Instant Ideas and Collaboration

Summary: 9th Feb 2012 National Libraries Day

With National Libraries Day

Freshly packed away

A reflection on the events

Would provide feedback and comments


The twitter chat was well attended

And many libraries commended

Some could have been (a lot) better

Suggestions came unfettered


Many tweeters were keen

to say what could be done for


Many thanks to all who joined in!


I will ado no further

And give way to our #uklibchat summary…


Q1.  What did your [local] library do for National Libraries Day?

  • Small  rural-ish local library gave free entry into a £50 draw for introducing friends to the library, plus a 2 for 1 booksale. (@kathleenoneill)
  • Local library had a storytelling event. Various offers like fine amnesty, free DVD borrowing etc. (@sarahcchilds)
  • No special events (@usernametaken10)
  • Nothing extra, very disappointing (@niamhpage)
  • Hereford had visits by poets Roz Goddard, Adam Horowith and writer Tiffany Murray. County had several events. There were also #nld12 postcards asking people what they loved about their library and vouchers for introductions (@katywrathall)
  • The Denby Dale library @kirkleeslibrary didn’t organise, but @bikerbid helped organised a Friends group @FODDLib to help save it.
  • Library quiz to win £10 book token. Author Cathy Brett visited Dorking library for chat & cakes. Other libraries in Surrey held a Dragonese party (which was about vikings and dragons)  ow.ly/8Yx8s  (@ggnewed)
  • Dragonese info http://howtotrainyourdragonbooks.com/funstuff/writedragonesse/  (@katywrathall)
  • No sign of National Libraries Day promotion at the British Library (@ggnewed)
  • Friends were encouraged to put up NLD12 posters and bring neighbours/relatives into library. Not many took it up in local branch (@suzangriffiths)
  • Local public library did not acknowledge NLD12 (@idhunter22)

@idhunter22 made a display for the library that included staff views on libraries bit.ly/xTYFhr

  • There 300-400 National Libraries Day events on the NLD website, and some people included events in Spain and Norway (@usernametaken10)
  • Former local library did nothing  (@yalibraryuk)
  • Local library did nothing. (@mediavaljenga)
  • Bournemouth libraries had quite a few activities http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/leisureculturelibraries/libraries/nationallibrariesday2012.pdf  (@selharris)
  • Nothing happened in Kent, but Salisbury library was buzzing (@libwithattitude)
  • Nothing happened in local libraries (@agentk23)
  • Shropshire had a brilliant day, asked people to fill out love hearts (@mardixon)

Q2. What did you do personally for National Libraries Day?

  • @ggnewed organised a librarithon visiting many libraries in London  ow.ly/8YwLo
  • @suzangriffiths  put up a copy of a Julia Donaldson poem tgr.ph/xaWnY4  in local library, photocopied Friends docs and requested books online.
  • @kathleenoneill took part in the #nldshoogle library crawl in Glasgow and visited small local library to borrow books. Tried new audio books sections for the first time, lots of Kate Atkinson. Mentally wrote a blog and took photos of signage and displays. Tweeted, Facebooked and wrate blog post in preparation for the day.
  • @bikerbid ran a launch of @FODDlib and got 50 signatures to resist ‘community-run’ library as it’s not known what that will mean.
  • @yalibraryuk mostly tweeted and blogged encouragement to others.
  • @sarahcchilds went to Leicester Central Lending Library and picked up reservations. Also gave staff a very well deserved cake.
  • @idhunter22 made a display for the library that included staff views on libraries bit.ly/xTYFhr , next year it will include student views.
  • @calire went to new library to take photos, ended up working there all day as 2000 people came through the doors.
  • @usernametaken10 visited new libraries in Southwark and Hackney. Visited the British Library and Whitechapel Idea Store for author event.
  • @mediavaljenga spent day reading library books and publicised s much possible online about events to those she knew could attend.
  • @Mmitscotland wrote and article for MmIT Scotland blog ‘5 reasons why we really need librarians in the Internet age’!  tinyurl.com/7ykqz9r
  • @preater  visited the new library in Hackney for free books and the awesome Itenerant Poetry Library which popped up in Haringey.

Q.3.  What did you think of the coverage for National Libraries Day?

  • There was a definite increase in coverage in local and national newspapers in the run up to NLD (@ggnewed)
  • Didn’t see any coverage except for on Twitter but may have just missed it all. (@mediavaljenga)
  • @yorkshirepost did good coverage on Friday but nothing about events post NLD12  (@bikerbid)
  • Scottish press picked up on it well in fortnight leading up to the day, in paper and on radio. Even @BBCradioscot music [had a?] show about reading. Everything was supportive of libraries and librarians, but cannot recall any comments form high-profile politicians. Lots people have mentioned Channel 4 News Coverage. Learnt about the ‘The Library Book” on sale to support @readingagency (@kathleenonneil)
  • Saw quite a it the national news and online. @Calire’s mum also heard about it, but not sure from where (@calire)
  • There was quite a bit in the press. Guardian: Julian Barnes wrote an update of England England etc (@tomroper)
  • There were borrowed book data articles on Saturday even if National Libraries Day was not mentioned. And there were some local paper coverage bit.ly/zaBqKp (@suzangriffiths)
  • Seemed to be more coverage of Save Our Libraries Day last year than NLD this year. More about highlighting cuts then. (@ggnewed)

Side question of how did National Libraries Day occur?

