To view this years newsletters please select the links below.
Save the Date for National Libraries Day 23rd December 2011
New Year, New You 16th December 2011
Google Announcement 13th December 2011
Positive Progress Through 2012 2nd December 2011
Macmillan Education join Public Library Online 25th November 2011
Happiness in High Court 18th November 2011
Generations of Stories 11th November 2011
Libraries Take the Initiative 4th November 2011
Welcome to Allen & Unwin 28th October 2011
Richard Van Emden at RBKC Library 21st October 2011
Brent library campaign 14th October 2011
Welcome to Denmark and Holland 13th October 2011
A Poetic Olympics 7th October 2011
Inspiration from Hillingdon 30th September 2011
Library event success 21st September 2011
Arts in education open evening 19th September 2011
Book swaps and tweetathons 16th September 2011
Vital statistics 9th September 2011
A million reasons to read a book 9th September 2011
Library legacy of literacy 26th August 2011
National book week and a record breaking attempt 19th August 2011
Festival Season 12th August 2011
Many happy ‘returns’ 5th August 2011
Countdown to the Man Booker Prize 29th July 2011
A summery challenge 15th July 2011
Local Waterstones sponsors Falkirk Community Trust 12th July 2011
Council partners with Bloomsbury to promote library use 1st July 2011
Love Libraries in 60 seconds 24th June 2011
Bowled Over 17th June 2011
Library Support Grows 10th June 2011
Libraries Will Survive 3rd June 2011
National Libraries Day Launched 27th May 2011
Library Buddies 20th May 2011
Crime Week 13th May 2011
Library News 6th May 2011
Library News from London Book Fair 15th April 2011
World Book Night Saturday 5th March 4th March 2011
Terry Deary top ten most borrowed author 18th February 2011
Love our libraries 14th February 2011
23rd December 2011
The fantastic National Libraries Day website has now been launched, jam-packed with information, features and resources as well as discussion forums and an online community.
National Libraries Day is a nation-wide celebration of libraries, librarians and library staff in all sectors.
During the week before National Libraries Day, which in 2012 is set at 4th February, events and activities will take place in a variety of libraries including in schools, colleges and universities in order to showcase the wealth of resources available.
The focus will be on three key aspects of the event:
1. Libraries Open Late
2. Membership Campaign
3. Events leading up to the day
Join in by organising a celebratory event, contributing to the forums, tweeting with the #NLD12 hashtag and visiting your local library on the 4 February or the week leading up to it.
Spread the word – the logos are available to download from flickr, with a creative commons license, along with retro libraries posters
National Libraries Day is on twitter @NatLibrariesDay
And there’s an event page on Facebook
“We see National Libraries as a positive day of celebration to promote the whole culture of reading for pleasure, information and engagement whether you read your traditional books or on your laptop or e-reader. It is time to make reading a universal culture. We want people to go to their local school or public library and use their School Library Service. Use it. Love it. Join it.” – Alan Gibbons, Campaign for the Book
16th December 2011
This week we have two fantastic new shelves that will put a spring into the step of your New Year. They stoke up the unavoidable adage of ‘New Year, New You’ which makes us all feel the need to shed our 2011 skin in favour of a healthier, sportier 2012 resolution.
The inspiring Know the Game shelf features a fantastic collection of much loved ‘how to’ sporting guides – the classic, comprehensive introductions to all of our most popular sports. Everything you need to know, from the history, rules, kit and key personalities, endorsed by the relevant governing body and all in a handy 64 page format – a must read for anyone starting out in a new sport, from the young to the young at heart.
Then comes the Ultimate Cycling Collection shelf. As more and more of us get on our bikes – whether to get from A to B, for recreation or for the fitness benefits, the Ultimate Cycling Collection contains all you need to get the most from your cycling. From how to start out with The Cyclist’s Training Manual up to detailed training plans for more serious cyclists with The Advanced Cyclist’s Training Manual, Elite Performance Cycling and Long Distance Cyclist’s Handbook, and not forgetting how to keep your bike in tip top condition, with the Mountain Bike Maintenance Manual packed with clear step by step photos. If you love spinning classes or working out on your exercise bike at home then turn to The Complete Guide to Studio Cycling, while Freestyle BMX takes you through all awesome moves you need to impress your mates.
Start the year as you mean to go on (but remember that the New Year does not start until January so that extra mince pie really is forgiven).
And a reminder of our new partnership with Google which offers two great shelves to All UK libraries, and we invite you to take advantage of this free offer, with no obligation, to join our community of publishers and libraries all working towards to keep libraries alive, relevant, and engaging. Please contact us to find out more, or to set up your free trial today.
13th December 2011
Public Library Online partners with Google to offer ‘virtual bookshelves’ to the nation’s public libraries
As of January 2012, public libraries across the UK will be able to offer their members digital editions of books on ‘virtual bookshelves’ accessible on library terminals and online. The two shelves on offer are The Arden Shakespeare, with 10 plays that are on the GCSE National Curriculum and Our Environment, with 10 books including The Hot Topic by Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King. The project is sponsored by Google and run by Public Library Online.
Public Library Online is a subscription service for libraries, allowing them to give their users online access to books. It offers themed digital bookshelves of children’s, teen, adult fiction and non-fiction bestsellers from a range of publishers including Allen & Unwin, Alma Books, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Faber, Macmillan Education, Mercier Press, Oneworld Classics, Quercus and Verve. The service is built on the goal shared by publishers and libraries to support reading and literacy through public libraries.
Stephanie Duncan, Director of Public Library Online said:
“Public Library Online’s aims have always been to balance publishers’ wishes to support libraries and literacy, libraries’ needs to remain relevant to their communities and authors’ needs to be remunerated appropriately. We are delighted that Google has enabled every UK public library to offer these digital bookshelves to complement their existing resources.“
Peter Barron, Google’s Director of External Relations said:
“Google is committed to making the world’s information as accessible as possible, a goal we share with public libraries.
“Digitization has the capacity to make works more accessible, and to make it easier for libraries to expand or maintain their collections. We are very pleased to be working with the Public Library Online on this project.“
Libraries will be able to join the programme throughout January 2012, with the shelves being made available through February 2013. Libraries that already have these shelves through the Public Library Online service will be able to pick from a range of alternate digital shelves. UK public libraries should email firstname.lastname@example.org to begin their set up process as soon as possible.
2nd December 2011
Fantastic news for Public Library Online author Terry Deary, who’s Put Out the Light, a story of the Sheffield Blitz, has just won the Special Category prize at the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards for the Teachers’ Favourite Book, voted for by Sheffield teachers. This was Terry’s 200th book, so a very satisfying result all round.
Terry Deary’s historical tales series make up our hugely popular Children’s History shelf. These stories, for 7-9 year olds are set at key moments in history, bringing them to life with humorous writing and illustrations.
