Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Alternative New Year Public Libraries Honours List.

Depending on what side of the line you stand you were either dismayed or ecstatic about the New Year Honours awarded to library folk this year, 3 out of the 4 awarded went to those actively involved in handing libraries over to volunteers.

For more details see;

Now let me just also say that i find the whole Honours thing to be totally archaic and counter-productive in a so-called democratic country and if i ever received one i would take great pleasure in telling the government were to stick it. I mean how could anyone that really loves libraries accept an award from a government that is seeking to destroy, fragment and divest them?!?

So for a bit of fun and to show my appreciation to those whom i think are true supporters of libraries i'm awarding my own in no order of merit (cause we wouldn't want to create more hierarchies would we?) Also i'm sorry to those i've left out, i couldn't list you all.

Shirley Burnham (@ShirleyBurnham)
Fights tirelessly for public libraries and keeps us up to date with all the latest library news (and often helps me with my grammar). What would I/we do without her?

Elizabeth Ash (@ElizCro) and Laura Swaffield (@lswaffield1) - The Library Campaign - (@LibraryCampaign) - Both Elizabeth and Laura help to keep The Library Campaign, the only UK national charity for library users and friends groups, running. They also play an active part in the Speak up for Libraries coalition and Elizabeth in her own right helps to run the Save Croydon Libraries Campaign. See; and

Ian Anstice (@publiclibnews) - a fellow colleague on Voices for the Library and the author of the highly influential and regarded Public Libraries News website, the best source of public libraries information in the UK. His commitment to and passion for libraries is unsurpassed (and he does it all in his spare time!) See;

Alan Gibbons (@mygibbo) - Children's author and library campaigner. Alan has recently been heavily involved in the Save Liverpool Libraries campaign and chaired the panel discussion at last years SUFL conference also delivering his trade mark blinder of a closing speech. See;

Leon Bolton (@Lebol125) - a public librarian who writes and comments about public libraries in a very thoughtful manner. See;

Radical Librarians Collective (@RadicalLibs) - for trying to raise the level of discussion and for highlighting issues and concerns regarding the neoliberal zeitgeist in libraries management, thought and policy making. And a lovely bunch of people. See;

Jolyon Jones (@JonesFearless) and the Friends of the Library of Birmingham (@FoLoB_) - for mounting and sustaining a brilliant campaign against library cuts in Birmingham. See;

And now for my first special category, Union Activists;

Barnet Unison (@barnet_unison) - for fighting tooth and nail for every library user, worker and library in Barnet against an onslaught of privatisation and cuts. (also a special mention for Prof Dexter Whitfield of the ESSU for his work in supporting them and all those fighting to save public services) See; and

Unite members in Greenwich Libraries and the Branch (especially Sarah and Onay Kasab) - for taking on GLL and winning. See;

Matthew Egan (@medegan) - Unison's person on public libraries, how he puts up with the SUFL meetings i'll never know?

My second special category is an international one;

Nina de Jesus (@satifice), Lisa Rabey (@byshieldmaiden) & #TeamHarpy - two American librarians fighting a lawsuit by Joe Murphy, for details see;

Alison Macrina (@flexlibris) - "a librarian and IT manager at the Watertown Free Public Library and an activist fighting for patron privacy rights and education in Massachusetts libraries and beyond" for why I think she deserves an award see;

Queens Library Guild, Local 1321 (@local1321) - a great bunch of AFSCME union comrades fighting the fight for libraries in NYC.

And of course a special mention to all the campaigners out there fighting to protect libraries; all the users for continuing to support and use libraries; to all the library staff who continue to provide a crucial service under extreme circumstances and last but not least to all the LIS academics who support the cause and widen and heighten the debate.


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