NLD12 is virtual and organic (@bikerbid)

National Libraries Day is a team effort with no single organisation or persons in charge.  (usernametaken10)

CILIP deserves credit for running harder than most with the idea (@mickfortune)

People downloaded leaflets and posters from the website.  www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk/share-it/   (@idhunter22)

One library service has support of corporate comms who let the press know (@ggnewed)

Womens Institute heavily promoted it, possibly even on Alan Titchmarsh show (needs to be checked) (@kathleenoneill)

Full list of supporters here:  http://nationallibrariesday.org.uk/supporters/  (@usernametaken10)

 Q4. Did National Libraries Day promotions reach non-users or mainly users/librarians? Who is the current target audience (if any)?

  • Intention in Cambs (Cambridge?) was to draw in non-users. Not data on results (@suzangriffiths)
  • Kent appeared to have made decision NOT to make an effort for National Libraries Day and issued staff instruction to that effect (@mickfortune)
  • Introduction vouchers were aimed at users who were introducing new users and a lot of campaign seemed aimed at non-users too (@katywrathall)
  • Library seemed busy than normal in Glasgow, suggesting non-users, but does not know the normal figures for Saturdays. It may have reached some non-users but most people coming in seemed to know their way around. Maybe appealed most to those who hadn’t been in in a while. More of a presence at the library entrances would have helped get in non-users most library entrances seemed as normal, except for  NLD12 posters (@kathleenoneill)
  • Library was emptier than normal, probably because the computers were down (@agentk23)

Q5.  What were the most effective and least effective aspects of National Libraries Day? What worked, what failed?

  • No evidence but, fines and book amnesties may be effective in encouraging users back to pub libs. (@usernametaken10, @kathleenoneill)  @YAlibraryuk agree that it’s always very popular.
  • @orkneylibrary  Body in the Library Twitter thing sounded like an effective idea. (@mmitscotland)

Q6. Would you like to see libraries from a wider variety of sectors participate in National Libraries Day? [And do what?]

  • Most people still think of it as public library based. (@ggenwed) NLD is still thought of as being a public library thing, and the focus of NLD (in the media) does not dispel this. (@agentk23)
  • @kathleenoneill would love to see academic libraries involved especially with schoolkids to make them more comfortable with the space before they start. National Libraries have to get involved. Rare book events such as those held in British Library are good crowd pleasers with experts on hand.
  • Campaigners/users @FOGlibraries organised loads of events in Gloucestershire libraries and had great turn out (@ggnewed)
  • It’d be great if other kinds of libraries held an open day for the public (@agentk23, @yalibraryuk, @kathleenoneill) @usernametaken10 has received feedback suggesting this is not easy to do. Issues such as convincing senior staff, health and safety worries, and worries about theft of stock were mentioned.
  • Teeside uni held an open day (@bikerbid) There were poetry readings, library trail, children’s activities, recommendations by staff and tea and cake (@lizjolly)
  • St George’s Medical School library did a pop-up library to mark NLD (@tomroper) [Though it was not on the day itself]
  • @calire is hoping to involved all libraries in the city next year, public/uni/college etc. Plymouth coordinates through the Learning through Libraries Group @ggenewed  and @bikerbid believe that a coordinated local effort/ joined up action is a good idea.
  • There were displayed in FE colleges and schools, and possibly Cardiff university (@katywrathall)
  • Maybe have displays about public libraries vs academic libraries (@yalibraryuk)
  • Corporate libraries could let staff ‘borrow a librarian’ Perhaps they can visit them at their desk and teach them something? (@usernametaken) Library swaps (@agentk23).  @kathleenoneill suggested t-shirts for librarians with datestamp space on them!
  • However (@tinareynolds) pointed out the Saturdays would not work for Libraries that work weekdays 9-5 and this would also apply to schools, and professional stuff in universities.  Her library also does not allow for external people on the working floor.
  • @ggnewed suggest that National Libraries Week would help overcome the cases of libraries that do not operate on Saturdays.
  • @kathleenoneill mentioned that smaller libraries such as  poetry libraries might find it difficult to host events. How would extra help be paid for?
  • @Kathleenoneill suggests offering the chance to spend day working in library. E.g. children running children’s section.
  • @jonathanmcshane suggests twinning libraries.
  • @deadlylibrarian suggested the idea of taken food in lieu of fines. It could be done across country and food can be donated to the community.  @kathleenoneill added Food Not Fines could be great in the run up to Christmas (food parcels for homeless).
  • @stjerome1st  had a public library staff member in a display during induction week. And it was much appreciated on both sides.  @tinareynolds believes law firms and similar places could do something with that idea, as she knows of few that have a bring your own fiction section.

Question 7. What long-term effects do you think events like National Libraries Day have (if any)?

  • Foundation for advocacy (@bikerbid)
  • Keep users/non-users aware of what libraries can offer and increase use, but media needs to be behind it too.

Question 8. What events would you like to see happen next year?

  • @Kathleenoneill
    • Performances, like the dance routine by the department of library and information science in the University of Delhi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-OAsF9uRfc
    • Readathons
    • Book reenactments for kids, with a dressing up box available.
  • @ggenewed suggested input and support from Arts Council England to help increase coverage and maybe provide ACE funding
  • @yalibraryuk  wanted to see
    • groups of roving librarians, roving librarians doing outreach?
    • bigger library crawls
    • more library themed events outside of buildings
    • pop-up libraries
    • @stephthorpeuk  gave a link to #libcampnw session on pop-up libraries bit.ly/wAAzD0
  • @bikerbid would like to see
    • political involvement
    • talking to communities in public libraries
    • A BBC Question Time on library issues (the other sort)


The twitter session was great and brought out a lot of good ideas for National Libraries Day! Hopefully these can be taken on board to make next year’s National Library Day bigger and better!



About Ka-Ming

Librarian at a University in London and one of the founding members of uklibchat.wordpress.com Find me @agentk23

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2012 by in Discussion Summaries and tagged , .


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