It’s great to watch a new wave of progress as so many publishers pledge real commitments to supporting libraries through 2012.
Penguin General m.d. Joanna Prior, speaking at an event at Waterstone’s Piccadilly on Tuesday (29th November), held by The Reading Agency with the Society of Chief Librarians, said publishers were committed to making their partnership with libraries “meaningful” in the year ahead.
“We will stitch it into every industry reading promotion we do, and push library membership and how important libraries are to a healthy cultural life,” she promised. “Every week, every month, there will be packed literary library events. And authors will be present at the openings of some of the splendid new libraries opening up.”
Meanwhile Waterstone’s m.d. James Daunt has promised to test out “practical ideas and new ways of working with libraries, to the benefit of all.”
And not forgetting the ongoing Bloomsbury Season with Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea libraries. This programme of events includes three Man Booker shortlisted authors – Stephen Kelman, Romesh Gunesekera and Justin Cartwright – a working example of how libraries and publishers can work together to create mutually rewarding relationships that bring library users closer to the literary world, to inspire, encourage, and support reading communities.
25th November 2011
We are delighted to welcome Macmillan Education to the Public Library Online with their fantastic Macmillan Education Graded Readers shelf which includes a range of abridged classics, contemporary fiction and biographies.
Macmillan Publishers Ltd is one of the largest and best known international publishing groups in the world with a strong reputation for high-quality academic and scholarly, educational, fiction and non-fiction publishing in many forms. The Macmillan Education arm publishes English Language teaching (ELT), school curriculum, Spanish curriculum, digital and online materials to suit the need of classrooms around the world.
Macmillan prides itself on the ability to focus on organic development, investment for the long term and the people and resources to innovate, particularly in the digital space.
The Macmillan Reader series, from which their shelf titles are chosen, are carefully graded from Starter to Upper Intermediate (A1-B2) to help English language students choose the right reading material for their ability. Their list of over 100 titles include both contemporary and classic authors.
Macmillan Education have provided two classic examples from each level to be featured on the Public Library Online, from the biography of Princess Diana, to Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
This is a real asset to our ever-growing list of online access titles, free to members of subscribing libraries, 24/7.
The participation of prestigious publishing houses is a real testament to forward-thinking, collaborative efforts to keep libraries alive.
For more on joining us, either as a publisher or a library, please contact us.
18th November 2011
Somerset and Gloucestershire campaigners will ‘celebrate, and be celebrated‘ following the high court ruling that plans by their county councils to cut funding to large numbers of their libraries were unlawful.
Judge Martin McKenna ruled that closures would be detrimental to disadvantaged groups, which is contrary to the conditions laid down in equalities legislation. He was quick to rule out the closure decisions and told the councils to pay campaigners’ legal costs, but perhaps his most encouraging words were that he was sending a message to other local authorities intent on restructuring their library services.
Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson hailed the ruling “a triumph for the all those committed campaigners, for libraries, and for common sense.” Julia is a passionate library campaigner highlighting the necessity of these great institutions to our nation’s children saying “Where else nowadays can they find a range of physical books which they can handle and choose from and borrow free of charge, thus forming their tastes in reading?”
Gloucestershire are Public Library Online subscribers, and seeing their wide selection of shelves for children and young adults including Adventure, Comedy and Teen Fiction goes to show that the more resources available, in a range of different media, keeps libraries relevant to their communities and encourages the next generation to engage with reading in a way that makes sense to their lifestyle.
11th November 2011
On a perfect day to celebrate generations of stories, old and new, Public Library Online are thrilled to announce a brand new shelf, which comes with a special story of its own…
More than 40 years since the Wombles were created by Elisabeth Beresford, MBE, Bloomsbury have published all six original titles with fresh new illustrations by Nick Price. Emma Matthewson, Editorial Director for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, had always been a fan of the books and when she discovered they were out of print she knew it was an opportunity too good to miss:
“I was desperate to see them in print again – but I had no idea how to contact Elisabeth, apart from the fact that she lived in the Channel Islands, on Alderney. So I wrote Elisabeth Beresford a letter, addressed simply to her as ‘The Creator of the Wombles, Alderney, The Channel Islands…’ which, to my delight arrived.”
Elisabeth Beresford first came up with the idea for the Wombles characters when walking on Wimbledon Common with her two children. She hoped that the Wombles stories would encourage children to fight pollution and to think up ways of ‘making good use of bad rubbish’.
Other stories we have all grown up with are those of War and the bravery of soldiers, many lost but always remembered and honoured on this day each year. The Soldiers and Spies shelf is a collection of thoughtful works including Wartime Courage, where ex-prime minister Gordon Brown marks the unforgettable heroism of British men and women who fought to overcome tyranny, and The Soldier’s War, a personal history of The Great War told using never-seen-before interviews, letters and photographs, by Richard Van Emden.
Stories keep memories alive, help us to learn about generations past, and can inspire our own futures, so share a story with somebody today.
4th November 2011
This month, be sure not to miss some of the country’s leading historians and authors taking part in the London History Festival, organised by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Events are taking place at Kensington Central Library, W8 and also Waterstone’s on Kensington High Street. The festival takes place from 14 to 24 November 2011 but was kicked off with a special preview from our very own Richard Van Emden, from the Soldiers and Spies shelf as part of the Bloomsbury Season – an action point in an ever-developing partnership designed to promote reading and to encourage communities to visit and support their local libraries.
Elsewhere it is encouraging to see proactive efforts emerging independently. A community library has opened in Miserden, Gloucestershire, in response to the withdrawal of the local mobile service. Novelist Lindsey Davis helped to launch the library, which has grants from the Parish Council and the Active Communities Fund. More than 70 adults and young residents have already signed up.
It is vital for libraries to have a presence in hard-to-reach areas, and to cater for those less mobile, so it is fantastic that Gloucestershire have risen to the challenge in a number of ways. We are thrilled to have them as part of the Public Library Online family so that their library members have 24/7 concurrent access to a fantastic range of shelves for all ages and interests including; Parenting SOS, Short Stories and Crime for adults, and for younger adults and children; Teen Fiction, Adventure and
We recognise all efforts and partnerships working to spread literacy in diverse forms so that there is something for everyone, everywhere, at any time.
28th October 2011
A huge thank you to Richard Van Emden who gave an inspiring talk last night at Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea library as part of the Bloomsbury Season. Richard shared a personal collection of interviews conducted with the children of World War I soldiers from his new novel The Quick and the Dead – a sensitive and insightful homage to a lost generation.
This week we are delighted to welcome Allen & Unwin, Australia’s leading independent publisher voted “Publisher of the Year” ten times including the inaugural award in 1992 and eight times since 2000.
