new library if you click on the following link:


Update on Newcastle City Library – an example for Hereford?

Filed under: Links,Town Planning,UK Libraries — hlug @ 5:34 pm

Further to our blog of April 16th 2009, we can now report that Newcastle’s new city library is up and running. Apparently, more than 4000 visitors visited the building within four hours of it opening. Within the first week, numbers reached 31,500. The new library is fully self-service and has a 24 hour library vending machine. There is wi-fi throughout the building and music can be accessed from nine download stations. Much of the Newcastle Collection is housed in the building, and the climate controlled rooms contain works of local artists such as Thomas Bewick. There is a cafe and delicatessen on the second floor.

It is interesting that the design brief for the library set out the following principles:

  • The new building should be very visible to the public. There is a high profile street presence with two clearly visible entrances.
  • Transparency. The old building did not make its function clear – the building was often mistaken for an office block or a multi-storey car park! Passers by can see into the new building and thus be attracted to the services and facilities.
  • The new library is 100% self service.
  • The design team were asked to produce a building that would delight and inspire the local community. The resulting library has high quality design, furniture and finishes.
  • In October 2009, at the Public Libraries Conference in Bristol, the library won three of the five awards in the Public Library Building category.

For lots more information visit the website on

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