Proof that library closures cause riots – Isobelle Carmody stops them

Throughout the night riot police played “cat and mouse” with the gangs who smashed their way into supermarkets and shops, including many upmarket retailers, in the heart of Manchester city centre. The widespread attacks followed similar disturbances in neighbouring Salford, in which a former library was set on fire and shops attacked in the central precinct.- Daily Telegraph (UK)

If proof were needed that the closure of public libraries directly leads to wanton criminality, muggings, arson, looting by the young here is THE prime example. If that UK library had been open, would there have been riotous looting – I think not. Those young people would have been nestled in the YA section of the library reading one of the Obernewtyn books by Isobelle Carmody, or maybe researching butterflies on the Internet for their homework assignments, or maybe just relaxing with friends and discussing the library’s new graphic novels. The government and local councillors who have closed UK libraries, should be held responsible and accountable for turning the young to crime, when all they ever wanted was information access.

The state has turned the young from Hoban to Hoodies, from Turgenev to trainers and from Rand to rioting.  Let these riots be a lesson that when a library closes, so do minds. Not a single UK library must be allowed to close in the current economic climate. When austerity and unemployment are prevalent, closing down the only free (at point of access) institution where people may improve themselves is a far far worse crime than stealing shoes.

See also

National Cultural Policy – discussion paper



In 2008-09, the creative industries were valued at more than $31 billion in terms of industry gross product, representing an average growth rate of 3.9 per cent in real terms – a faster growth rate than the broader economy over the 10 years to 2008-09. Notably, this contribution to industry gross product is also larger than that of a number of other traditional industry groups, such as agriculture, forestry and fishing; electricity, gas and water supply; and accommodation and food services


This cultural policy needs to reflect the complex and diverse ways in which Australians take part in arts and creative activity – whether through downloading or uploading creative material online, visiting museums and galleries, creating artworks, learning about Indigenous culture, borrowing a book from the local library, listening to a rock band at a club, going to the movies or watching television.

A novel way to sell books

With rising commercial rental costs, one bookseller decided to bring his work a little closer to home … in fact, his business is now run from his apartment! Check out New York City’s hidden gem, Brazenhead Books, in the video below:

You can read more about the story behind the video on the Etsy blog.

Census 2

As it is Census time, let us look back at 100 years ago.

image from 1911 census

Men - Occupations - 1911

image from 1911 census

Women - Occupations - 1911

As we can see, there were not many library workers back then. And, in contrast to today only 37% of library staff were women. Unfortunately, given the paucity of information gathered in the census, we cannot tell how many were actually librarians or library assistants. Nor how many were stereotypical library types (aged, glasses wearing, tattooed, writers of fanfic etc.). A problem that essentially we still have today.

From other sources, we can know that librarians earned about 100 pounds a year, and library assistants half that. That probably wasn’t a great deal, but then again they didn’t have computers.

For more recent statistics see

Victorian Libraries Saved!?

Following negotiations with the MAV, the Victorian Government has agreed:

  • For this current year, to restore the funding difference for libraries that received less than their 2010-11 allocation. This includes upfront payments, but no indexation.
  • For next year, to provide an additional $3.1 million in recurrent funding for public libraries. This reverses two years of funding cuts and includes indexation.
  • To continue indexation in 2013-14, notwithstanding other funding improvements that may result from the MAC review, which will deliver a report in advance of the 2013-14 State Budget.

see the full MAV Press Release

Number of Australian library and information staff in the Census

According to the 2006 Australian Census there were:

  • 10,075 Librarians
  • 8,255 Library assistants
  • 11,627 Other Information and Organisational Professionals
  • 5,120 Archivists, Curators and Records Managers

Will the new census (August 9) find many more librarians? or less? Will there be a new listing of Knowledge Managers? Will there be differentiation of Information workers?  It’s exciting isn’t it.

9/11 and libraries

Interesting article on libraries and preservation relating to the Twin Towers and 9/11

Jan Ramirez, the curator of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, said there was no historical consciousness surrounding the site before it was destroyed.

“It was modern, it was dynamic. It was not in peril. It was not something that needed to be preserved,” she said.

“Now we know better.”