Allen & Unwin have created five fantastic shelves for the Public Library Online:
Aboriginal History shelf
From histories to moving memoirs, these titles explore the other Australian history – that of its Aboriginal people, their unique culture and the ongoing tensions between black and white Australians.
The Australian Cricket shelf
Australia has produced some of the most successful and well known cricketers in the world. The biographies and memoirs on the Australian Cricket shelf include greats such as Jeff Thomson-the fastest fast-bowler of all time, Justin Langer and Steve Waugh.
The Australian History shelf
Some of the best Australian histories ranging from colonial times to the World Wars. Booker Prize winning and bestselling author Thomas Keneally brings to life the characters who formed the early days of Australia’s national story in Australians: Origins to Eureka.
The True Crime shelf
What really happened in these real-life, gruesome crimes?
From Bradley Murdoch, murderer of British backpacker Peter Falconio in the remote Australian outback, to the infamous Snowtown murders where dismembered bodies were found in barrels in a disused bank vault.
The Women’s Fiction shelf
A handpicked collection that will appeal to women of all ages and walks of life with stories of romance, heartbreak, struggle and humour.
We hope that you enjoy the collection as much as we have. It is a wonderful addition to our expanding list.
21st October 2011
In July this year, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc announced plans to form a working partnership designed to promote reading and to encourage people to visit and use their local libraries. The vision is for council librarians to use their knowledge of the public’s reading interests to work with the Bloomsbury team to design a series of events that will run throughout the year.
The latest event coincides with the third London History Festival, offering the chance to engage with some of today’s finest authors including Claire Tomalin, Simon Sebag Montefiore, and Public Library Online’s very own Richard Van Emden.
Kensington and Chelsea libraries have been an integral part of the London History Festival since it began. It is a unique opportunity for regular library users – and those who would like to become regular users – to hear authors talking about their work and to engage with them on a personal level.
Richard Van Emden has interviewed over 270 veterans of the First World War and has written 12 books on the subject, two of which are featured on the Public Library Online’s Soldiers and Spies shelf. The Soldier’s War traces a history of The Great War,the fighting month by month and year by year, using original diaries, letters and as-yet-unseen photographs taken by the soldiers themselves.
The Last Fighting Tommy is the story of Harry Patch, born 17 June 1898, who was the last surviving British soldier to have fought in the trenches of the First World War. From his vivid memories of an Edwardian childhood, the horror of the Great War and fighting in the mud during the Battle of Passchendaele, working on the home front in the Second World War and fame in later life as a veteran, The Last Fighting Tommy is the story of an ordinary man’s extraordinary life.
Richard Van Emden is a fantastic speaker and this is an event not to be missed. Tickets and further information are available here.
14th October 2011
Our thoughts go out today to all of the dedicated and passionate campaigners fighting to keep Brent libraries open, who have vowed to fight on despite losing their judicial review claim against the closure of six libraries in the High Court yesterday morning.
Library campaigners remain outside Kensal Rise Library today, having stayed up all night and preventing three attempts by council workmen to board up the doors.
A number of high profile authors and celebrities have backed the campaign including Phillip Pullman, Alan Bennett, Zadie Smith, The Pet Shop Boys and Nick Cave.
The former children’s laureate Jacqueline Wilson, who spoke at an event to raise money for the campaign earlier this year, said she was desperately disappointed at the news. “I practically lived in the library when I was a little girl,” she said, explaining that she “only had about 10 books as a child”.
Brent says its closure plans will save around £1m a year. Of this, £185,000 will be “immediately reinvested” in improving remaining libraries. Opponents say the scheme is deeply flawed as fewer people, especially the young, will visit bigger, more distant libraries.
We continue to hope that new technologies and innovative services will enable communities to stay connected to information, resources and much-loved stories. Libraries are a place where a life long love of reading can begin and we hope that future generations will not miss out on this experience.
13th October 2011
Public Library Online is delighted to announce that nationwide digital library supply deals have been concluded in Denmark and Holland with De Danske Bibliotekers Licensgruppe and Bibliotheek.nl making a range of themed digital bookshelves of bestselling fiction and non-fiction available for 24/7, simultaneous online access to 0.9m and 4m library members of each country respectively.
In Denmark, subscribed bookshelves range from Danish Publisher Verve to International bookshelves from English language publishers participating in the Public Library Online platform including Alma’s World Literature shelf, Bloomsbury’s Book Group shelf and Canongate Bestsellers shelf. Susanne Brinch from De Danske Bibliotekers Licensgruppe says: “We think this is an exciting opportunity to deliver high quality foreign language literature to the library patrons.”
In Holland, the launch shelves will include a range of International English Language content from participating publishers, Arabic content from Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, and Dutch content from Dutch Publishers. Diederik van Leeuwen from Bibliotheek.nl: “We are delighted to co-operate with Public Library Online in order to serve all library member in Holland with streamed eBooks. We invite Dutch Publishers to join this new venture.”
Dutch publishers interested in participating in the Dutch programme should contact email@example.com
For more information, please contact Stephanie Duncan
7th October 2011
The nation is set to be “carpeted in poetry” next year for the Olympic games, thanks to National Poetry Day, whose 2011 theme was ‘Games’, and a host of like-minded organisations.
The Forward Arts Foundation announced yesterday that works by poets including laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the Forward prize winner, also announced yesterday as part of the event, John Burnside, will be installed in the Olympic Park as special commissions as part of the Winning Words project.
Their poems will become a permanent part of the Olympic Park, with the last line from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Ulysses – “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” – also featuring on a permanent installation in the centre of the Olympic Village.
Other plans are to involve bringing poetry to public spaces, schools and local communities “inspiring the whole nation to create new and exciting contexts for this dynamic and immediate medium”. A “poetry bank” of more than 150 poems connected to the values of the Olympics and Paralympics has been created, and Winning Words is hoping that communities around the country will display, perform or install verse.
Be sure to check out our Faber Poetry shelf featuring works by a host of contemporary poets who hosted events on National Poetry Day – a real testament to their passion and commitment to the medium. Carol Ann Duffy, appeared in conjunction with Wimbledon Bookfest, and Wendy Cope hosted her interpretation of this year’s theme as a comment on the nature of relationships at Waterstones, Piccadilly.
Here’s to a Gold medal for poetry in 2012!
30th September 2011
Congratulations to Hillingdon council who have received great coverage about their investment in libraries, and we are thrilled to count them as one of our subscribing library authorities.
Hillingdon council was praised for continuing to invest in its library services and subsequently has seen a 50 per cent increase in visitor numbers.
They are currently just over half way through a £4million programme to rebuild or refurbish all its 17 libraries, has seen the number of new members double whilst many other London borough are slashing library budgets and closing facilities.
Cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, Henry Higgins, said the council had been preparing for cuts since 2006.
“Almost on a daily basis there are reports of library closures but we’re showing there is another way. Hillingdon has taken radical and innovative steps to keep costs down while increasing what’s on offer. These figures demonstrate just how important people think our libraries are.”
The council’s forward-thinking plans include a collaboration with Starbucks which involves opening coffee bars in some libraries where the profits are kept to be used in the library service, one making £30,000 since its introduction in 2007.
Collectively, Hillingdon’s libraries cater for about 130,000 visitors each month, all of whom are served by the Public Library Online. Library members can log in on any library terminal, or using their library card number to log in remotely, and have 24/7 concurrent access to their great range of shelves including Britain and the Empire, Paranormal Romance, Quercus Crime and Faber Poetry.
We are thrilled to be a part of Hillingdon’s vision for the future of libraries.
21st September 2011
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Mayor, Councillor Julie Mills, opened the first tri-borough event of its kind designed for teachers working in the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Westminster yesterday. It created an opportunity for informal networking with the view to forming links with individuals and organisations from across the arts and culture sector, who can complement their work in the classroom.
Councillor Julie Mills was keen to highlight the importance of an open dialogue between those working in the education sector across the board. She praised the clarity of the event and commended the creation of an opportunity to set up meaningful relationships.
Kaye had spent the previous hour entertaining pupils from Bousfield Primary School talking to them about her writing space, the rivalry between her cats, silly names, and where her ideas came from. She performed some of her poetry and nursery rhymes with quirky accents and flamboyant characterisations, before selecting an extract from her latest book, Tales from Witchway Wood: Crash and Bang. The children were enthralled and it was a perfect prelude to the fundamental message of her public address: it is vital that parents read to their children!
Overall a great success and we look forward to hearing about fruitful connections made.
Do get in touch for further information.
19th September 2011
More than fifty arts organisations and cultural institutions will come together at Kensington Town Hall today, 20 September, as part of a free Arts in Education Open Evening.
From 4 to 7pm, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton St, will open its doors to leading arts organisations such as English National Ballet, the Royal College of Music, Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Court Theatre, Serpentine Gallery and Cineclub.
The event has been organised by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Culture and Library Services, and is specially designed for teachers working in the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster. The Open Evening is an informal networking opportunity for teachers to form links with individuals and organisations from across the arts and culture sector, who can reinforce and complement their work in the classroom. Families, individuals and members of community groups are also welcome.
Her Worshipful the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr. Julie Mills, will open the Arts in Education Open Evening, in the company of guest speaker, the acclaimed children’s author Kaye Umansky, in association with Bloomsbury and the Public Library Online.
A number of artists will run workshops with specially invited groups of schoolchildren. Bousfield Primary School children will have a Q and A session with author
Kaye Umansky, best-known for her Pongwiffy series as featured on our Humour for 9-11 yr olds shelf. Visitors will be able to view this digital bookshelf on library terminals throughout the event and we will be on hand to answer any questions.
Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, said:
“This is an excellent networking opportunity for teachers and pupils from three London boroughs to build relationships with those who can really help bring the curriculum to life and make learning fun.
“Members of the community can also come along and find out about the wealth of exciting cultural opportunities on their doorstep.”
Follow our Twitter for live updates from the event, from 4pm today
16th September 2011
The Guardian is launching its six-week autumn books season with a book swap by distributing 15,000 titles in various public locations around the country this weekend.
Thousands of books were gathered from publishers and authors and will be left where readers are likely to chance upon them, from stations and coffee shops to galleries and museums. Participants are asked to insert a bookplate sticker into the front of their book, write a message for the finder, then leave the book somewhere it will be picked up.
And not a million miles away in concept, World Book Night have finally released their top 10 titles. Did your choice make the cut? Let us know your thoughts on twitter or facebook. We’re thrilled to see The Life of Pi from our Canongate Bestsellers make it into the top 100, as well as Neil Gaiman’s Coraline – a spooky favourite that can be found both on our Teen Fiction shelf, and on Love the Film, Read the Book.
Neil Gaiman has also launched a Tweetathon in association with the Society of Authors. Each Wednesday for the next five weeks, a writer will tweet the first line of a story and tweeters will add the next four sentences to create a short story in 670 characters. Keep us posted if you post! @library_info
9th September 2011
Some surprising statistics have emerged from the government’s Taking Part survey that highlight the importance of reading, and of the library as an integral part of any community.
Firstly, the public use of libraries has held steady since 2008, with around 40% of the population using their local library. 65.8% of adults cite it as their main free time activity, compared to going to the cinema (47.7%) or visiting museums and galleries (32.6%). It also revealed that 76.4% of 5-10 year olds use the library.
Further highlighting the importance and relevance of libraries comes in the form of another Public Library Online partnership. Thanks this week to Waterstones, Newton Mearns branch, who have sponsored The Wisden Shelf for their local library authority, East Renfrewshire. Other shelves in their range include Quercus Crime, featuring bestseller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Middle Eastern Voices, and Short Stories.
A warm welcome to both and we look forward to seeing our vision of community partnership come to light. Building links between bookshops and their local libraries is a great way to support reading in the community. We hope that this partnership will springboard a programme of joint events and promotions, as well as establishing both parties as invested in the local community. Library members will benefit by having a vibrant reading offer through their local library and local bookshop, and exciting events that will bring them together.
So if your local library is not yet part of the growing Public Library Online community, perhaps your local bookshop would like to offer an incentive. Do get in touch for further information, or if you would like us to help mobilise this scheme in your area.
2nd September 2011
The first World Book Night was held in the UK in March this year and saw 20,000 people give away 1 million specially printed books – 40,000 copies of 25 brilliant titles.
We eagerly anticipate the release of the top 100 titles, chosen by readers, for World Book Night, 2012. Readers have been submitting their top 10 favourite books and it is now up to the World Book Night team to whittle that down to 25, which will be announced in mid October.
In the meantime, you can catch up with two titles from 2011′s list right now on the Public Library Online. The mysterious and beautiful Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, on our Canongate Bestsellers shelf, as well as Agent Zigzag – The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman, Lover, Betrayer, Hero, Spy, on our Soldiers and Spies shelf.
You can also visit the brilliant Agent Zigzag website full of extra features and a fascinating interview with the author, Ben MacIntyre.
In other news it’s great to see ongoing support and action from The Women’s Institute, who will mark the 96th anniversary of its first meeting on 16th September with an action to support its Love Your Libraries campaign.
The WI’s membership are being asked to each borrow a book from their local library on the day “in recognition of the continued importance of the WI’s early vision to widen educational opportunities”.
26th August 2011
We are thrilled to Welcome Rochdale library to the Public Library Online – part of a beautiful story of a local couple’s dedication to literacy and philanthropy.
Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who married in January 1955, both shared a passion for reading and thinking, and originally met in Rochdale library. Annie, a teacher at the former Queen Elizabeth High School died in 2006, but she left a bequest to the library in her will, to be used on English literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.
Paul Young, Head of Customers and Communities said the couple’s relationship and progressive thinking has formed the basis of their legacy to the people of the borough:
“We hope the Maskew Collection of English Literature and philosophy resources, will inspire future generations and kindle a passion for the joy of reading and thinking.”
Annie Cockcroft and Frank Maskew met in Rochdale library in the early 1950′s and married in 1955.
In addition to the collection, now available at Rochdale Central Library, a series of special events are being planned, including a monthly ‘Philosophy Coffee’ afternoon starting in late September.
The library have already established links with nurseries, schools, colleges and universities across the region to ensure the collection is used to champion learning in a fun way for thousands of people over the next few years.
Rochdale have selected some of our best loved shelves including the Oneworld Classics shelf, Love the Film, Read the Book, and a great resource for young adults in the SShakespeare Today shelf – retellings of Shakespeare’s most popular plays in an accessible and contemporary style, for readers aged 11 and up.
The Public Library Online subscription was purchased using the Maskew’s collection fund and we would like to extend special thanks to the Rochdale team for sharing their story and choosing our service as one of their important digital offerings to the community.
19th August 2011
Social media has been buzzing this week with an exercise for National Book Week that everybody can join in with. You won’t even need to break a sweat!
The rules are: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56, copy the 5th sentence as your status update/tweet/post. Don’t mention the book.
We did the same exercise using the Public Library Online by selecting a random shelf and title (using the ‘eyes closed’ method) and then following the National Book Week rules. My sentence was:
“Later, pundits and others would wonder why most of the photographs on the moon were of me.”
Can you guess what it is yet?
And a last minute call to everyone in the Edinburgh area today. Sighthill library will be attempting to break a Guiness World Record by forming a chain of readers, each of whom will read a sentence from the same book. Currently Vienna’s hold the title with 290 readers but the team are confident that they have enough supporters, which includes Janet Smyth, the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s children’s director, who said that the event – a partnership between the festival, Edinburgh Libraries and Sighthill Library – was “a great way to highlight all that libraries do for their local communities”.
Arrive from 1pm for a 2pm start, and let us know how you get on.
12th August 2011
The Edinburgh International book festival begins tomorrow – a literary event that, throughout its 27-year history, has grown rapidly in size and scope to become the largest and most dynamic festival of its kind in the world, so we are thrilled to see so many of our Public Library Online authors featured.
First, a celebration of narrative and heritage from the east as featured on our Middle Eastern Voices shelf. Leading Lebanese writer Hanan Al-Shaykh discusses her re-telling of some of the greatest folk tales of the Arabic world and explores the importance of storytelling to a shared understanding of our heritage. Al Shayk’s titles Once in London, The Locust and the Bird and The Women of Sand and Myrrh can all be found on the Public Library Online in the meantime, but click here for the festival event details to see her in person.
Heading a little further east on the literary map to perceptions of Pakistan, Kamila Shamsie will also make an appearance to explore the gap between our observations of Pakistan and the realities of life there today. Alongside author Shehryar Fazli, the writers examine the rapidly changing culture in their home country. We are thrilled to include Shamsie’s revered Burnt Shadows on our Book Group shelf so if you can’t make it to Edinburgh watch here as she talks about her inspiration for the Orange Long-listed novel. However, if you are in the area on August 25th, find out more about what promises to be a considered and thought-provoking discussion.
If you’re taking youngsters aged 10 or above be sure to point them in the direction of Neil Gaiman’s talk – a hugely eclectic writer of fantasy, graphic and horror novels, picture books, film scripts and adaptations. Swot up beforehand with some spooky under-the-bedclothes reading of his nightmare-ish mysteries featured on our Teen Fiction shelf including Coraline where a young girl ventures through a hidden door and finds another life with shocking similarities to her own, but will she ever find her way back? Check out the trailer for the star-studded animated film version. You can also access Gaiman’s brilliant The Graveyard Book – winner of the 2010 Cilip Carnegie Medal, the Newbery Medal and the Booktrust Teenage Book Prize 2009, and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award.
So whether you meet our authors online, in the flesh, or hiding behind the sofa in sheer terror, there really is something for everyone!
5th August 2011
President Obama yesterday celebrated his 50th birthday in style with well wishers urged to sign an e-card by his wife, Michelle, who plans to compile all of the well wishes into a book that will tell the story of this campaign – “who’s building it, why we’re in this thing, and what he means to us.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Obama’s story we have two brilliant texts by the man himself on our Canongate Shelf. Dreams from My Father, an emotional odyssey written at the age of thirty-three investigating his roots and determined to learn the truth of his father’s life and reconcile his divided inheritance. The Audacity of Hope takes on a different tone and discusses the importance of empathy in politics, his hopes for a different America with different policies, and how the ideals of its democracy can be renewed.
Another campaign this week comes from the Society of Authors who took their fight for the short story to the BBC. This follows the decision to cut the number of slots for new writing on Radio 4 from three to two, and the number of listener slots from four to two.
A letter, signed by SoA general secretary Nicola Solomon, Writers’ Guild general secretary Bernie Corbett and Equity general secretary Christine Payne, states a collective belief that the BBC is “breaching its charter and particularly its duty to stimulate creativity and cultural excellence.”
In a digital age, where attention spans are shrinking, the short story is set to experience a renaissance as an important and exciting literary form that can reach a wide readership. Whether you are a fan of short stories, or are new to them altogether, be sure to check out our Short Stories shelf – a selection of some of the best short-story writing today including Jay McInerney’s latest collection The Last Bachelor, Susannah Clarke’s magical The Ladies of Grace Adieu, the Asham Award-shortlisted stories and a specially commissioned book of crime and sex stories by the world’s top writers.
So, best of luck to SoA and many happy returns to Barack Obama. We also wish all Public Library Online users many happy ‘returns’ with our concurrent user access model allowing any number of you to access the same title at the same time – no late fees or returns required!
29th July 2011
It’s a pleasure to welcome Muswell Press as the newest publisher to come on board with a shelf for the Public Library Online. Muswell Press offers a range of subjects including fiction, poetry and art titles. We look forward to see what they have to offer our readers and will keep you posted.
The Man Booker longlist was announced this week containing no fewer than 4 debut novels including the wonderful Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman, as well as old Booker favorites Julian Barnes and Alan Hollinghurst. If you’re still trying to catch up with previous winning titles you can find two on the Public Library Online – last year’s winner, the spectacular The Finkler Question on the Book Group shelf, as well as Yan Martell’s extraordinary The Life of Pi on the Canongate shelf
15th July 2011
Congratulations to Quercus on the announcement that Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has just become one of only 6 adult fiction titles ever to have broken the 2 million copy sales barrier. If you are in the minority and have not yet read this phenomenon you can find it on our hugely popular Quercus Crime shelf.
And with summer finally here – in terms of school holidays if not the weather – make sure that the kids have enough to keep them occupied. Thankfully the Reading Agency has done most of the work already having created The Summer Reading Challenge, now in its second year and as popular as ever with a projected 760, 000 children taking part.
Julia Donaldson MBE, recently appointed UK children’s laureate, launched the scheme in Scotland last month and will be rolling out across the rest of the UK in the coming weeks. Contact your local library for specific dates.
This is a fantastic scheme that encourages children to really fall in love with reading by making it fun, engaging, social, and the ‘challenge’ aspect lends a sense of friendly competition and achievement.
And don’t forget the wonderful and varied range of children and young adult shelves we have on offer at Public Library Online, free for subscribing library members and accessible from within your library or from home, and including themes from Children’s History to Teen Fiction, from Magical Mischief to Paranormal Romance.
12th July 2011
Here at Public Library Online we are delighted to announce our first partnership between one of our subscribing library authorities and their local bookshop.
Many thanks to Waterstones, Falkirk, for sponsoring the fantastic Wisden shelf for the Falkirk Community Trust Libraries. Building links between bookshops and their local libraries is a great way to support reading in the community. We hope that this partnership will springboard a programme of joint events and promotions, as well as establishing both parties as invested in the local community. Library members will benefit by having a vibrant reading offer through their local library and local bookshop, and exciting events that will bring them together.
So if your local library is not yet part of the growing Public Library Online community, perhaps your local bookshop would like to offer an incentive. Do get in touch for further information, or if you would like us to help mobilise this scheme in your area
1st July 2011
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc this week announced plans to form a working partnership designed to promote reading and to encourage people to visit and use their local libraries.
Council librarians will use their knowledge of the public’s reading interests to work with the Bloomsbury team to design a series of events that will run throughout the year.
The first event will be a major initiative focussed on London schools this September with Kaye Umansky, bestselling author of the Pongwiffy series . This will be open to teachers and children attending any school in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster or Hammersmith & Fulham. Librarians hope the event will encourage children to visit libraries regularly.
This will be followed by a spring festival in early 2012 for which Bloomsbury will supply a wide range of authors from across their list. The festival events will be open to all and events will be held in libraries across the borough.
Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, Cabinet Member for Libraries said: “Our libraries are highly valued by our residents but we don’t want to rest on our laurels and want to do all we can to continue to encourage a culture of reading by getting more people to visit libraries to discuss books with their authors or listen to readings. We hope our partnership with Bloomsbury will help promote libraries and foster a love of reading.”
Nigel Newton, Bloomsbury Chief Executive, said: “Bloomsbury’s partnership with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea arises from a call I made at a recent Reading Agency event for publishers to use their access to authors to create more library based events to bring books alive in the community. We are very keen to support UK Public Libraries. In particular, we look forward to working with the Royal Borough on this exciting partnership and we will look for others too.”
24th June 2011
Can you sum up your love for libraries in under 60 seconds? Listen to the brilliant Sue Perkins undertake the challenge on ‘Just a Minute’ (14.30 minutes into the programme). Not only does she succeed but she gets a round of applause for her call to save our library institutions.
And pressure is growing from all corners for the Department of Culture to help libraries. Patrick Ness, winner of this year’s Carnegie Prize, used his winner’s speech to emphasise the vital role played by librarians in encouraging children to discover books. “Knowledge is useless if you don’t even know where to begin to look”, he says, “how much more can you discover when someone can point you in the right direction…to places you may not have even thought you were allowed to go.”
And in the vein of hunting for books, tomorrow the search begins for the nation’s top 10, chosen by readers, to give away on World Book Night. Last year’s event – the very first – was a resounding success with 20, 000 people distributing 1 million books especially printed for the occasion. Be a part of it – nominate your top ten books here (you’ll need to set up an account and log in to nominate, but it only takes a minute and is well worth it to be part of this exciting initiative.)
We at Public Library Online will be nominating A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, The Rum Diaries by Hunter S. Thompson and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedies…now over to you!
17th June 2011
Libraries have rarely been out of the news in light of the budget cuts threatening their survival coupled with the overwhelming public support for them. Bookshops are also under threat with the growth of online shopping and heavy discounting. We believe this provides a great opportunity for both parties. Library users are readers and readers are book buyers and herein lies the opportunity: to connect libraries and their users with their local bookshops to help drive book sales.
To this end, we’ve come up with a sponsorship opportunity that we think will benefit all parties.
One of the strengths of Public Library Online is that the books are available for browsing online 24/7 to subscribing library members. Given the huge increase in online library visits, this provides a new way to connect and engage with readers through the Public Library service. We firmly believe that this discovery of books online will lead the public either to visit their local library to borrow the physical book, which may or may not be available for loan, in which case, they may then visit their local bookshop to buy the book.
To this end, we’re contacting bookshops who would like to partner with their local library to put their shop in the mind of their local library user by sponsoring Public Library Online shelves. Bookshops can offer incentives to library members to shop at their local shop or via a link to their website. Libraries can benefit by having more shelves of great content at no cost to them, sponsored by their local bookshop. Library members benefit by having a vibrant reading offer through their local library and local bookshop. This partnership will also serve to build the links between the Library and their local independent retailer which could lead to joint events and promotions, as well as establishing both parties as invested in the local community. We’re offering one year’s free subscription to the Wisden shelf for those bookshops that wish to sponsor a shelf in their local library, just in time for all those cricket fans to check their stats (if the rain ever stops…).
10th June 2011
On June 8th Annie Mauger, chief executive of CILIP, addressed the Women’s Institute at their AGM, urging them to make supporting libraries part of their campaign as an organisation that “is all about local participation and involvement”.
Ruth Bond, chair of the W.I announced that they “have pledged their commitment to fight to prevent local library closures wherever they are proposed. As an educational organisation, WI members clearly recognise the worth that local library services bring to communities, often in isolated areas, and we will now work hard to prevent such services being removed from the areas where they are often needed most.”
This good news followed another announcement of advocacy from new Waterstone’s children’s laureate, Julia Donaldson, who declared that saving libraries will be an important part of her role. “I care very much about libraries and I’m looking for more opportunities to speak out against the cuts and closures I see as so damaging to our children’s future…” Julia hopes to arrange a libraries tour incorporating asking classes to perform for her in library settings.
Julia recognising the importance of using libraries for events is something we at Public Library Online also feel strongly about. Look out for events we will be running with our subscribing libraries, and do come along!
3rd June 2011
The London papers were dominated this week by The Standard’s expose on children’s literacy revealing that 1 in 4 children in London leaves primary school at 11 unable to read or write properly and that 1 in 3 children do not have a book of their own at home whereas 85% have a computer games terminal.
So what better time to get children back into reading than a long summer holiday, and there are some wonderful schemes around that can give them the boost and support that they need through their local library.
Why not get them excited about The Summer Reading Challenge by showing them the new Circus Stars website which helps libraries and schools introduce children to the Challenge before the end of term. The website includes appearances from best-selling authors Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson and Cressida Cowell. Children are invited to post directly on the website and are wasting no time having their say “I think the website is brilliant! I like the games and looking at the authors. Getting my certificate at school is really cool because it is one of the only times I go up to the front in assemblies.” Ben, aged 8 from Stockport
Not forgetting, of course, the wonderful and varied range of children and young adult shelves we have on offer at Public Library Online, free for subscribing library members and accessible from within your library or from home, and including themes from Children’s History to Teen Fiction, from Magical Mischief to Paranormal Romance.
There’s something for grown ups too with the Reading Agency’s recently launched Reading Groups for Everyone celebrating everything that reading groups, writing groups and book clubs have to offer. They have over 1000 groups listed already and a brilliant website bringing them all together with tips, prizes and news.
Libraries are perfect hubs for Reading Groups, which we recognise based on the fact that the Book Group Shelf is the most subscribed of all of our bookshelves.
And finally a shout-out to the inspirational team at Central Rappahannock Regional Library System, USA for their outstanding adaptation of I Will Survive in their viral clip, Libraries Will Survive. Enjoy!
27th May 2011
On 26 May, representatives from a range of organisations and libraries met at CILIP to discuss plans for a National Libraries Day. It is early days in terms of planning, but the focus is to encourage people to join and use their library, and provide promotional materials and support so that local communities can run events such as read-ins, poetry sessions and parties across the country.
The focus is as much about bringing in support from leading literacy, reading, library and education organisations as it is on empowering communities and library members to create their own campaigns. Take ‘Friends of Stony Stratford Library’ (FOSSL) who staged a literary flash mob in protest to plans to close their library.. They created quite a social media storm by encouraging all library members to take out their maximum allowance of books which eventually emptied the shelves.
Children’s author and libraries campaigner Alan Gibbons announced the launch. “We see National Libraries Day as a positive day of celebration to promote the whole culture of reading for pleasure, information and engagement whether you read your traditional books or on your laptop or e-reader. It is time to make reading a universal culture. We want people to go to their local school or public library and use their School Library Service. Use it. Join it. Love it.”
We urge you all to encourage someone you know to join their local library and discover the wealth of treasure within.
20th May 2011
Many congratulations to Hillingdon for winning the inaugural Library Innovation Award this week at the Bookseller Industry Awards for its library refurbishment programme which was described by one judge as helping to make libraries “a better place to visit.” We’re delighted to include Hillingdon amongst our subscribers.
This week also saw the library closure protest outside the DCMS which received much media coverage including Radio 4′s ‘You and Yours’. Tim Coates was interviewed for the show and was keen to point out that public libraries do not have to close, rather their budgets need to be managed more efficiently. He said “there are other expenditures that could be cut that don’t actually affect the service to the public”.
In light of this it’s fantastic to have so many more hands on deck in terms of publisher support for libraries. This week Random House soft-launched a ‘buddying scheme’ very much in line with Bloomsbury’s call to publishers to partner with libraries. Both agree that planning author events, providing promotional material and fortifying reading groups are essential components of these partnerships that look set to expand nationally.
13th May 2011
In March, Public Library Online co-sponsored The Reading Agency’s Digital Marketing Event bringing publishers and librarians together to develop an action plan. In his closing speech, Nigel Newton, CEO of Bloomsbury, urged publishers to partner with libraries to “champion [their] prosperity and intensively plan events there.” To this end, Bloomsbury is working up plans with Kensington & Chelsea and East Sussex to provide a sustained series of author events suited to the local communities to help keep libraries relevant and vital to their communities.
Peter James, Chair of the Crime Writers Association, is of a similar opinion: “We feel it is not enough to say that we oppose cuts to libraries. We want to…offer practical help to libraries in their hour of need, hence our programme of initiatives to raise their profile.” National Crime Writing Week runs between June 13 and 19 and involves events and readings in libraries. They are also asking all CWA members to approach their local libraries and to stage at least three events there each year.
Given Crime is the most borrowed genre in UK public libraries, be sure to check out the Quercus Crime Shelf on Public Library Online – one of our top-selling shelves subscribed to by over well over half of library authorities using the service.
UK libraries can subscribe on the basis of £100/100,000 population served per year. Other territories, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for price and availability.
6th May 2011
Alyxandra Harvey has written about her passion for libraries, in the first in our series of author pieces on what libraries mean to them, citing them as a “veritable galaxy of stories”. Read the full article here.
Alyxandra will be visiting London, Bath and the Hay Festival between 24-28 May. Find the full details
here. Her book My Love Lies Bleeding is on the Paranormal Romance shelf.
In other news, it’s great to see more businesses recognising the importance of libraries and library users. Last week saw the announcement of the Kindle Lending Library – a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11, 000 libraries in the United States. Amazon is working with OverDrive to deliver to any Kindle-enabled device through subscribing libraries. Early reports are positive but with questions around strict terms and policies of lending so it will be interesting to see this unfold.
Amazon have not yet announced when this service will be available outside of the United States, but we wait with bated breath and hope that the scheme will serve to encourage more library memberships.
Here at Public Library Online we are keen to make access to our platform as simple and as widespread as possible by allowing concurrent user access to each title so there is no limit on lending numbers or for how long you are allowed to ‘borrow’ it.
When an author is asked about libraries, images are immediately conjured of rarefied air that smells like paper and dust, secret nooks, and the mysteries of the Dewey decimal system. Picture the author at age eight with a stack of books taller than she is, at fourteen hiding from bullies, or at sixteen finding her bliss among the encyclopaedias.
But here’s my confession.
While at age 16, I did go to the huge five-floor library with my best friend, faithfully every Sunday, it wasn’t to read the books. I’d like to tell you that we were doing homework, or at least researching something intellectual.
But what we were actually doing was checking out the guys.
So, clearly there’s more to libraries than books.
They are a community and a haven. I, thankfully, didn’t have bullies to hide from when I was fourteen, but I still spent a lot of time sitting on the carpeted floor with my back against the uncomfortable metal shelves looking at both books and boys. And don’t get me wrong, I do love libraries. In fact, being a librarian finds itself on my list of what I want to be when I grow up. Never mind that I’m thirty six years old and technically grown up. While being a writer was, and is, always on the top; archaeologist, costume designer, librarian and archeao-mythologist also make the list. I don’t actually know what an archeao-mythologist does but I saw it in the credits of a movie once and fell in love with the word. It sounds like fun. And I’m sure a librarian could help me look it up.
Because that’s what’s so great about libraries; they’re like Delphic Oracles, pronouncing wisdom on anything from crop rotations to what the Ancient Egyptians ate for dinner. There’s always someone there to help you find the answer. The other times I visited for the actual books and not the scenery, I took away worn copies of volumes on everything from First Nations beadweaving and inter-tribal sign language, past life regression to King Arthur and Robin Hood. And I distinctly remember a family trip to Italy where I was allowed to choose the sights I wanted to visit. I spent hours pouring over travel guides to Florence, Rome and Venice, again sitting on the floor of my school library. I don’t know why those floors were always more comfortable then the perfectly good chairs two feet away.
A place full of books always feels holy to me, whether it’s a bookshop, a small village library or a book-lined living room. As a reader, there’s no happier place. And now that I get to visit themas a writer, it’s just as wonderful. It’s filled with old friends like Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre and Jo March; friends who might be forgotten if it wasn’t for the librarian behind the desk.
I don’t remember ever hearing about author visits when I went to school, and certainly the Young Adult genre didn’t have its own section in the stacks the way it does now. I see the difference it makes to young readers, not only to have librarians who can recommend books and encourage reading, but who also make the effort to bring in writers. Books become more real when writers aren’t just some old guy who lived two hundred years ago and is ruining your weekend because you have to write an essay about him for class.
When writers become real, readers can become writers too. And students also invariably have the most interesting and intelligent questions. In libraries, they get to ask those questions. Sometimes they get answers and sometimes they get something even better: an adult who admits to not having all the answers. Together they can search the hundreds of books for clues. The internet is good for many things but the glimmer of shared excitement when someone else is helping you on your quest just isn’t one of them.
And it’s not just research, which I happen to love, but recreational reading as well. Whatever that is. “Recreational” makes it sound like reading a novel is akin to indulging in a piece of chocolate; as if one’s okay but too many might be bad for your health. But I firmly believe that chocolate can save the day, and so can a good book.
There is something delicious about a novel. It’s a portable world in your palm, it has its own weather systems, its own emotional landscapes, its own friends and foes. And it makes your local library a guide to a veritable galaxy of stories.
15 April 2011
It comes as no surprise that libraries were a hot topic at the London Book Fair this week. With Harper Collins US enforcing usage limits on their library e-stock, and Tim Coates claiming that publisher’s are simply ‘not interested’ in the library fight, it was set to be an interesting meeting of minds. Flick to page 17 of the London Book Fair Daily Bookseller pages where Felicity Wood unravels the debate.
Overall there is increasing recognition that libraries need to offer a digital service to remain relevant to their members, and publishers have a responsibility to establish a commercial model that works for them. With different publishers choosing different models it is an exciting time to apply digital logic to a traditional infrastructure.
On the ground, publishers are increasingly seeing the significant opportunities offered by libraries to promote their authors, and the benefits that come with them. David Burleigh of Harlequin’s ‘digital first’ imprint, Carina, remarks that “libraries represent a large percentage of book buyers and help contribute greatly to the success of both authors and publishers, through revenue and recommendations.”
04 March 2011
The book give-away comprises 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night. The remaining books will be distributed by World Book Night itself in places that might otherwise be difficult to reach, such as prisons and hospitals. The twenty-five titles were selected by a wide-ranging editorial committee, chaired by James Naughtie, and includes titles featured in shelves on the Public Library Online including Life of Pi by Yann Martel from our Canongate shelf, and Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre from our Soldiers and Spies self. Ben will also be at the Norfolk and Norwich Millenium Library on Saturday from 6pm – 9pm.
Libraries nationwide have embraced this event. As well as providing the collection point for the World Book Night books, libraries are hosting numerous author events, literary quizzes, book swaps and readings as part of the World Book Night celebrations taking place on Saturday 5th March 2011. Find out about events taking place in your local library here and join this exciting initiative.
Highlights include an event with Sarah Waters at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow as part of the Aye Write Festival; a Manchester Libraries initiative in conjunction with The Mustard Tree tapping into the astonishing talents of Manchester’s homeless and marginalised communities; a rare event with Kate Atkinson at York Explore Library; a lively debate at Plymouth Central Library on which books to save from a burning library; a reading themed flash mob in Birmingham and a murder mystery night at Newcastle City Library.
World Book Night kicks off this evening with a special event with Margaret Atwood in Trafalgar Square from 6pm.
18 February 2011
It’s wonderful to see so many children’s authors on the top 10 most borrowed authors list confirming the fact that libraries are a vital resource to their local community and help start a lifelong love of reading. Furthermore, almost 80% of five to ten year olds now use public libraries according to the PLR data released today.
We’re delighted to have a Terry Deary Children’s History shelf on the Public Library Online as well as several other children’s and teen shelves to suit all levels of reading ability, making these books available to all members of subscribing libraries on a 24/7 basis for reading in the library, at home or at school with a library card login.
Don’t forget there’s 10% off any new subscription confirmed before 31 March, plus a free hardback Harry Potter boxed set, the series that revived a generation’s interest in reading.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Public Library Online
14 February 2011
We love our libraries every day, but since it’s Valentine’s Day, we wanted to make you an offer that will last longer than flowers or chocolates.
In light of the current budgetary constraints, we are offering
- a limited time offer of 10% off all subscriptions confirmed between 14 February 2011 and 31 March 2011
- plus one hardback boxed set of the Harry Potter series. With the final film in the series released this summer, there will be renewed interest in the books that started it all and revived a generation’s interest in reading. Please email us to take advantage of this offer.
We want to help you continue to be a vital part of your community and one of the ways of achieving this is having a cost effective digital offer available to your whole community simultaneously, 24/7, both in the library and remotely with library card login. The Public Library Online offers such a service by offering online access annual subscriptions to themed digital bookshelves of about 10 books per shelf costing £100/100,000 population served.
Subscribe now to get 10% off plus a hardback boxed set Harry Potter series.
You can browse all available UK shelves here but for ease, we’ve put together a few popular packages below, although please feel free to select the shelves which best suit your needs. All content has Marc records, enabling a seamless integration with your search systems. Set up is simple: we need your IP range, library card range, and the referral URL from your website. Please email us to take advantage of this offer.
If the links below don’t work for you please visit http://www.publiclibraryonline.com
Arden Shakespeare (includes main GCSE texts)
We look forward to hearing from you.
Public Library Online